Traffic related offenses such as reckless driving, speeding, DUI/DWI's, hit and run, speeding to elude and habitual offender are treated seriously in Virginia courts. These offenses, especially when repeated, will result in suspension or possible revocation of your driver's license by the court or the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Even minor traffic violations can lead to license suspension if court costs are not timely paid.
Most people in the Northern Virginia area rely on driving a car every day to go work, the doctor, pick up your children from school or run necessary errands. Losing your license prevents you from legally driving your car, which is not only inconvenient but can lead to additional charges if you drive on a suspended or revoked operator's license or drive a vehicle without having a valid driver's license.
If you are facing license suspension or the possibility of license suspension, you should consult a traffic defense attorney to try and prevent the suspension. Kassabian & Kassabian, P.L.C., offers traffic related defense and license restoration services. We understand how having your driver's license suspended or revoked significantly affects your daily life and we are here to build the strongest case possible so that you may maintain your driving privileges.
Offenses That Cause License Suspension
The Virginia DMV assigns demerit points to your license for certain violations. DMV has three types of point violations. DMV will place you on probation for six (6) months and in addition, will require you to successfully complete a driver improvement clinic whenever the driving record of a person eighteen (18) years or older shows an accumulation of at least twelve (12) demerit points based on convictions for traffic offenses committed within twelve (12) consecutive months, or at least eighteen (18) demerit points based on convictions for traffic offenses committed within a period of twenty-four (24) consecutive months. A person who has been placed on probation with DMV who is found guilty of a traffic offense which was committed during the probation period will have their license suspended for (90) days if the offense for which they were found guilty of is a six (6) point demerit violation; a license suspension for sixty (60) days if the offense they were found guilty of is a four (4) point violation; or forty-five (45) days if the traffic offense they were found guilty of is a three (3) point violation.
Some criminal traffic related offenses can cause immediate license suspension or revocation regardless of how many points currently exist on your record. These offenses include DUI/DWIs, Reckless Driving, Racing, Hit & Run, Driving on Suspended License, Driving on Revoked License, Habitual Offender, ASAP Non-Compliance Violations, Eluding Law Enforcement, and Vehicular Manslaughter. Additionally, Unreasonable Refusal convictions also cause suspension of driving privileges.
- Six Point Violations: These violations are serious offenses and include DUI/DWI; DUI/DWI where a person is under the age of 21 after illegally consuming alcohol; Involuntary manslaughter; Manslaughter; Refusal of blood/breath test; Driving while license is suspended or revoked; Operating a motor vehicle without an ignition interlock device; Reckless driving; Habitual offender; Allowing a person to drive when suspended for habitual offender and/or Driving while intoxicated; Driving while your license is suspended or revoked; Speeding 20 mph or more above the posted speed limit; Failure to stop at the scene of an accident where there is injury, death or property damage of $1,000.00 or more; Fail to change lanes/slow down for a vehicle displaying flashing lights; Blocking access to service facility; Attempting to elude police; Operating an unsafe vehicle; and other similar charges. Many of these violations often result in the immediate suspension of your driver's license upon conviction, regardless of demerit points that may exist on your driving record.
- Four Point Violations: These violations are less serious than six (6) point traffic offenses but can still result in the suspension of your license if committed too many times or after having been placed on a probationary term with DMV. Four (4) point violations may include Reckless driving-failure to stop before entering a highway; Speeding 10-19 mph over the posted speed limit; Passing when unsafe to do so; Failure to drive to the right and stop for police/fire/emergency vehicle; Failure to stop and yield the right of way; Failure to yield when turning; Failure to yield to funeral procession; Failure to drive on right half of highway or street; Failure to keep to the right when crossing an intersection; Following too closely; Failure to signal before moving from a curb; Improper signal; Failure to obey traffic signals; Failure to obey lane directional signal; Failure to obey highway lane markings; Improper backing, Stopping or turning; Aggressive driving; Driving on the wrong way of on one-way highway or street; and many other similar traffic violations.
- Three Point Violations: Three-point violations include Speeding 1 – 9 mph over speed limit; Impeding traffic; Improper passing; Improper driving; Improper stopping on highway; Driving through a safety zone; Unauthorized use of a crossover on a controlled highway; Driving on a sidewalk; Improper turn; Improper U-turn; Violation of right turn on read; Failure to obey a highway sign; Evading traffic control device; Driving without lights; Failure to dim lights; No Virginia driver's license; No Virginia license plate; Failure to obtain a driver's license; Failure to have license revalidated; Learner's permit violation; Permitting unlicensed person to drive; Driving a commercial motor vehicle with alcohol in blood; Driving a commercial motor vehicle without a license; Driving a commercial motor vehicle with more than one driver's license; Driving a commercial motor vehicle without a license in possession; Driving a school bus without a license; Driving a bus transporting school children without a safety belt; Following or parking within 500 feet of a fire apparatus; Drinking while driving; Driving while TV screen is visible to a driver; Driving while using earphones; HOV violation second or subsequent offense; and other similar charges.
Driving While License is Suspended/Revoked
Some people may decide to drive despite having their license suspended or revoked to keep up with their daily routine, obligations and responsibilities. If they commit a traffic offense and get pulled over, even for a minor traffic infraction, the penalties will be severe for driving without a license or driving on a suspended or revoked driver's license. According to Virginia Code Section, 46.2-301, individuals caught driving with a suspended or revoked license will be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. This carries a maximum jail sentence of up to 12 months, and/or a maximum fine of up to $2500.00, and the court is required to suspend your driver's license or your privilege to drive a motor vehicle for the same period time for which your driver's license had been previously suspended or revoked. Moreover, when there are subsequent suspensions of one's driver's license, the subsequent suspension period will begin upon the expiration of the previous suspension or revocation period.
Additionally, pursuant to Virginia Code Section 18.2-272, if you decide to drive after your license is suspended after a DUI/DWI conviction; an Unreasonable Refusal finding; a civil administrative license suspension after being charged with DUI/DWI; after your license has been revoked for certain criminal offenses; or in violation of a restricted operator's license issued to you after a DUI/DWI conviction; you will be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum jail sentence of up to 12 months in jail and/or a maximum fine of up to $2,500.00. Additionally, the court will revoke any restricted operator's license previously issued, hold you in violation of the previous court order, and DMV will further administratively revoke your driver's license.
Issuance of a Restricted Operator's License FOR Driving While Suspended
Based on a relatively recent provision of the law, Virginia Code Section 46.2-301 E, allows individuals under certain circumstances, to petition each court that suspended that person's driver's license, for the issuance of a restricted operators license, provided that the period for which the person's driver's license was suspended by the court if measured by the date of conviction, has expired. Under these circumstances, if a petition for a restricted operators license is presented to the court and good cause is shown, a court may authorize the DMV to issue a restricted operators license to allow you to drive for certain conditions.
Kassabian & Kassabian, PLC Can Get You Back on the Road!
We understand that a suspended license gets in the way of your everyday life, making it crucial that you have your driver's license restored, or at a minimum, a restricted operator's license issued as soon as possible. Depending on the circumstances, the process of restoring your license or obtaining a restricted operator's license may seem complicated. The lawyers at Kassabian & Kassabian, P.L.C., are here to make the process straightforward. We will analyze the details of your case to determine if you are eligible to have your license restored or assist you in obtaining a restricted operator's license. We will guide you through the restoration and petition process to get you back on the road and to your daily responsibilities as soon as possible.
Contact us today at (703) 750-3622.