Have you ever been pulled over for an alleged traffic violation and told that your license would be suspended because you are an "immediate threat?" This little-known suspension is well-known by police departments across Massachusetts and can have a devastating impact on you and your family.
Immediate threat suspensions are indefinite suspensions of your right to operate a motor vehicle in Massachusetts. Indefinite means there is no specific date that your license will be reinstated. Generally, these types of suspensions begin by a police officer sending a request to the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The RMV will review the request and may suspend or revoke the driver’s license so long as there is information contained in the request that there has been an automobile law violation and that your continued operation is a threat to public safety. Catch the police officer on the wrong day and he or she could request an immediate threat suspension for something as minor as a speeding violation.
Far more often than not, the RMV will support the police officer’s request and immediately suspend your driving privileges. The immediate threat license suspension will go into effect before you as the driver get to contest the suspension and tell your side of the story. You are deemed to be an immediate threat before any RMV hearing officer even meets you.
To make matters worse, you will receive notification of the suspension both by regular mail and by hand delivery when a police officer comes knocking on your door. Only after you have already been suspended can you take any steps to contest the suspension.
In some cases, the RMV may afford you just a little bit of flexibility and give you a notice before the suspension starts. Remember, whether you are immediately suspended or afforded 10 days advance notice, your right to operate a motor vehicle in Massachusetts will be suspended for an indefinite period. If the incident which gave rise to the police making the initial request involves any criminal charges, the RMV will oftentimes not consider your reinstatement appeal until the criminal matter has been resolved. Reinstatement conditions will not be determined until the criminal case is resolved. This delay can often take many months to sort out, during which your license is suspended. It is critical to have an attorney who can handle both the criminal matter and license suspension matters.
In addition to having to potentially resolve any criminal matters and to meet any of the RMV reinstatement conditions, there is also a mandatory $500 reinstatement fee.
If you have received any notification that your license is or has been suspended or revoked due to you being an immediate threat, you should contact an attorney who specializes in license suspensions. You have a right to a hearing before the Registry of Motor Vehicles and may appeal any Registry action to the Division of Insurance Board of Appeals. Matthew Gilman Law represents clients before RMV hearing officers as well as the Board of Appeals and has a strong track record of success. Call Attorney Gilman today for a free consultation.