Virginia Restricted License: FAQ from Fairfax Traffic Attorney

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Virginia Restricted License Info and FAQ

Fairfax Traffic Lawyer Answers:

What offenses will result in a restricted license; what if I violate the terms of the restricted driving privileges; and, how can I prepare to retain as many of my privileges as possible, given my circumstances?

A common (big) question is:

What will happen if I violate the terms of my restricted license in Virginia?

But other relevant questions often fielded by our Fairfax traffic attorney and Northern Virginia criminal lawyer are:

  • How does a license get restricted…will the judge order my privileges restricted, or will I get a letter from the DMV?
  • Does the court system or the DMV determine where I can drive? What if I do not have a job, but am looking for one?
  • Based on my charge(s), do you think I will lose my license?
  • Do I need to take some specific steps to drive in an emergency situation, if my license is suspended or revoked?
  • If I accept a deferred disposition offer, will I still have to worry about losing my driving privileges?

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image img_link_target=”_self” image=”2120″ css_animation=”left-to-right”][vc_column_text]faqs[/vc_column_text][vc_accordion][vc_accordion_tab title=”Will the Court Suspend or Revoke My License?”][vc_column_text]If you have been to court recently for one of the following charges, you may have lost your privilege to drive a motor vehicle. The terms of probation may require ASAP, community service, a fine, and similarly, the court may have suspended or revoked your license following a conviction or deferred disposition. Some of the most common charges resulting in loss of driving privileges include:

  • driving while intoxicated (DWI),
  • reckless driving,
  • illegal or underage possession of alcohol, and
  • aggressive driving
  • and others…

But if you have not yet gone to court for the resolution of your pending Virginia criminal matter, then you should be aware of the restricted license and suspended license rules.[/vc_column_text][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”How Can a Traffic / Defense Lawyer Help?”][vc_column_text]As a Virginia criminal lawyer and Fairfax traffic attorney, I help clients petition for a restricted license from time to time. If the court suspends or revokes your license, then you will need to petition the court for a restricted license; if you do not do so on the day of your conviction, then you will have to come back to court on a separate day. Having a petition prepared before your court date is a good idea, but it is also smart to fill the petition form out with your Virginia traffic lawyer, so he or she can make sure all necessary information is included.[/vc_column_text][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”Can the DMV Grant a Restricted License?”][vc_column_text]In Virginia, either the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or court can issue a restricted license.
But the vast majority of cases involve the court. The DMV is limited to granting restricted license privileges only when certain circumstances are met, and a driver’s priveliges to drive were suspended due to a violation of a Driver Improvement Probation. Upon request, the DMV can (does not have to) grant restricted driving privileges if it is a first-time compliance issue, or if it is a second-time violation in fewer cases.[/vc_column_text][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”What if I Violate the Terms of a Restricted License?”][vc_column_text]If you are caught driving in violation of your probation terms or restricted license conditions, an important question your Fairfax traffic attorney or Virginia criminal lawyer might ask is whether or not you were charged with:

  • driving on a suspended license,
  • a traffic infraction of some other sort,
  • both, or
  • neither?

Were you charged with something else?

if you only received a traffic ticket/infraction for the underlying reason why you were stopped (such as running a red light), then you may be in a different position. When you have a restricted license, you are on probation, but it is often unsupervised. A traffic offense will be reported on your DMV record.

To violate the court-ordered restricted license, means to be in contempt or violation of probation. This means that you could have to serve suspended time and fines. Talking to a Traffic Attorney  is a wise thing to do, as soon as possible.[/vc_column_text][/vc_accordion_tab][/vc_accordion][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

True or False: Courts Restrict Licenses

False. Courts suspend or revoke. The majority of people who meet with our Fairfax traffic attorney and Northern Virginia criminal lawyer are surprised to find out the answer is false, and most tend to think the question is trivial. We explain — as I shall below — why it makes a big difference. In Virginia, many criminal offenses result in loss of driving privileges upon conviction. Therefore, it is often necessary for Virginia criminal lawyers to discuss the realities and specifics of a suspended or revoked license, and the petition process to maintain privileges.

When the court suspends or revokes a defendant’s privilege to drive in the Commonwealth, the driver has no privilege to drive at all, beginning at that very moment. Thus, the restricted license is not something that automatically is triggered upon conviction. It requires action.

Since the court suspends and revokes, it puts the ball back in the defendant’s court to do something about the situation. The defendant must petition the court and ask for the court to grant a restricted license. If you are in a position where you are just finding out about this for the first time (the need to petition the court in order to maintain some driving privileges), then you should realize that planning ahead is critical, and one way to save a lot of time is to consult with a local Fairfax criminal lawyer and Northern Virginia defense attorney. The knowledge of the process, and the wisdom that comes with experience, are two reasons why people hire local Fairfax criminal lawyers to guide them when faced with a charge in Northern Virginia.

several ways person may find themselves without driving privileges in Virginia.

The court may suspend or revoked your privilege to drive upon conviction of one of numerous laws in Virginia. Or, you may be on probation — the first offender deferred disposition option in a drug possession case — and the terms may require loss of driving privileges.

Well-prepared Virginia criminal lawyers and local (GEO) DWI attorneys take certain steps and do things along the way that justifies their fee. Many tasks Fairfax criminal lawyers and Virginia defense attorneys engage in on their client’s behalf is not even something the client contemplates as part of the process of representation. For example, a dedicated and attention-to-details type of Virginia criminal lawyer will not only discuss the possibility of losing driving privileges if you choose a particular path, or if you are convicted, but also take the time to sit down with you and complete a restricted driver’s license application in-full, just in case the hearing results in a disposition that puts the client in a position to petition the court. These “Just in case” steps and actions add up along the way, and illustrate just one of the many ways a Northern Virginia traffic attorney helps.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

Waiting Game?

For some convictions, you are allowed to petition for restricted driving privileges at the time of conviction. But for other offenses, there are waiting periods.

There are certain violations, as has been noted on this page before, that if convicted of, may result in loss of privileges because the court suspends or revokes such privileges. The court can grant privileges upon petition, but is not required to do so. These offenses include DUI/DWI as a first offense, reckless driving, aggressive driving, underage and illegal possession and consumption of alcohol, and drug offenses.

You may have to wait 3 years if…

If convicted, it may take a three year waiting period before a petition can be granted.

  • DWI (3rd in 10 years)
  • Manslaughter
  • Someone is injured (maiming) due to DWI
  • Habitual Offenders (read more)

There are other waiting periods:

If you have been convicted of driving while intoxicated and it is not a first offense, then you will have to wait for a period of time that is dependent upon how close in time your two DWI convictions occurred.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_teaser_grid grid_columns_count=”4″ grid_content=”teaser” grid_layout=”thumbnail_title” grid_link=”link_post” grid_link_target=”_blank” grid_template=”grid” grid_layout_mode=”masonry” orderby=”rand” order=”DESC” title=”More from our Virginia Criminal Lawyer and Fairfax Traffic Attorney” grid_posttypes=”post” grid_thumb_size=”thumbnail” grid_categories=”virginia criminal lawyer,fairfax dui lawyer,virginia traffic news,misdemeanor appeals,reckless driving,class 1 misdemeanor,fairfax criminal lawyer,virginia expungement”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Brenton D. Vincenzes is a lifelong Fairfax County resident and Fairfax Criminal Defense Lawyer. He is a member of the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National College of DUI Defense, NORML, and has been awarded the following in 2014-15: Top 100 Trial Lawyer (National Trial Lawyers) Top 40 Under 40 Trial Lawyer (National Trial Lawyers) Nationally Ranked Top 10 Under 40 Defense Attorney (National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys) 10 Best in Client Satisfaction for Criminal Defense (American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys) Nationally Ranked Top 1% Attorney Award Recipient (National Association of Distinguished Counsel) As a local leader, Mr. Vincenzes mentors troubled youths, volunteers his time to serve at his church, takes select pro bono clients, and strives to improve the community. Mr. Vincenzes represents men, women, and juveniles through zealous and diligent advocacy, strategic planning, and skilled trial work preparation. Mr. Vincenzes' areas of criminal law practice are broad, and include most felonies and misdemeanors such as: reckless driving, DUI & DWI, drug offenses, assault and battery, domestic violence, assault on an officer, destruction of property, alcohol offenses, firearm offenses, larceny, shoplifting, embezzlement, fraud, and other theft offenses, and moving traffic violations among others. His private legal services are available in most Northern Virginia jurisdictions, including Fairfax County, Arlington County, Prince William County, Loudoun County, Stafford County, Alexandria, Manassas, Leesburg, South Riding, and other cities and towns.

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