Operating after Suspension (“OAS”) or Operating after Revocation (“OAR”) are both criminal traffic offenses that carry a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and/or a $5,000.00 fine. The government typically brings these charges against individuals caught driving in the District of Columbia after their license or driving privileges have been suspended or revoked. A conviction of either crime carries 12 points with the DC DMV and can result in license revocation.
What is the difference between OAS and OAR?
While the two offenses are similar, a slight difference exists between OAS and OAR. OAS arrests occur where the DC Department of Motor Vehicles (“DC DMV”) has suspended the defendant’s license. The DC DMV can suspend a DC driver’s license where the individual accrues 11 points on their driver’s license. With a suspended license, the requirements for reinstatement include waiting out the suspension period and paying a $98.00 reinstatement fee.
On the other hand, OAR or operating after a revoked license occurs when an individual drive and gets caught by police after their driver’s license has been revoked. Revocation of a license in DC requires 12 points to accumulate. To get a revoked license reinstated, the driver has to not only wait out the suspension period and pay a $98.00 reinstatement fee but also they have to retake the DMV driver’s test.
What is the maximum penalty for Operating after Suspended or Revoked license?
The maximum penalty for both offenses carry a maximum penalty of one year in jail and/or a $5,000.00 fine. Having said that, most judges in D.C. Superior Court will not sentence anyone to jail time unless they are habitual or repeat offenders. A common sentence for conviction of OAS or OAR is a suspended sentence followed by a year or so of unsupervised probation. Unsupervised probation does not require supervision by a probation officer and the only requirement is to stay out of trouble.
Because the maximum penalty for OAS and OAR is one year, the crime is one of the few jury demandable misdemeanors in DC.
What kind of plea deal will the prosecutor offer on an OAS or OAR case?
In many cases, the government will offer some form of diversion for an OAS or OAR case. The diversion options typically involve requiring the defendant to remedy their license. In some cases, the prosecutor may offer dismissal in exchange for remedying their license and/or performing community service.
Does a conviction for OAR or OAS carry points with DC DMV?
Yes. Conviction for either offense carries 12 points with the DC DMV. That means even where a defendant fixes his or her license after getting arrested, if they get convicted, they face another subsequent license revocation. Accordingly, many prosecutors will offer a plea to “Attempt” OAR or OAS, which carries a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail and/or a $1,000.00 fine and no points with DC DMV.
Driving with a suspended or revoked license is more serious than driving without a permit. While jail time for these types of offenses are rare, it is still important to consult a qualified DC suspended license attorney. Contact us immediately for a full case evaluation.