If an individual is charged with driving while suspended, they will face a variety of potential penalties including having their license re-suspended for a lengthy amount of time and will face additional fines and costs. Someone will also face a criminal conviction and could potentially be sentenced to active jail time in certain cases. Because of these serious consequences, an experienced Alexandria driving while suspended lawyer will be essential to build a proper defense and ensure any penalties against an individual’s license are minimized as much as possible. To begin building a defense for your case, consult with a traffic lawyer in Alexandria today.
There are a number of different ways a person can have their license suspended in Alexandria. The most common way will be open court by a judge who will convict them of a crime that allows the court to suspend their license. Examples of those crimes can include reckless driving, DWI, driving while suspended, and any possession or distribution of narcotics, which all tend to result in a license suspension either through mandatory operation of law or in the court’s discretion.
Additionally, a person can have their license suspended if they have any conviction in any court that resulted in a fine not paid in a timely manner. If fines and costs are not paid in full, that person can have their license suspended by the court issuing the original fines. Another way a person can have their license suspended is if they allow their liability insurance to lapse. If a person’s insurance policy lapses, there is a rule in Virginia that requires the insurance carrier to notify the DMV that they no longer insure that driver.
The DMV will investigate and if it is determined that that driver has an active license but is not insured by an active liability insurance policy, the DMV can suspend a person’s license for insurance monitoring until a person can establish for the DMV they are actively insured.
To prove that a person is guilty of driving on a suspended license, the Commonwealth must prove the person received notice their license was suspended and chose to drive on that suspended license anyway. If a person has their license suspended for something like insurance monitoring or some other administrative reason by the DMV, a court will take into account their ignorance of this situation.
Many cases involve a person driving with a license that was facially valid, meaning it had not expired and had all the correct information on it, only to find out that they were suspended for one reason or another. They told the officer candidly they had no idea their license was suspended. Under those circumstances, the Commonwealth may agree to drop the charges, or under other circumstances, the parties with the help of a driving while suspended lawyer in Alexandria may be able to enter a plea to a much less significant charge.
If a person is convicted of driving on a suspended license, it is a Class 1 Misdemeanor that is punishable by up to a year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine. If a person is driving on a license that has been suspended by a court and they were present in the courtroom when the judge told them they were not to drive, that person, if convicted, stands a good chance of serving active jail time.
Even if it is for a legitimate reason, the judges will not take kindly to an individual’s driving after having been told not to in a face-to-face matter in their court and as a result, it is imperative that an Alexandria driving while suspended lawyer be available.
When hiring a lawyer, an individual wants to have somebody on their side familiar with the prosecutors, the judges, and the building they are going to be tried. This familiarity can be leveraged by an Alexandria driving while suspended lawyer who will know how to best present any arguments or defenses that an individual might have.
Some judges are more sympathetic to certain types of defenses than others, and an experienced attorney in Alexandria with experience in that jurisdiction may know the right buttons to push to best serve their client.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law