Changes in Ohio License Suspension: 15 Year or More, Lifetime Suspensions Now Can Be Modified After as Little as 5 Years
S.B. 337 provides a new set of circumstances that a person whose driver's or commercial driver's license has been suspended for life under a Class 1 suspension or as otherwise provided by law or has been suspended for a period in excess of 15 years under a Class 2 suspension and who files a motion with the sentencing court for modification or termination of the suspension may demonstrate to the court in order to be granted the modification or termination.
Under the new law, the person must demonstrate all of the following to be granted the modification or termination:
- At least five years have elapsed since the suspension began, and, for the past five years, the person has not been found guilty of any offense involving a moving violation under state law, the law of any Ohio political subdivision, or federal law, any offense under R.C. 2903.06 or 2903.08 (vehicular homicide-related and vehicular manslaughter-related offenses), or any violation of a suspension under R.C. Chapter 4510. or a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance, and
- As under continuing law, the person has proof of financial responsibility, a policy of liability insurance, or other satisfactory proof that the person is able to respond in damages in a specified amount, and, if the suspension was imposed for a state or municipal OVI conviction, the person successfully completed a treatment program, the person has not abused alcohol or other drugs for a period satisfactory to the court, and for the past 15 years, the person has not been found guilty of any alcohol-related or drug-related offense.
Under the old law, a person whose driver's or commercial driver's license had been suspended for life or for a period in excess of 15 years as described in the preceding paragraph and who filed a motion with the sentencing court for modification or termination of the suspension had to demonstrate all of the following to be granted the modification or termination:
- At least 15 years have elapsed since the suspension began, and, for the 15 years, the person has not been found guilty of any felony, any offense involving a moving violation under federal law, Ohio law, or the law of an Ohio political subdivision, or any violation of R.C. Chapter 4510. or a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance, and
- The factors specified in clause (2) of the preceding paragraph.
The act does not change:
- Any of the procedures that apply with respect to a motion filed as described above,
- The provision that specifies that, if a court modifies a person's suspension under the provision and the person subsequently is found guilty of any moving violation or of any substantially equivalent municipal ordinance that carries as a possible penalty the suspension of a person's license, the court may reimpose the Class 1 or other lifetime suspension, or the Class 2 suspension, whichever is applicable, or
- The provision that specifies that the mechanism does not apply to a person whose license, permit, or privilege has been suspended for life under a Class 1 suspension imposed under R.C. 2903.06 or 2903.08 or a Class 2 suspension imposed under R.C. 2903.06, 2903.11, 2923.02, or 2929.02
Let's face it; people want to be able to drive. If you have been subjected to a license suspension of more than fifteen (15) years, you may be eligible to ask the court to either shorten or terminate that suspension if you meet the criteria outlined above. Call The Law Office of Brian Jones to speak to one of your attorneys and we'll help you determine whether you're eligible to for this beneficial change in Ohio's law regarding license suspensions.
All information is from page 66 of the Legislative Service Commission's report on Senate Bill 337 www.drc.ohio.gov/web/SB337FinalAnalysis.pdf