Immediate Threat License Suspension

Why was my license suspended?

The RMV can suspend or revoke a driver’s license indefinitely if they receive information that the drivers continued operation of a motor vehicle creates an immediate threat to public safety.

The two most common reasons people receive immediate threat suspensions are:

  1. A police officer determined that you were not safe to operate. This may happen as a result of a car accident where you were at fault and they suspect drugs or alcohol may have been involved. It could also happen in a case of erratic or negligent operation.
  2. A physician has formed the opinion that you have a medical condition which makes it unsafe for you to continue driving a vehicle.

What does immediate threat mean?

Under Massachusetts law a driver will have their license suspended indefinitely if they Commit a violation of the motor vehicle laws of a nature which would give the registrar reason to believe that continuing operation by such holder is and will be so seriously improper as to constitute an immediate threat to the public safety M.G.L. c. 90 Sec. 22(a).

Drivers license suspension

A hardship or “Cinderella” license is not available for drivers who have an immediate threat suspension. The reason that hardships are denied for this type of suspension is because the DMV has determined that any operation by the driver poses an immediate threat to the public.

How do I get my license back?

The first step is to consult with an attorney who handles cases before the RMV and Board of Appeals to discuss your specific case. I specialize in these types of cases.

Next you will have to appear before the RMV to appeal the suspension. If you have a pending court case connected to the suspension, the RMV will not rule on your appeal. They will advise you to come back after your court case is resolved. The Hearing Officer may make preliminary recommendations regarding steps to take to increase your chances of reinstatement. However, the Registry will not reinstate from an immediate threat revocation while criminal charges are pending. In those situations, you will have to go through the reinstatement hearing process when the criminal case is resolved and reinstatement is by no means automatic, even if the criminal charges were dismissed or the defendant was found not guilty.

In some cases, it makes sense to appeal an indefinite immediate threat revocation directly to the Board of Appeal. Where to go and what path to take depends on the facts and circumstances of the individual case.

Related: Why You Need A Lawyer For RMV Hearings

You do not always have to wait until your case is resolved in court before attempting to get relief. You can appeal to the Board of Appeals in some situations, even while the case is pending.  These situations are the rare exception. The process involves sending an appeal form and fee to the Board and requesting a hearing date. Your hearing will typically be scheduled at one of the Board locations. Your attorney will advise you as to what steps to take prior to your hearing. Additionally, your attorney will prepare a memorandum of law explaining why you should have your driver’s license reinstated.

Contact the Law Office of Brian E. Simoneau, we specialize in beating RMV hearings. Get in touch today to see how we can help.

Your RMV Hearing Questions Answered

How is the RMV hearing different from my conviction in criminal court?

Subject to review by the Board of Appeal, the RMV has the ultimate jurisdiction over your driving privilege, and thus has the ultimate say over driver’s license suspensions and revocations.

Driver looking in mirror. Get your RMV hearing questions answered.The RMV suspension or revocation is an administrative action taken against your driving privilege only. The suspension or revocation following a conviction in court is a mandatory action in addition to jail, fines, or other criminal penalties.

I’ve just been arrested for DUI or drunk driving. What happens now?

The officer who arrested you is required by law to immediately forward a copy of the completed notice of suspension or revocation form and any driver license taken into possession, along with a sworn report, to the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). The RMV automatically conducts an administrative review, which includes an examination of the officer’s report, the suspension or revocation order, and any test results.

Related: Out of State DUI Q&A

When I was arrested, the officer confiscated my driver’s license. How do I get it back?

If you failed a breath test, you will have a 30 day administrative per se license suspension and you can reinstate at the expiration of the 30 day suspension period upon payment of the $500.00 reinstatement fee.

If you refused to submit to a breath test, your license will be automatically suspended for 180 days up to life. You have a right to appeal the refusal suspension within 15 days of the suspension. In all cases, you must see a Registry Hearing Officer and go through the hearing process.

The officer said I refused to take a chemical test. What does this mean?

You are required by law to submit to a chemical test to determine the alcohol or drug content of your blood. If you refused to take a blood or breath test after being arrested for DUI and being requested to submit to the test, you will have your driver’s license automatically suspended or revoked for the refusal.

Related: How to Win Your RMV Refusal Hearing