Stopping a Driver’s License Suspension After Paying An Alcohol or Marijuana Violation

I have a section on my law office website about Possession of Alcohol by a Minor and other alcohol-related offenses involving persons under 21. Although the offense is only a violation and not a crime, it carries the nasty collateral consequence (there’s also a section on these) of a DMV driver’s license suspension. There is a similar suspension for conviction of the non-criminal marijuana possession offense.

The suspension of a driver’s license, for 30, 60 or 90 days, is often far more devastating a punishment to young people than the fine for an alcohol or marijuana ticket. For a great movie on what a driver’s license means to a high schooler, check out the 1988 Coreys vehicle, License to Drive, which also features Heather Graham.

But what if you didn’t read the website and thus did not know about the driver’s license suspension until after you paid the ticket (police tend to tell offenders that “it’s only an infraction” and don’t mention the driver’s license suspension which is authorized by another statute) when you received a letter from DMV? It actually might not be too late. In some circumstances you can move to reopen the case. If the case is reopened, the conviction is vacated and the suspension is rescinded. You can then fight the ticket or work out an alternative disposition to avoid a conviction which would cause a license suspension. If you are facing a suspension for paying a ticket and wish to reopen it, give me a call. I’ve done it before.

Have a brew–but it might cost you your license if you receive a Minor in Possession ticket and pay it.

Chris DeMatteo is an attorney and the sole member of DeMatteo Legal Solutions at 2911 Dixwell Ave., Ste. B10, Hamden, CT. Call (203) 691-6594 or visit the office website. Attorney DeMatteo represents clients in criminal, juvenile and civil matters in all of Connecticut's courts.

148 thoughts on “Stopping a Driver’s License Suspension After Paying An Alcohol or Marijuana Violation”

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