What is the penalty for driving on a suspended license in Ohio?

Jul 18, 2019 | driving under suspension

[Updated Nov 2023]

All 50 states and the District of Columbia require individuals to possess a driver’s license before operating a motor vehicle. This requirement is in place to uphold the safety and well-being of the general public, as well as of the individual drivers themselves. Because of this, driving without a license in Ohio is a serious offense, and those who violate the law are subject to jail time, fines or both. Statute 4507.02 of Ohio Laws and Rules explores the consequences of driving on a suspended license.

If an officer of the law stops you for driving on a suspended license in the great state of Ohio, the state may charge you with an unclassified misdemeanor. A conviction of this nature may result in up to 500 hours of community service, a $1,000 fine or both. If you fail to comply with the terms of your sentence—meaning, if you fail to complete the 500 hours of community service in the specified time frame—the court may hold you in contempt, which could result in additional consequences.

If you receive a second or subsequent conviction within a three-year span for driving on a suspended license, the state may charge you with a first-degree misdemeanor. A first degree misdemeanor in Ohio carries with it a term of imprisonment of up to 180 days and a $1,000 fine. The state may also require you to relinquish your license plates for impoundment. The state will hold onto the plates until the DMV has reinstated your license.

This article is for educational purposes only. You should not use it as legal advice.