If someone is arrested for DUI in Loudoun County while driving without a license, they will typically face two separate criminal charges. The first charge will likely be a violation of 18.2-266, which is the DUI statute, and the second will be some version of driving without a license.
Depending on why the individual does not have a license, they can be charged with a variety of licensing statutes. Some of the common licensing statutes include 46.2-300, which refers to driving without an actual license, meaning that person has never had a valid operator’s license, or 46.2-301, which refers to driving on a suspended or revoked license. They may also be charged with violation of 18.2-272, which is a violation of driving on a suspended or revoked license when the suspension or revocation is related to an underlying DUI offense.
All are serious misdemeanor offenses that can greatly impact your life. Therefore, if you have been charged with a DUI and driving without a license, it is important to contact an experienced Loudoun County DUI attorney who can help you minimize the penalties you are facing.
DUI without a license is not a stand-alone criminal charge in Virginia. In fact, a DUI that occurs when someone is driving without a license is a separate criminal offense from the driving without a license charge. Therefore the seriousness of each charge and the potential penalties depend on the specific facts and circumstances of the case and how the license came to be suspended.
A DUI without a license is an aggravating factor, even though it is not a statutory aggravating factor. Being charged with a DUI while driving without a license does not trigger additional mandatory penalties, but it is certainly a factor that would be considered when determining the range of punishment that is applicable to the driver’s case, if they are convicted.
If a driver’s license was suspended because of a DUI and they incur a subsequent DUI offense, there are serious penalties. It could result in probation violation for incurring a new criminal offense, while on a DUI related probation or suspension term. They are also likely to be charged with violating Virginia Code Section 18.2-272, which is driving in a prohibited manner after a DUI related suspension.
Section 18.2-272 applies to both DUI suspensions after conviction and DUI related administrative suspensions after an arrest, but before a conviction. It is important for someone to know when they are allowed to drive if they have been charged or convicted of a DUI as this Code Section carries an intense mandatory administrative penalty of one year if the person is found guilty.
Typically, a DUI charge and an unlicensed driving charge that stem from one incident are heard at the same time because the arresting officer is the same for both charges. There is an opportunity to have them heard in separate trials, but it is common at the general district court level, in Virginia, for the charges to be heard in one trial.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law