Charges And Penalties
You can be charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license in Virginia if you are driving a motor vehicle, your license is suspended or revoked and you know that your license has been suspended or revoked. Virginia treats this charge as a Class 1 Misdemeanor, with maximum penalties of fines up to $2500, a suspension of your license for the same period it was suspended before and up to one year in jail. If you have been convicted of this offense three times within ten (10) years, you will also face a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 10 days.
Challenging A Charge Of Driving On A Suspended Or Revoked License
Since there are essentially three elements the Commonwealth must prove to convict on this charge, the way to challenge their case is to cast reasonable doubts on those three elements. One is to challenge that you were driving a motor vehicle, which is next to impossible. Two is to challenge that your license was actually suspended or revoked, which can be done if the police officer who stopped who simply made a mistake (we would need a DMV record showing that your license is still active). Three is to challenge the assertion that you had adequate notice of your license suspension or revocation, which is usually an option in situations where you racked up too many DMV points or failed to pay certain fines without knowing what consequences resulted.
Another way to challenge this charge, as with all traffic offenses, is to show that the police officer had no adequate reason to stop you in this first place. An officer must have a “reasonable suspicion” that a crime or traffic violation is being committed in order to stop you, which is to say that it must be more than a hunch (but less than “probable cause” or concrete evidence). The exception to this is police roadblocks, but these roadblocks must also be conducted in a certain manner to be considered constitutional.
As you can see, defenses to this charge are highly case-specific. You can contact APLG as soon as possible for a free initial case evaluation and we will advise you on your best legal options for reducing or dismissing the charge.