Driving on Suspended or Revoked License
If you have been charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license you are potentially facing a criminal conviction, additional suspension, revocation of you license, and in many cases jail time. Start fighting back now by contacting one of our Criminal Defense Attorneys serving the Fairfax area by calling (703) 337-3773 or visiting our Contact page.
It is a Class 1 misdemeanor to drive a “motor vehicle” (this does not include mopeds) in Virginia if your license has been suspended or revoked and you have received notice of the suspension or revocation. Notification most often occurs either in Court or in a letter from DMV. Common reasons for license suspensions include that it was suspended by a judge (DUI/DWI conviction, reckless driving conviction, prior driving on suspended conviction, etc.) or that it was administratively suspended by DMV (failure to maintain insurance, failure to renew license, accumulation of too many demerit points, etc.). Some suspensions are for a definite period of time, others stay in place until other conditions are met. Any time someone is not sure if they are suspended or what they need to do to be reinstated, they can obtain a Compliance Summary from DMV which walks them through the steps they need to take.
If you have been charged with driving on suspended or revoked, contact one of our Fairfax Criminal Lawyers now for a free consultation now by calling (703) 337-3773 or visiting our Contact page.
Driving on suspended takes more than one form and will be more serious depending on the reason for suspension and in some cases whether new crimes were committed while driving on suspended. §46.2-301 covers most driving on suspended situations and penalties can include up to 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500.00, additional license suspension, and impound of your vehicle up to 90 days. For a third offense there is a mandatory minimum 10 days in jail.Driving on Suspended after DUI
- 18.2-272 makes it a crime to drive or operate motor vehicle after being suspended for DUI/DWI, Refusal, Hit and Run, or any felony involving a motor vehicle. Additional penalties for conviction of this charge include a one-year driver’s license revocation, sometimes referred to as a “hard loss.” This means that no restricted license can be granted during that period of time. In addition, judges routinely impose active jail sentences for this offense.
- 46.2-391(D) provides that if a driver’s license is revoked by DMV for conviction of a second or subsequent DUI, or because of two prior convictions for §18.2-272, and a person drives on suspended they are guilty of an additional misdemeanor that carries a mandatory ten days in jail. However, if the driving endangers life, limb, or property OR happens while the defendant is also DUI/DWI, it is a class 6 felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison, with one year being a mandatory minimum sentence (meaning an actual full year of jail is imposed which cannot be suspended, and for which to good behavior credit can be earned). This type of charge is particularly serious and requires the help of a Fairfax Criminal attorney.
As with any type of charge, the plan for the best defense possible depends a great deal on the particular facts of the case. Some defenses include that the Defendant did not receive notice of the suspension, that the defendant was not stopped for a legal reason, that the suspension period expired (even though the license is not yet re-instated), or that the defendant was driving because of an emergency. Individual circumstances can also be considered by both the prosecutor and the judge and in some cases, it can be extremely helpful if the defendant is able to get their license fully reinstated prior to trial. There is no “one size fits all” solution in this kind of case, but an experience Fairfax Criminal lawyer can guide you though. Start getting back your peace of mind today by calling (703) 337-3773 or visiting our Contact page.