Driving On a Suspended License Lawyer in Hamilton


While under suspension, an individual is prohibited from operating any motorized vehicle anywhere in Canada. This includes any vehicle that has a gas or electrically powered engine, such as a car, truck, bus, motorcycle, tractor, taxi, trailer, motorcycle, snowmobile, aircraft, vessel, railway, or even heavy equipment or machinery, whether in public or on private property.

If someone is caught driving with a suspended license, they can be arrested, charged, and held in custody, with the operated vehicle being impounded. The individual may be required to appear in a Provincial Court before a judge, to have what is called a “show cause hearing” before they can be released from custody.

Definition of Suspended Driving

Drive While Suspended – Highway Traffic Act 53.1

Every person who drives a motor vehicle or street car on a highway while his or her driver’s licence is suspended, under an Act of the Legislature or a regulation made thereunder, is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable,

  • for a first offence, a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $5,000; and
  • for each subsequent offence, a fine of not less than $2,000 and not more than $5,000,
  • or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both.

Criminal Code suspensions

You will receive a one-year licence suspension the first time you are convicted of a Criminal Code offence. Subsequent offences increase substantially to a lifetime ban from driving. Convictions will remain on your driver’s record for a minimum of 10 years.

Your licence will be suspended if you are convicted of any of the following Criminal Code offences:

  • Driving or having care and control of a vehicle, including boats, when your BAC is more than 80 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood (.08)

  • Refusing to submit to a breath test for alcohol

  • Breath test results in ‘warn range

  • Criminal driving convictions

  • Young and novice drivers

Possible Defenses in Driving on a Suspended License

If you face these criminal penalties, you may wish to fight the charges against you. A criminal defense attorney can help you. Here are four of the most common defenses that an attorney can raise to help defend you against a driving on a suspended license charge.

You Were Unaware Your License Was Suspended

A driver’s license can be suspended for a number of reasons. If you were convicted of a DUI or if you were caught driving without insurance, a judge may suspend your license. In these cases, the judge must tell you that your license is suspended immediately. If they fail to do so, you were not notified and therefore cannot be convicted of driving on a suspended license.Even if not knowing your license is suspended is technically not a defense, we can still argue these facts in front of a judge. It may be possible to convince him or her that this was an honest mistake, and the consequences are a significant hardship.

Your License Should Have Never Been Suspended

For your license to be suspended, there must be a legal reason behind it. Therefore, your attorney will find out the situation that led to your license suspension. If the circumstances were illegal, such as suspension without a cause, you will have a good chance of winning the case.

Driving on Restricted License

Provincial laws vary, but generally, a restricted license is for driving only to and from places like work, school, drug or alcohol treatment programs, and medical appointments. Many provinces also allow parents with restricted licenses to transport children to and from school and other necessary appointments. Police cannot arrest you for driving on a restricted license within the area you are restricted to. Therefore, if police arrest you within the area you are allowed, then the case will be thrown out.

Suspended License vs. Revoked License

Understanding the difference between a suspended license and a revoked license is important if you find yourself in trouble for certain types of traffic violations. The more severe your violation, the more severe the penalties can be. A suspended license is not the same as a revoked license.

The difference between revoking and suspending a license is that one action is permanent, and the other temporary. A suspended license can be reinstated after a specific time, or by taking a required action. A revoked license is invalid forever – but it is sometimes possible for a person with a revoked license to earn a new one.

A license revocation is a more permanent removal of one’s driving privileges. However, the big difference between a license revocation and a license suspension is the way penalties are assessed if a person chooses to drive on a suspended or revoked license. If a person drives on a suspended license, the penalties assessed against him are civil in nature. If he drives on a revoked license, however, the penalties can be criminal and include time in jail and other serious consequences.

If you’ve been charged for driving with a suspended license you need The Traffic Lawyer on your side.

There is no charge that is too serious or that we cannot defend. The penalties may appear severe, but our knowledgeable team of Lawyers and Paralegals have the experience to defend your charges. We are constantly in court defending these charges everyday. If you are facing a Drive Suspended charge, we strongly suggest that you phone our office because we know we can help you.

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Our Process

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