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What does suspended in the 3rd degree mean

Spokane, WA |
Filed under: Criminal defense

it was suspended for not paying a no insurance ticket

Attorney Answers 3


You probably are asking about being charged with driving a vehicle while your driver's license has been suspended. The charge is for a criminal law violation. That is, you can be jailed if you plead guilty or are convicted.

You should review the specific facts with a criminal law attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, you can apply for a public defender. Information about how to apply is at the court hearing your case.

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Third degree means you are suspended but are able to reinstate your license.

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Driving while your license is suspended in the third degree (DWLS 3) is a criminal traffic violation. You can face jail time as a result of finding of guilt. However, unlike DWLS in the 1st or 2nd degree a conviction will not result in a mandatory DOL suspension. Unless it is a violation of an agreement already in place with DOL.

Your license is suspended in the third degree when it is eligible for reinstatement. If you are suspended for failing to pay a no insurance ticket then you will remain suspended until you pay that ticket or reach a time payment agreement with the collection agency or court. Once you have paid the ticket the collection agency will notify the court then the court will notify the DOL and then the DOL will process this notice. This can take at least 3 weeks. You are not clear to drive until the DOL has processed the notice even if you have paid off the fine in full.

Be very careful some people think they are fine to drive but are still suspended because the DOL has not finished with the paperwork. You can check the status of your license on the DOL website. They will also tell you what you need to do to get it back. Below is a link.

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