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Driving on a Suspended License

Driving On A Suspended License

What is driving on a suspended license in Virginia?

If your license is suspended by the DMV or a court, you cannot drive on any public highway in Virginia. But to be convicted of driving on a suspended license, the prosecutor must be able to prove that you received notice that your license was suspended. Receiving notice means either someone told you your license was suspended or DMV or a court mailed you a letter telling you your license was suspended. 

Why would my license be suspended?

The DMV will suspend your license if you get 18 demerit points in one 12 month period or 24 demerit points in a 24 month period. You get demerit points when you get traffic tickets. Your license can also be suspended if you're convicted of a drug crime or if you fail to pay child support. Probably the most common way for someone to get a license suspension is failure to pay court costs or fines.

What if I have an out-of-state license?

If you have an out-of-state license and that license is suspended, it's still illegal to drive in Virginia. 

What's the punishment for driving on a suspended license in Virginia?

In Virginia, driving on a suspended license is a class 1 misdemeanor. Class 1 misdemeanors are punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500.00 fine. If you're convicted of driving on a suspended license, the judge is also required to suspend your license again. The license suspension can be up to 90 days, but the judge has to suspend it for some period of time. 

Should I try to get my license back before court?

If you're charged with driving on a suspended license, it can be a good idea to get your license back before court. Sometimes the judge will reduce the charge and maybe even dismiss the charge. But you should consult with an attorney. Some judges will not reduce the charge and then you have gone through the trouble of getting your license back only to have it suspended again by the judge.

If I'm convicted of driving on a suspended license, can I get a restricted license?

No. If you're convicted of driving on a suspended license, the judge is required by law to suspend your license for up to an additional 90 days. During that period of suspension, you cannot get a restricted license. 

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