Driving on a Suspended License
In Virginia, driving on a suspended or revoked license is punishable as a class 1 misdemeanor. Hire an attorney to protect your rights! You are innocent until the Commonwealth proves you guilty.
Driving on a suspended or revoked license is punished as a class 1 misdemeanor under § 46.2-301. This means that punishment may include up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. Your license will also be suspended for the period it was originally suspended (or up to 90 days if the suspension was indefinite). Starting July 1, 2020, the Virginia Code will no longer require a ten day mandatory minimum for 3rd or subsequent offenses. This means jail time will be in the judge’s discretion.
Hire an attorney to protect your rights! You are innocent until the Commonwealth proves you guilty. The Commonwealth must prove that there was articulable suspicion of criminal activity for the stop itself. In addition, to prove the elements of the crime, the Commonwealth must prove that 1) you were driving a motor vehicle, 2) your license was suspended or revoked, 3) and that you know that your license is suspended or revoked. It is important to have an attorney review your driving transcript to look for potential defenses.
There may be many reasons why your driver’s license was suspended. Interestingly, even if you never had a valid license, you can be charged with driving on a suspended license if you were previously convicted of driving on no license and a judge or DMV suspended or revoked your license as a result.
The underlying reason for the suspension is not considered when determining guilt or innocence on a charge. However, the reason for the suspension, whether it is for failure to pay fines from a traffic ticket or an administrative suspension by the DMV plays a factor in the sentencing phase of the case. If you were charged with driving on a suspended license, it is helpful to have your license fully reinstated by your court date. Reinstating the license does not guarantee a dismissal or reduction but gives us more room to argue for mercy.