Petersburg DWLS Lawyers
Being without a valid driver’s license in one of the Commonwealth’s busiest areas is a burden no one welcomes. Unfortunately, the Virginia DMV spends copious amounts of time suspending the licenses of drivers believed to be a hazard and of people who fail to pay court fines. There may be a dozen reasons why your license was suspended in Petersburg. Regardless, if you drive with a suspended license and get caught, you could face criminal penalties.
You might not think that driving with a suspended license is serious enough to warrant a criminal record, especially if your license was suspended due to a technicality, but it could be. Talk to a knowledgeable Driving While License Suspended (DWLS) lawyer in Petersburg if you face a criminal charge. The sooner a traffic attorney can get involved, the better your chances will be of obtaining a successful result in court.
Common Reasons for License Suspensions in Petersburg
A license suspension is a temporary period in which you may not legally operate a motor vehicle on Virginia’s public roads. Usually, you must first fulfill a requirement by the court for them to reinstate your license. This might include paying a fine or proving to the DMV that you have the necessary insurance coverage for your vehicle. In any case, if you drive with a suspended license, you could risk losing your license for a longer period, and other consequences.
Having your license suspended is rarely ever a reflection of your driving skills. Often, the Virginia DMV suspends driver’s licenses for a multitude of reasons that don’t relate to operating a vehicle. If you miss a child support payment or forget about a traffic ticket, you could suddenly be in line for a suspension. Other common reasons for a license suspension include:
- Failing to make any necessary payments to the court
- A reckless driving conviction
- Accumulating too many points on your license
- Failing to keep car insurance
- Not paying the state’s uninsured motor vehicle fee
- Having a judgment against you
- Having a health condition that may make it dangerous to operate a motor vehicle
If you’re unsure about whether your license is suspended, check the DMV website. If your license is suspended and you’ve been charged with DWLS, contact a criminal lawyer in Petersburg who dedicates a significant portion of his practice to traffic crimes.
What are the Penalties for Driving While License Suspended in Virginia?
If it seems like there are plenty of traffic violations more severe than driving with a suspended license, don’t be misled. Driving with a suspended license is in its own right one of the most harmful traffic charges a person can face. DWLS in Virginia is a class 1 misdemeanor offense, meaning that it’s just one step below a felony. A conviction of a misdemeanor of this intensity could lead to harsh penalties, including expensive fines and possible jail time.
- A fine of up to $2,500 plus court fees is possible upon a DWLS conviction.
- As a class 1 misdemeanor, you might face up to 12 months of jail time.
- An additional criminal license suspension that extends your original suspension.
- The establishment of a criminal record for a traffic offense.
Drivers who have been charged with DWLS more than once may face an even harsher justice system. Judges in Virginia are required to sentence individuals convicted of a third or subsequent DWLS charge to a mandatory 10-day active jail period. Ten days is the minimum possible jail sentence for a third DWLS conviction. As a class 1 misdemeanor crime, judges may issue up to 12 months. You’re urged to contact a decisive DWLS lawyer to mitigate the charges or potential penalties.
How a Petersburg DWLS Lawyer Can Defend Your DWLS Charge
Believe it or not, many people with a suspended license in Petersburg don’t even know their licenses are suspended. This alone could be a potentially effective defense to a DWLS charge and may even lead to a dismissal of your case. A sharp lawyer will look at all the facts of your case to find the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you. An attorney will put your interests first and protect your rights through this complex ordeal. Ultimately, working with a DWLS lawyer in Petersburg can work to your benefit.
At Pendleton Law, our team of criminal traffic lawyers fights DWLS charges in Petersburg and nearby areas. We’ll gladly review your case and provide sound legal counsel that can help you navigate this difficult time. We have represented thousands of people in Virginia who have faced charges similar to yours. Our founder, Christina Pendleton, has been designated a Super Lawyers Rising Star and our firm has received Avvo’s Client’s Choice Award. Call our criminal traffic hotline at (804) 554-4444 or complete our contact form so we may schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.