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Most people need their license and it is an important part of their daily life. A person’s license can be suspended for many reasons. The Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) could have suspended the license because the court ordered it, moving violations or other rules and regulations. The court can suspend a person’s license for a number of reasons. A person’s license can be suspended for being convicted of drug related offenses, OUI conviction or even a warrant. Yes, if you don’t show up in court, the court will issue a default and a warrant for your arrest. The RMV may then suspend your license.
Driving while your license is suspended is a criminal offense, and it carries a fine and a jail sentence. The judge doesn’t need to sentence a person to jail, but under the statute a person could spend up to 10 days for a first offense and up to a year if charged with a subsequent offense. It is really silly to go to jail for this offense because your license is suspended due to a default. So you need to be careful and make sure you show up for your court dates.
To prove that your license was suspended the prosecutor needs to prove that you were operating a motor vehicle, on a public way, while your license was suspended and you had notice. Now it is the prosecutor’s burden to prove that you had notice. They will usually do this by entering the registry cert. that will include all the letters sent by the registry to your last know address. It is your responsibility to update your address with the registry. So if the registry sent a letter to your last know address, it becomes your burden to prove that you didn’t get the letter.
Finally, I have seen many people move away and get a license in a different state. That does not mean that your license is not still suspended in Massachusetts. Some states will allow you to get a license despite your status of your MA license, while others will require you to reinstate your MA license first. Running from your problems are never the answer. In the end, the problems always linger and most come back and get you. Beware of the easy way out and deal with your problems as they come.