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Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License

If you were arrested for driving on a suspended, revoked, or canceled license in Las Vegas or Clark County, Nevada, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Gallo Law Office. A DWLS or DWLR is a serious criminal charge, not a mere noncriminal violation. You could lose your license for even longer. It is important to seek out a strong defense.

Las Vegas Driving While License Suspended Lawyer

An attorney can fight to protect you from these harsh penalties and punishments. James C. Gallo represents clients throughout Clark County including the cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City and Mesquite, Nevada.

Call Gallo Law Office at (702) 385-3131 today to set up a free consultation. We will work to find the best defense for your case.


Info on DWLS Charges in Clark County


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Definition of Driving on a Suspended License

The Nevada Legislature has defined the offense of "driving on a suspended license" to mean "any person who drives a motor vehicle on a highway or on premises to which the public has access at a time when the person's driver's license has been cancelled, revoked or suspended is guilty of a misdemeanor."

Your license can be suspended for any number of different reasons including getting 12 or more demerit points on your license, failing to pay a traffic ticket or child support, or getting a DUI conviction in Nevada.


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Penalties under NRS 483.560

Under NRS 483.560, driving on a revoked license comes with the following maximum penalties:

  • up to six months in jail;
  • up to a $1,000 fine; and/or
  • a further license suspension or revocation.

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Driving on a Revocation after a DUI Conviction

If you are convicted of driving on a revoked license, then the offense is punishable by a minimum of 30 days in jail or 60 days of house arrest with a fine between $500 to $1,000. If convicted you might also receive another one-year revocation of your driver's license.

The legislature has determined that plea bargaining and suspended sentences should be prohibited if you drove on a license revoked because of a DUI. In other words, the court must impose a sentence of 30 days in jail or 60 days of house arrest if you were driving on a revoked license because of a DUI. In some cases better results can be negotiated, but the defense attorney, prosecutor and judge have to be creative to get around the statutory language. See NRS 483.560(2)(c).


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Additional Period of Suspension or Revocation of the Driver's License

Perhaps the most devastating penalty under NRS 483.560 is the additional suspension or revocation, especially since periods of suspensions and revocations imposed pursuant to this section must run consecutively.

The statute provides: 

If the Department receives a record of the conviction or punishment of any person pursuant to this section upon a charge of driving a vehicle while the person’s license was:

    1. Suspended, the Department shall extend the period of the suspension for an additional like period.
    2. Revoked, the Department shall extend the period of ineligibility for a license, permit or privilege to drive for an additional 1 year.
    3. Restricted, the Department shall revoke the restricted license and extend the period of ineligibility for a license, permit or privilege to drive for an additional 1 year.
    4. Suspended or cancelled for an indefinite period, the Department shall suspend the license for an additional 6 months for the first violation and an additional 1 year for each subsequent violation.

See NRS § 483.560(5).


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Defenses to Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License

If you are charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license, the prosecutor must show that you knew your license was suspended or revoked. In other words, knowledge of intent to drive with a suspended or revoked license is a necessary element of crime.

In many cases, the prosecutor will attempt to show that you knew that your driver's license was revoked or suspended because Nevada authorities send you a letter to notify you of the revocation or suspension. In many cases, the notice is deemed to be sufficient if it was sent to your last known address.

The prosecutor can also argue that if the order of revocation of driver's license is served by mail, the revocation becomes effective eight days after mailing. An arrest for driving with revoked driver's license was premature if it occurred before the eight days after mail had expired.


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Finding an Attorney for a Suspended or Revoked Driver's License / DWLS in Las Vegas

If you did not receive proper notice of the suspension, revocation or cancellation then your Las Vegas criminal defense attorney should file a motion to dismiss the charge.

Call James C. Gallo at (702) 385-3131 to find out more about possible defenses that might apply in your case.