Massachusetts Drug Convictions No Longer Mean an Automatic Driver's License Suspension

Recently the Massachusetts legislature passed a law, signed by Governor Baker, which lifted the requirement that those convicted of certain drug offenses have their driver's license suspended. Prior to the enactment of this legislation, individuals convicted under the 94c Controlled Substance Act had an automatic driver's license suspension ranging from one to five years. In addition to the suspension, these individuals were required to pay a $500 reinstatement fee at the expiration of the suspension period.

The new legislation, which went into effect on March 30, 2016, did away with the mandatory license suspension for drug offenses that did not involve operating a motor vehicle. Statistics showed that nearly 7,000 people in Massachusetts had a license suspension due to a drug conviction. More often than not, when these individuals applied for a hardship license, they were denied at the Registry of Motor Vehicles due to the extremely strict requirements. The new legislation permits these individuals to serve their time, complete probation, but also continue to drive to work to help provide for their families.

People all across the Commonwealth are struggling with substance abuse disorders. The criminal justice system is slowly moving to make important changes in how our criminal justice system treats these individuals. The new legislation will allow these individuals to work, to drive (legally), and provide for their families.

If you were convicted of a drug offense in Massachusetts and lost your license, you may be eligible for reinstatement. Contact Gilman Law to discuss your situation with a former RMV hearing officer.

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