Immediate Threat License Suspensions in Massachusetts
It can be easy to lose your license in Massachusetts. Even simple traffic stops can result in swift penalties. Law enforcement has the option to request that the RMV revoke your driving privileges for an indefinite period of time. This little-known suspension is well-known by police departments across Massachusetts and can have a devastating impact on you and your family.This is known as an immediate threat suspension. Police officers can recommend this type of suspension if they feel your continued operation of a motor vehicle is a danger to public safety. This can happen after a serious offense, but it can also happen if you simply caught the police officer on a bad day.
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.
While these suspensions were meant to protect the public from serious and imminent dangers, attorney Matthew Gilman has seen an increasing amount of immediate threat suspension abuse. Even minor traffic violations are being met with attempts to immediately suspend driving privileges. If you or someone you love is facing this type of license suspension, take action right away to protect your rights and retain your license.
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.
Stating Your Case for a Hardship License Before the Massachusetts RMV
Many Massachusetts drivers are unclear about their rights. Too often, they lose their driving privileges without fully exhausting all of their options within the law. This can be a complicated and confusing process, it can be done with the help of an experienced attorney.
At Gilman Law, P.C., attorney Matthew Gilman understands this system from the inside out. He takes advantage of his experience as a hearing officer to help his clients retain their driving privileges. He offers practical advice and a clear plan of action. Call Attorney Gilman today for a free consultation.