When someone is charged with a DUI and at the time that they are arrested, they are found to not have a valid license in their possession or they are found to be driving on a suspended license, they will also be charged with driving without a valid license or driving with a suspended license. This can affect a case because these driver’s license charges are very serious in their own right. As a result, they are likely to receive some kind of an active jail sentence upon conviction. Additionally, if their license is suspended because of a previous DUI, there is a special statute that deals with driving on a suspended license after having been convicted of a DUI. If this is the case, a Manassas DUI lawyer is imperative as this statute includes even tougher penalties than the usual driving while suspended.
When someone gets a DUI while driving on a suspended license it creates a different case than either charge would have independently. The two things together often have more serious consequences than either one of them alone would have. It depends a great deal on why the person’s license was suspended to determine how serious the charge is, but in every case, driving on a suspended license and committing a DUI at the same time incurs harsher penalties than either one of those things would have in isolation.
When someone’s license is suspended because of a DUI and they are charged with a subsequent DUI, in addition to facing the steep penalties that come with a second or subsequent DUI in Virginia, the person is also charged under a special statute which specifically prohibits driving on a suspended license after having been convicted of a DUI. The penalties available under that statute are significantly more severe and more serious than the penalties available under the general driving on suspended statute. Specifically, conviction triggers a one year loss of license with no possibility of getting a restricted license. In addition, this is a situation that is treated more seriously and more harshly by the prosecutors and judges.
In Manassas a DUI without a license is a traffic charge in addition to the DUI if the previous suspension is for something not related to a DUI. For example, one of the ways a person receives a license suspension in Virginia is to be convicted of a drug possession offense. A person can also have their license suspended because of a reckless driving offense or a number of other traffic or criminal offenses. Under these circumstances, it is simply an add-on charge to the DUI. However, if the person is suspended because of a previous DUI, it is a DUI-related charge. It is a separate charge, but it is something that is DUI-related and carries more serious consequences.
Having a previous DUI can definitely be an aggravating factor when being charged with a DUI without a license in Manassas. Anytime a person is charged with DUI, the court looks at previous charges. If a person has previous charges in their background that are related to DUI, it gives the appearance to the court that whatever punishment the person received on the previous charge was not sufficient to deter them from committing an additional charge. This is a situation where courts impose harsh penalties including active and sometimes significant jail time to deter or dissuade the accused from committing further similar offenses in the future. This is in addition to the mandatory minimum sentences required for second or subsequent DUIs.
If charged with a DUI without a license in Manassas, the unlicensed driving and the DUI are heard at the same time in court. If the matter proceeds to trial, the government presents evidence of both matters and the judge looks at them together when determining guilt or innocence and when determining punishment if the person is guilty of either or both offenses.
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