Virginia Beach DWLS Attorney
Your Virginia driver’s license is perhaps the most important item in your wallet. Most Virginians rely on their licenses to travel to and from their jobs, visit friends and relatives, and run essential errands. Without a valid driver’s license, it can be difficult to conduct daily life. Unfortunately, thousands of people in Virginia Beach have their licenses suspended for many reasons.
If the Commonwealth suspends your license, it means that you cannot legally drive until you take some action to reinstate it. Usually, this means fulfilling a request from the court, like paying a fine. There are ways to reinstate your license, and it may be helpful to acquire legal representation to do so. If you’re caught driving with a suspended license, you could face criminal penalties. A charge of Driving While License Suspended could lead to an extension of the original suspension, plus other punishments if you’re convicted. Talk to a Virginia Beach driving while license suspended lawyer right away if you face a DWLS charge.
What does it mean that my license is suspended?
When the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) suspends a driver’s license, they typically send a notice by mail. The notice informs you that you’re temporarily banned from driving a motor vehicle in the state. There are many reasons your license might have been suspended. Some of the most common reasons for a Virginia Beach license suspension are:
- Failing to pay a fine or ignoring a traffic ticket
- A conviction of reckless driving
- Accumulating too many points on your driver’s license
- Failing to pay child support, jail fees, or a judgment against you
- Failing to maintain insurance on your vehicle
- Failing to pay the state’s uninsured motor vehicle fee
- Having a health condition that makes it dangerous to drive
Regardless of the reason for your suspension, you should notify an attorney and work to clear it. The sooner a traffic lawyer gets involved, the sooner you can get back to driving freely.
Driving With a Suspended License is a Class 1 Misdemeanor
Driving with a suspended license or Driving While License Suspended (DWLS) is a class 1 misdemeanor traffic charge in the Commonwealth. A class 1 misdemeanor is the most severe type of misdemeanor charge and is just one step below a felony.
Being convicted of a class 1 misdemeanor can result in steep fines, court fees, and can even result in a jail sentence. While unusual, it’s not unheard of for a first offender to spend some time in jail over a DWLS charge. Avoiding the worst penalties possible usually involves cooperating with a skilled DWLS lawyer who works in your jurisdiction and holds a favorable reputation among the judge and prosecutor in your case.
What a Driving While License Suspended Charge Could Cost You
If you’re convicted of this serious traffic crime in Virginia Beach, you could face fines of up to $2,500. You could also face an additional and separate license suspension from the court. If the court finds you guilty of DWLS, the judge must suspend your license for the same amount of time as the original license suspension.
- If your license was previously suspended for 6 months and you were convicted of driving with a suspended license, the judge may sentence you to an additional 6 months without a license.
- The court’s license suspension is different and separate from the Virginia MVA’s suspension. The criminal suspension will not start until the original suspension is resolved.
In addition to monetary penalties and a longer license suspension, you could be required to spend time in jail. Judges in Virginia must sentence individuals who are convicted of a third or subsequent DWLS charge to a mandatory 10-day active jail period.
As a class 1 misdemeanor, even a first DWLS offender may face a period of up to 12 months in jail, although it’s up to the judge’s discretion to issue jail time for a first offense. The facts of your case, your driving record and criminal history will influence the judge’s decision. With an attorney by your side, it may be possible to mitigate the penalties of a conviction or eliminate the DWLS charge.
Can the Commonwealth Prove I was DWLS in Virginia Beach?
An attorney with years of experience grappling with serious traffic charges like Driving While License Suspended can often be an invaluable resource in your case. At Pendleton Law, our team of lawyers puts our decades of combined criminal experience to work toward defending you from criminal traffic charges. By investigating all the facts of your case, we can come up with an iron-clad defense strategy.
Elements of Driving While License Suspended in Virginia Beach
The prosecution must establish three facts when attempting to gain a conviction of DWLS. Our team can look into these details to discover a sensible way to weaken the Commonwealth’s case against you.
- First, the prosecution must show that you drove a motor vehicle when you were charged for driving with a suspended license. This is a fairly simple fact to prove.
- Second, the Commonwealth must prove that your license was suspended or revoked at the time you were stopped and charged. They can accomplish this by bringing a certified copy of your DMV transcript showing your license suspension or revocation.
- Finally, the Commonwealth must prove that you knew your license was suspended or revoked when you were stopped. This tends to be the hardest element to demonstrate to the court. When being stopped by police, it’s best to refrain from providing them with any information besides very general identification. You are not required to disclose whether you knew your license was suspended when police flag you for a traffic violation.
If you admit to the police officer who pulled you over that you knew your license was suspended, then your case will be much more challenging to defend. Discuss the facts of your case with a qualified Virginia Beach criminal traffic lawyer to learn which steps you should take to protect your interests and rights.
Fight for Your Driver’s License. Contact a Virginia Beach DWLS Lawyer Today!
The challenges associated with losing your license can be enormous. If your license has been suspended in Virginia Beach, you’re urged to take measures to have the suspension lifted. If you choose to drive with a suspended license, you could face severe criminal charges if a local officer pulls you over and checks your driving history.
Resolving a criminal DWLS charge in Virginia Beach is no simple matter. Contact a qualified and dependable traffic lawyer to discuss your case. At Pendleton Law, our team of attorneys has represented thousands of people throughout the Commonwealth who faced criminal traffic charges. Driving While License Suspended is one of the more common offenses in Virginia, and we are fully prepared to represent you in court. Find out how we can provide you with excellent representation by calling our free criminal traffic hotline at (804) 554-4444. You can also fill out this form and we will schedule a free consultation to review your case.