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What Are the Penalties for Driving with a Revoked License After a DUI?


driving on revoked license after a duiNew Mexico imposes strict penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI).

The penalties are strict even for someone convicted of their first DUI offense.

Although you might avoid jail, you could have a revoked license for at least one year.

Not having a driver license for any amount of time can place a huge burden on your family—so much so that people sometimes take a chance and drive while having a revoked license after a DUI. 

You face even harsher penalties if you have charges for driving with a revoked license after a DUI.

If you face this situation, you should have a highly qualified and knowledgeable DUI attorney from the New Mexico Criminal Law Offices by your side.

We can help you fight your charges and work to reduce your exposure to the harsh penalties stemming from a New Mexico DUI charge.

What Are the Penalties for Driving with Revoked License in New Mexico?

Before we examine the penalties associated with driving on a revoked license, we will discuss the difference between license suspension and revocation. 

Revocation vs. Suspension

When the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) suspends a person’s license, that means the person’s driving privileges are on hold.

The MVD will reinstate the person’s license after satisfying the conditions imposed by the MVD and paying a reinstatement fee.

Once the person completes the required conditions, the MVD will reinstate the driver’s license after the suspension period elapses.

Revoking a person’s license means something different. Revocation means the person literally loses their license, and they must reapply for another license before they are legally allowed to drive again.

A person who has a revoked license must also complete any requirements ordered by the court or the MVD before reapplying. 


Understanding the difference between a suspended license and a revoked license is important because the penalties are different.

The penalty for driving with a revoked license for DWI is more severe than normal penalties for driving with a suspended license. 

According to New Mexico statutes, a person whose license was revoked for DUI or for violating New Mexico’s implied consent law must serve at least seven days in jail.

Whatever number of days you are sentenced to, they must run consecutively and not for more than 364 days.

Additionally, the court must assess a fine between $300 and $1,000. The law indicates that the court cannot defer, suspend, or take under advisement any period of incarceration or fines. 

The law also allows the government to impound your vehicle and suspend or revoke your license for a longer period of time.

The MVD will likely revoke your license for another year, at least, and the MVD will likely order you to put a boot on your car for 30 days. A boot essentially immobilizes your vehicle, and is an alternative to impounding the car.

Additionally, pleading guilty to any other charge is not allowed when the police bring charges for driving after revocation for a DUI.

That means the prosecutor and your lawyer cannot make a plea bargain allowing you to plead guilty to a less-serious charge. 

Defenses Against a Charge of Driving with a Revoked License After DUI

The prosecutor always bears the burden of proof in a criminal case. You, as the defendant, have no obligation to do or prove anything.

In theory, this means that you could sit back and not even ask a single question of any witness at trial. But that’s a very risky defense tactic. Practically speaking, very few attorneys would ever consider doing that.

When you work with one of our DUI defense attorneys, we will review your case thoroughly to strategize your best options.

The best defense for you depends on the facts of your case and your particular circumstances.


One of the lines of defense we could investigate is whether you received proper notice that the MVD revoked your license. A police officer telling you that the state will revoke your license is not enough.

The state has to prove you received official notice from the MVD that the agency revoked your license. The MVD should mail an official letter to the residence you have on file with the MVD. The MVD should have a record of sending you the letter.

The receipt of the letter is official notice that the MVD revoked your license. At trial, the prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you received the notice. 

Wheel Witness

The prosecutor has the burden of proving that you operated the vehicle in public. Most of the time, this will not be an issue.

However, if the police didn’t see you driving, there may be no witness to put you behind the wheel.

For instance, this can happen if an anonymous tip was called in saying that you were driving erratically. If you were home when the police contacted you, and they never saw you driving, this could be a winning defense.

Suppressing Evidence 

You might have a viable defense if the police stopped you for no valid legal reason. The police cannot stop you for no reason; there must be reasonable suspicion that you committed a crime or broke a traffic law.

If they had no justification to stop you, the judge could suppress all evidence that led to your charges. 

Also, we might try to suppress any statements you made to the police. If you are in custody, the police must read your Miranda rights before questioning you. If they did not, we might be able to suppress any incriminating statements you made.

Get Your License Reinstated Before Driving Again

After a DUI, you should work to reinstate your license. You may be eligible to have an ignition interlock license through the MVD.

You can get your license back if you do not tamper with or try to circumvent the device.

Experienced Lawyers Can Help

For about 25 years, the New Mexico Criminal Law Offices have aggressively fought to protect people’s rights.

We are committed to defending your case successfully. Call us for a free initial consultation today.