Legal Defense Against Driving on a Suspended License Charges
Experienced traffic court attorneys at the Sprano Law Firm have successfully defended hundreds of people charged with driving on sa uspended or revoked licenses and other criminal traffic charges.
If you have been charged with Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License….
We can help. The criminal defense lawyers at the Sprano Law Firm have over thirty years of combined experience handling cases like these. Our attorneys possess a thorough knowledge of exactly what the prosecution needs to prove in each type of Driving on Suspended or Driving on Revoked Charge, and we are experienced in raising all of the possible defenses to such charges.
Types of Driving on Suspended Crimes
Charges for Driving with a Suspended License are categorized according to the reason the driver was suspended in the first place. The most serious type of such charge is Driving on Revoked – DUI related, in violation of Virginia Code 18.2-272. Almost all other types of Driving on Suspended charges fall under Virginia Code 46.2-301. These include suspensions for DMV point accumulations, unpaid fines and court costs, insurance monitoring, and non-DUI related court ordered suspensions (often for prior Driving on Suspended Convictions or Drug Charges).
Consequences of Driving on Suspended Convictions
Prosecutors and judges alike take a very hard line on Driving on Revoked cases. A conviction can often include active jail time, along with a revocation of any remaining period of restricted license, on top of an additional 12 months or more license suspension with no possibility of a restricted license. If we cannot get the charged dropped completely, our lawyers usually try to convince the prosecutor to reduce these charges to a standard Driving on Suspended (46.2-301) charge whenever possible.
A conviction for Driving on a Suspended License under 46.2-301 is still a class 1 Misdemeanor carrying the possibility of jail time, but that is usually reserved for individuals having two or more prior offenses of the same sort. A first offense does not ordinarily result in a jail sentence in most Northern Virginia jurisdictions.
The Notice Requirement
One common, but often overlooked, element in all driving on suspended cases is the requirement that the prosecutor prove the defendant had actual notice that his or her license was suspended at the time. The lack of proof of notice is the first defense our lawyers look for in analyzing driving on suspended license cases. Often the prosecution will attempt to prove this element by introducing the defendant’s driver’s record, showing that notice was mailed to the defendant or provided by law enforcement on a previous occassion. Our skilled traffic court defense attorneys know how to attack such cases and convince the judge that such proof of notice is actually not legally sufficient to support a conviction.
Do I Need a Lawyer if I Didn’t Know My License Was Suspended and I Get It Reinstated Before My Court Date?
If you want to get convicted of a crime you did not commit, the answer is no. Go without a lawyer and take the risk that you will be wrongfully convicted and given a small fine. Not all judges will do this but it a distressingly common scenario that we see all too often in the courthouse. Judge calls the case and asks the unrepresented defendant how he or she will plead. Defendant says something like “Well, I was suspended but I didn’t know about it until the officer pulled me over.” Judge: “Did you get your license reinstated?” Defendant: “Yes, I have it right here.” Judge: “OK, $50 fine. Go see the clerk.” The defendant walks out thinking he or she got off easy, until the next background check when they realize they now have a criminal record! Do not let this happen to you! If you did not know you were suspended then you are quite simply Not Guilty, and the charge should be dismissed. The money you spend on a lawyer now will be more than worth it in the long run, to avoid a criminal record for a crime you actually did not commit.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
Our office is located near the Fairfax County courthouse. We are open for appointments Monday through Friday, and available by phone and e-mail seven days a week.
Click here for recent case results.
Spanish language service is available.