Immediate Threat Suspensions
What is an Immediate Threat Suspension?
In some situations, the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) may determine that your operation of a motor vehicle poses an immediate threat to public safety. If you are facing a potential criminal violation or if you suffered a medical event, the RMV can revoke your right to operate a motor vehicle immediately for an indefinite period pursuant to G.L. c. 90, § 22 (a). This is known as an immediate threat suspension. It is a very harsh type of license suspension because there is no specific date that it is set to terminate, and the law does not permit the RMV to issue you a hardship license. However, you do have a right to a hearing with the RMV or the Board of Appeal (BOA) to request that your license be reinstated upon a showing that you are not a threat to public safety on the roads.
Immediate Threat Suspensions & Criminal Offenses
An immediate threat suspension is often requested by police in cases involving an motor vehicle accident or in instances where a citation for OUI is issued as opposed to there being an arrest. In these cases, a police officer will file a request for immediate threat license suspension form with the RMV. The officer will include a summary of the incident or the offense(s) that prompted the request. The RMV then makes a decision based on the information provided in the request. However, not every situation in which such a request is made warrants an immediate threat suspension.
Far too often police officers make requests for this type of suspension even when the facts and circumstances may not truly indicate that your continued driving is a threat to public safety. Officers have discretion to make this request, and that discretion can have a serious impact on your life. If the RMV agrees that an immediate threat suspension is warranted, which they often do based on the officer’s version of the incident, they will suspend or revoke your license immediately and indefinitely. The RMV will send you a notice in the mail, often meaning that your license may be suspended before you are even aware that a suspension is possible. If you are suffering from this type of license suspension, it is important that you contact an attorney to discuss the best path to restoring your license.
Medical Immediate Threat Suspensions
If you suffered a medical emergency while behind the wheel, you may have a medical immediate threat suspension against your license. This often happens in instances where you suffered a medical emergency that led to the police or medical personnel arriving to assist you, for example if you lost consciousness or suffered from a heart condition. If you experienced a medical event while driving, a police officer or medical personnel may file a request for immediate threat license suspension form with the RMV. An officer or medical personnel will include a summary of the medical event that prompted the request. The RMV then makes a decision based on the information provided in the request.
We understand that this may be a difficult time for you and your family, and the most important thing for you to do is to take care of your health. Even if you were treated at the hospital, it is important that you receive any recommended follow up care and that you make an appointment with your primary care doctor. There are ways to deal with this type of license suspension that we can assist you with while you prioritize getting well.
Challenging an Immediate Threat Suspension
The best path to removing this suspension is to actively show the RMV and the BOA that you are a safe driver and not a threat to public safety on the roads. While it is possible to challenge the basis for the immediate threat suspension request, this type of appeal is a difficult battle. Generally, you will have much greater success if you are able to show that you are a responsible, safe and dependable driver.
Removing an Immediate Threat Suspension Related to a Criminal Offense
There is no doubt that this is a serious license suspension, and to remove it, the RMV and the BOA need to feel safe. They need to get a sense that you prioritize safe driving, that you have taken any and all necessary steps to ensure you are reliable, and that you will not pose any sort of danger behind the wheel. This often involves showing that you have actively engaged in treatment or education. It is also important to keep in mind that generally the RMV will not remove this harsh license suspension until any pending criminal charges are resolved. We can advocate on your behalf to the RMV and the BOA to show them that you are in fact a safe driver and effectively present the steps you have taken to demonstrate your responsible lifestyle. We have had great success restoring licenses before the BOA, and we know how to prepare you to put you in the best possible position to get back your license.
Removing a Medical Immediate Threat Suspension
In order to remove a medical immediate threat suspension, you will need to be cleared by a medical physician. You will need to have your doctor complete a medical evaluation form. You must also present your doctor with a copy of the request for the immediate threat suspension as the RMV wants to ensure that your doctor is fully aware of the community’s concerns. Once your doctor completes this form, you can request a hearing with the RMV or the BOA in order to request that your license be reinstated. Depending on the severity of the incident or your medical status, the RMV may ask for additional information and assurances. You may also be asked to appear for a special type of hearing before the Medical Affairs Board to ensure that you meet all of the medical requirements to hold a license. We can prepare you so that you are in the best possible position to request that your license be reinstated, guide you through this process, effectively advocate for you before the RMV and the BOA.
Lawyers to Help Remove Your Immediate Threat Suspension
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Joseph D. Bernard P.C. are experienced in challenging immediate threat suspensions and can help you demonstrate to the RMV and the Board of Appeal that you are indeed a safe driver. If you have been notified of an immediate threat suspension, you need a lawyer with in-depth knowledge of these suspensions who can advise you how to put yourself in the best possible position to get back your license. Whether you are facing a suspension related to a possible criminal violation or a medical event, we can fiercely and effectively advocate for your reinstatement.
Contact The Law Offices of Joseph D. Bernard P.C. for a free case consultation!
Trained Breath Test Machine Operator
Attorney Joseph D. Bernard is the only lawyer in Massachusetts to have completed the breath test training conducted by the state police.
Certified Field Sobriety Test Administers
Our attorneys are certified administers of the field sobriety test by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Former Assistant District Attorney
We understand OUI cases from both sides of the fence and know exactly how to defend our clients.
Unique Certification & Expertise
Attorney Joseph Bernard is the only lawyer in Massachusetts to be certified by the international acclaimed Borkenstein drug and alcohol courses.