Can My Driver's License Be Suspended For Possession of Weed?
Yes, even a small bit of marijuana.
Any person over the age of 18 convicted of possessing, selling, or trafficking a controlled substance, or convicted of conspiring to commit these offenses, will have his or her driver’s license suspended for one year. However, the judge may direct the Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) to issue a driver’s license restricted to business or employment purposes. A person who loses his or her license in this manner may petition for restoration after six months have passed.
License suspension under this provision can only be applied to a conviction for an offense specifically listed in the statute (possession, sale, trafficking, conspiracy). Other offenses which are not specifically listed but are drug-related (such as the manufacture or purchase of drugs) will not trigger this suspension.
Important Issues To Consider
- Even a conviction to a charge as petty as misdemeanor possession of marijuana will trigger this suspension. Although the judge has no discretion to waive the automatic suspension if the defendant has been convicted of an enumerated drug offense, the court may have discretion, depending on the case, to withhold adjudication. A withhold if possible is significantly preferable to an adjudication, given that it does not trigger the automatic license suspension.
- It is important to remember that only the enumerated crimes trigger the automatic suspension. The driving privilege should not be suspended merely because the conviction is drug-related.
- Additionally, a person convicted of a felony for the possession of a controlled substance will have his or her driving privilege revoked if, at the time of the possession, the person was in control of a motor vehicle. If a person has his or her driving privilege revoked under this rule, he or she will not be eligible to receive a hardship license during the revocation period.