What Are the Penalties for Driving with a Revoked License After a DUI?

Categories: DUI Defense

The penalty of a man driving car using a revoked license after a DUI.

If you have been charged with driving with a revoked license, you could face serious penalties.

Driving with a revoked license under any circumstances is greatly frowned upon and prosecuted harshly.

A conviction can result in fines, fees, jail time, and further license suspension.

The potential penalties greatly increase if you are charged with driving on a revoked license following a DUI conviction.

You could face a mandatory minimum amount of jail time along with a lengthy license suspension and hefty fines. Driving with a revoked license after a DUI is a serious offense that requires a serious defense.

Our criminal defense attorney has over two decades of experience advocating for individuals charged with revocation and suspension offenses. Schedule a consultation with Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C., today.

Penalties for Driving with a Revoked License After DUI

The penalties for driving with a revoked license after DUI can be harsh. You may face further license suspension, jail time, and fines. Driving with a revoked license is governed by Colorado’s driving under restraint (DUR) statute.

Driving while under restraint is when a person operates a motor vehicle while their license is suspended or revoked. There may be several reasons why your license was taken away. However, if your license is revoked following a DUI, the penalties for driving while revoked are much more severe.

If you have a revoked license after a DUI and are caught driving, you could be convicted of a Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense.

The potential penalties for a first offense range from a mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail up to one year and fines of up to $1,000. The date you may be eligible for license reinstatement will be extended for an additional year.

Unfortunately, the court does not have the discretion to disregard the minimum jail sentence. The only rare exception to the mandatory minimum jail sentence is if the court finds the defendant drove due to an emergency. 

If an individual gets a subsequent driving under restraint (DUR) charge within five years of the first conviction, the mandatory minimum jail sentence will remain 10 days with a maximum of up to two years in jail.

The potential fines increase to up to $3,000. Further, a defendant will not be able to reinstate their license for four years. 

Summary of Potential Penalties

These statutes can be confusing. Here is a simple breakdown of penalties for driving with a revoked license:

  • First conviction:
    • Mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail and up to one year, and
    • A fine of up to $1,000.
  • Second conviction:
    • Mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail and up to two years,
    • A fine of up to $3,000, and
    • Potential ineligibility for a license for four additional years.

As you can see, these potential penalties are steep, and you should not attempt to defend yourself when so much is at stake.

Even if you lost your license for reasons other than a DUI and are facing a driving with a revoked license charge, you should still seek the advice of counsel.

Reasons Your License Can Be Suspended

We have discussed the fact that a DUI will likely result in a license suspension or revocation. Other reasons for a suspended or revoked license include:

  • Driving without insurance, 
  • Unpaid child support,
  • A point-based suspension (i.e., you received too many points on your license), or
  • Certain criminal convictions.  

If the police pulled you over for a traffic stop, you might be wondering, What are the penalties for driving with a revoked license after a DUI? For answers specific to your case, contact Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C. today. 

What Is Aggravated Driving Under Restraint?

Aggravated DUR in Colorado occurs when a person is a habitual traffic offender or commits any of the following traffic offenses while their license is revoked:

  • Reckless driving,
  • Eluding,
  • Failure to report an accident, or
  • DUI.

An aggravated DUR charge would likely involve increased penalties upon conviction. Consult with an experienced lawyer to better understand your options.

Defenses to a Driving with a Revoked License Charge

There are generally three possible defenses to charge for driving with a revoked license:

  • Lack of knowledge,
  • Mistake, and
  • Emergency.

Let’s examine these defenses.

Lack of Knowledge

In Colorado, a necessary element of driving with a revoked license charge is knowledge. If the defendant lacks knowledge that their driving privileges are revoked, they cannot be found guilty.

The State must be able to show a reasonable person in the defendant’s position would have known their driver’s license was revoked or suspended. 


If the defendant can prove they did, in fact, have a valid driver’s license at the time of the traffic stop, then they did not commit a crime.

The mistake could be as simple as a clerical error at the DMV. Perhaps the wrong name was put into the computer. If this is the case, the charges against you should be dismissed. 


Although it is unlawful for a person with a revoked license to drive under any circumstances, an emergency might constitute a defense.

An example would be if the defendant or someone they love has a medical emergency and an ambulance is unavailable. If the defendant can show that they drove because of an emergency, they can ask the State to dismiss the charge. 


Whether any of these defenses are available to you will depend on the specific facts and circumstances unique to your case. An experienced DUI lawyer can assess your options.

License Reinstatement

It is important to note that upon completion of your revocation period, your license is not automatically activated again. You must apply for reinstatement through the DMV. There is a $95 reinstatement fee and application process.

The Colorado DMV recommends that you submit the necessary documents and fee 30 days before your eligibility for reinstatement. 

Do Not Face a Driving With a Revoked License Charge Alone

Attorney Mark S. Rubinstein stands ready to defend you. If you have been convicted of a DUI and now face a revocation charge, do not risk jail time and further license suspension.

Having an experienced defense attorney on your side is key. At Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C., our lawyer has the knowledge and experience you can trust. Call us today for a private, confidential consultation.

Mark Rubinstein

Attorney Mark S. Rubinstein has been practicing law for more than 30 years, including 25 years in Colorado. He founded Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C., in Carbondale after working for law firms in Denver and earlier in his career in San Diego. He focuses his practice in the areas of criminal defense and personal injury representation, and he is well known throughout western Colorado as an effective and unwavering advocate for his clients.