Whether you are thinking about pleading guilty to a criminal offense, or are contemplating a trial on the underlying case, you need to weigh all the potential collateral consequences of your decision. One of the most significant consequences outside the courtroom is the potential for loss of license, according to Worcester Criminal Lawyer Shane W. Surrette.
Many charges in Massachusetts carry a license loss whenever a guilty finding enters. For example, even though the legislature has spoken that possession of an ounce or less of marijuana is no longer a criminal offense and has no license consequences, if you are found guilty of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, you will lose your license for 2 years.
Similarly, if you are found guilty of simple possession of cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, ecstasy, or any other substance defined under classes A-E of the Massachusetts General Laws, you will lose your license for one year on each count. Also, a guilty finding on possession of heroin or cocaine with the intent to distribute the same will result in a license loss of 3 years for each guilty finding.
These lengthy license losses aren’t just attributable to drug convictions, however. For instance, if you are found guilty of defacing(vandalizing) real or personal property you will lose your license to operate a motor vehicle for 1 year. Such license loss results even if the underlying case doesn’t involve vandalism to a motor vehicle.
Furthermore, a guilty finding on unauthorized use of a motor vehicle will result in a 1 year license suspension, with a 3 year suspension for any subsequent convictions. Such an unauthorized use charge can be based on allegations that you took a family member’s vehicle without his/her consent.
Some additional charges with an accompanying guilty finding that can result in license loss include negligent operation, which carries a 60 day suspension; failing to file a return or pay state taxes, which results in an indefinite suspension; and failing to register as a sex offender, which also carries an indefinite suspension.
The license consequences of criminal convictions in Massachusetts can be disastrous. Care must be taken with your attorney to ensure that you are making decisions on how to proceed in your case, with all available information at your disposal. Without a driver’s license in Massachusetts, it can be virtually impossible to leave your home. Make sure you know what you are agreeing to.
For more information, contact Worcester criminal lawyer Shane W. Surrette at the link below: