Driving on a Suspended License Lawyer Fairfax Virginia

There are three Virginia statutes which deal with suspended license offenses: 46.2-301, 18.2-272, and 46.2-300.

46.2-301 Driving on a Suspended License and 18.2-272 Driving after Forfeiture of License

Both offenses are considered class 1 misdemeanors punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a $2500 fine. Violation of 46.2-301 also includes and a license suspension for the same period as the original suspension or 90 days. A third or subsequent violation of this statute within a 10 year period includes a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 days in jail.  Violation of 18.2-272 requires that the individual’s license is administratively revoked for one year for a first offense and three years for a second or subsequent offense. Unlike a suspended license, and individual with a revoked license must undergo further procedures to become reinstated after the period of revocation. Additionally, a third violation of this statute within a 10 year period is considered a class 6 felony.

There is significant overlap between these two code sections. The most common violations of 46.2-301 involve individuals who have had their license suspended due to a DWI, drug charge, reckless driving, failure to pay fines and court costs, child support cases, and excessive DMV points. Violations of 18.2-272 often involve individuals who have had their license suspended due to a refusal of blood or breath test upon suspicion of DWI, DWI conviction, administrative suspension due to DWI, driving outside of the parameters of a restricted license, or driving on a restricted license with a BAC of .02% or more.

46.2-300 Driving Without a License

This offense is a class 2 misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or a $1500 fine and a driver’s license suspension of up to 90 days. A second or subsequent offense is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a $2500 fine.  This section requires that all individuals who drive in Virginia have a Virginia license except nonresidents who are lawfully licensed by their home state, Virginia residents within a 60 day grace period of moving to Virginia, those operating farm equipment, certain military personnel, and certain residents of foreign countries.

There are several factors to consider when evaluating these types of cases including the individual’s driving record, whether the Commonwealth has proof of notice of the suspension, whether the Commonwealth has proof that the individual was driving the vehicle, whether the vehicle was on a public highway, etc. It is important to contact a skilled attorney to evaluate your case to determine the best course of action under your particular circumstances.

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