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License suspension no longer mandatory for drug crime convictions

Any type of criminal accusation could cause serious issues for the accused person. Of course, some repercussions may seem unwarranted for the given circumstances. For instance, you may be among the many individuals who believe that consequences to your driver's license -- such as suspension or revocation -- should not occur if the crime did not involve driving.

As you likely already know, laws are constantly under examination, and proposals to change certain laws come up on a fairly regular basis. Because of these potential changes, it is important to stay on top of outcomes that could affect you and your legal case.

Drug crimes and license suspension

Until recently, it was a mandatory practice for driver's license suspension to occur if a court convicted a person of drug crimes in New York. This suspension would occur even if the act that led to the criminal charges did not involve a vehicle or driving. In fact, over recent years, approximately 90% of driver's license suspensions in the state relating to drug crimes did not involve driving at the time of the crime.

Why the connection?

It may seem confusing to you why a person's driver's license would face suspension when driving was not a part of the criminal activity that led to charges. The relation stems from a federal law that would result in a state losing 8% of its highway funding if it did not automatically delay reinstating a person's driver's license for at least six months in the event of a drug-related conviction.

Changes to state policy

Earlier this year, the New York Assembly and Senate decided to oppose that law because it is believed that the suspensions are unnecessary and do not further traveler safety on roadways in the state. The belief also exists that suspending a person's driver's license for an unrelated crime could cause unnecessary hardships on the individual, including causing job loss.

What does this mean for you?

If you have recently had drug-related charges brought against you, the fact that your driver's license will not face automatic suspension in the event of a conviction may come as a relief to you. Still, you likely want to do your best to avoid a conviction entirely, so working on finding your most viable criminal defense options may work in your best interests. In order to gain more information on this change and other aspects relating to your case, you may wish to consult with a criminal defense attorney.

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