A Massachusetts law that suspends the license of anyone convicted of a drug crime – whether or not related to a motor vehicle – has been repealed. The law previously suspended an offender’s license for between six month and years. To reinstate the license, the offender was required to pay a fine of at least $500.
The law was established in 1989 at the height of the federal war on drugs, but prisoners argued that the license suspension was unfair, unrelated to the crime, and blocked the possibility of reintegrating into society after the sentence has been served.
Governor Charlie Baker signed the bill repealing the law, making the repeal effective immediately. Anyone whose license was suspended will have it reinstated within 30 days of the bill being signed. The bill also shields records of suspensions from the public and abolishes the requirement to pay a fine in order to reinstate the license.
The bill eliminates license suspension for most drug crimes – including the possession and sale of drugs. It does however keep a five-year license suspension for anyone convicted of trafficking in cocaine, fentanyl, heroin or other opiates, though it also includes a provision which allows someone convicted of these offenses to apply for a hardship license.
Although it breaks the link between drug-crime offenses and driving, a judge still has the discretion to suspend someone’s license for a drug crime related to driving. If you have been arrested for Drug Trafficking in the Worcester area please contact the Worcester Drug Defense Lawyers at Murphy & Rudolf, LLP today.