Driving while License Suspended in Washington

Driving while your license is suspended or revoked is a surprisingly serious criminal offense in Washington state. There is a real risk of jail time for this charge under some conditions and circumstances.

We understand how difficult it can be to get by without a driver’s license, and that maybe you didn’t have any other options available to you.Or maybe you weren’t aware that your license was under suspension. There may have been a misunderstanding, or a notification problem from the Department of Licensing.

But whatever happened, you are facing a serious criminal offense that needs to be dealt with promptly and aggressively.We will fight to save your license, and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.

Washington Revoked/Suspended License Laws

In Washington, the charge you face for driving on a suspended license largely depends on why your license was suspended in the first place. First-Degree Driving While License Suspended or RevokedIf you are a habitual offender, or have had 3 or more convictions of such offenses as DUI, reckless driving, negligent driving, or prior driving on suspended license convictions, you may face first degree driving while license suspended or revoked.

DWLS 1st Degree

First degree driving while license suspended or revoked is a gross misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of one year in jail and fines up to $5,000. There are mandatory minimum jail sentences for this first degree offense.

First conviction: No less than 10 days in jail

Second conviction: No less than 90 days

Third and subsequent convictions: No less than 180 days

DWLS 2nd Degree

Driving while license suspended in the second degree is considered a gross misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and fines up to $5,000. In order to be charged with this offense, your license must have been originally suspended for one of the following offenses:

Hit and run


Theft of gasoline


Reckless driving

Eluding police

Vehicular assault/homicide

Negligent driving

DWLS 3rd Degree

If you are caught driving while license is revoked solely because you have not taken the steps to have it reinstated or because you have failed to appear at a hearing or traffic infraction, you may be charged with 3rd degree driving while license suspended.Driving with a suspended license in the 3rd degree is a misdemeanor and punishable by up to 90 days in jail and fines up to $1,000.

If you are being charged with driving on a suspended license, you may already have a criminal record from whatever cause the original suspension. You may still be on probation.These are complicated and serious criminal legal issues. You need good counsel to help you get the best possible results in court.


The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer will fight to ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome in your court case. Call attorney Erin Bradley McAleer today at (360) 334-6277 to schedule a free, confidential consultation in Washington State.

Washington Attorney Erin Bradley McAleer represents clients throughout Southwest Washington State, including in Clark County, Cowlitz County, and Skamania County and Vancouver, Battle Ground, Camas, La Center, Ridgefield, Washougal, Woodland, Yacolt, Castle Rock, Kalama, Kelso, Longview, North Bonneville, and Stevenson. Attorney Erin Bradley McAleer focuses on the areas of Criminal Defense, Traffic Infractions, Landlord Tenant, Personal Injury, Firearm Rights Restoration, and Post-Conviction Relief (Vacating & Sealing Criminal Records).