Suspended License Reinstatement with Bankruptcy
Getting your driving license suspended in Arizona isn’t just inconvenient, it could keep you from leading a normal life and going to work. You will have to follow the procedure and adhere to the terms mandated by law for license reinstatement. Depending on the reasons why your license was suspended, however, a bankruptcy can help you get things in order.
When Can Bankruptcy Help for License Reinstatement
The most important thing to keep in mind is that bankruptcy filing can help whenever criminal charges haven’t been pressed against you. In the case of a DUI (whether it leads to felony or misdemeanor charges), you will have to deal with the consequences of your actions.
Your Arizona license can be reinstated via a bankruptcy whenever the DMV suspended the document following a civil judgment in the aftermath of an accident. The accident should have contributed solely to property damage. In the event of injuring or killing someone, you will also have to deal with the criminal repercussions.
Whenever there’s a civil judgment, you have a few options. The first one is paying the judgment in full. People who are financially-challenged, however, will be incapable of doing so. The alternative is doing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. Through the bankruptcy, you will get your debt discharged. After showing the DMV that your debt has been taken care of, you will get your license back.
Bankruptcy filing can help in a couple of other scenarios.
If your license is suspended because you were caught driving without insurance, you can do a Chapter 7 or 13 filing. The same applies to a failure to pay tickets. It may be possible to work on a payment plan with the respective Arizona city or municipality. When you don’t have any money to put towards such payments, however, the bankruptcy will be a viable option.
Instances When Bankruptcy Isn’t Going to Help
As already mentioned, committing a crime on the road and getting your license revoked isn’t going to be helped by a bankruptcy filing.
People who have already committed multiple violations are also not going to get their license back. Driving without insurance several times will make it much more difficult to get the license reinstated. The same applies to a consistent failure in terms of ticket or fine payment.
This is particularly true for individuals who have committed multiple violations over a short period of time (like one year). When you’re in such a situation, you’ll need to talk to an experienced attorney and disclose all of your violations. The lawyer may be capable of reopening some older cases in which a judgment was obtained.
Punitive damages cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy. This is the final situation in which a Chapter 7 filing is going to do nothing for your license reinstatement. Punitive damages will have to be paid in full before the DMV decides to address the suspension or revocation.
You have to make a difference between civil debt and punitive damages when dealing with roadside violations and a license suspension. Any failure to pay civil debt can be addressed via a Chapter 7 or 13 filing because such debt can be discharged. If you don’t have debt, there’s no reason for the DMV to hold your license any longer.
Arizona, however, has very strict traffic regulations. If you violate the laws and you jeopardize others (especially if you consume alcohol before getting in the vehicle), you will have to cope with the license suspension for the entire period mandated by court. Chances are that you’ll also have to pay fines and even serve jail time. In such instances, you should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible to minimize the scope of consequences and understand your options.
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