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What if I drive during a license suspension?

Virginians who face a license suspension after being convicted of a breath test refusal or driving under the influence should be aware that they are not allowed to drive. This might sound like a simple fact, but some might believe that there is a limited likelihood of getting caught by law enforcement or that the penalties are not very severe. However, driving with a suspended license can cause significant problems in a person's life. If there is a charge for this violation, having legal advice is imperative to defend against the allegations.

When the license was revoked for a breath test refusal or a drunk driving conviction or if there were specific limits placed on the license as to when the person is legally allowed to drive, a violation will result in a Class 1 misdemeanor charge. A conviction for a Class 1 misdemeanor can result in jail time of up to 12 months, a fine of up to $2,500, or both. A person convicted of three violations within 10 years will face a Class 6 felony. This can lead to jail time of at least one year and up to five years. The court has discretion on this matter and can limit the jail time to up to 12 months. There can be a fine of $2,500 or the combination of the fine and up to 12 months in jail.

Even if the person has complied with other restrictions on the right to drive, there will still be a violation if the person committed DWI manslaughter, DWI, breath test refusal or DWI while driving a commercial vehicle in Virginia or in another state if they have a blood-alcohol content of 0.02 percent or higher. Those who drive a vehicle that does not have an ignition interlock device if one was required will be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor and have an administrative driver license revocation.

When there is an allegation that a person was driving without a valid license after a suspension for DUI or breath test refusal, it is imperative to understand that the penalties can be severe and include jail time and steep fines. Having legal assistance to deal with these charges is an important factor for a successful resolution. Calling a law firm that helps clients with drunk driving, refusal, driving without a license and other traffic violations is vital to crafting a strong defense.

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Boyce, Leahy & Francescon, Lawyers
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Manassas, VA 20110

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