Maintaining a driver’s license in good standing can be difficult if you have past traffic indiscretions. If you or a family member are concerned with maintaining a driver’s license, consider learning about the common causes of license suspension in Prince William County. A qualified traffic lawyer could examine the different factors surrounding your case and work to fight any alleged traffic violations. Call today and schedule an appointment to start discussing legal strategies that may be effective for your case.
While there may be multiple reasons for a license to be temporarily terminated, some of the most common causes of license suspension in Prince William County regard fines and driving under the influence of alcohol. Regardless of the reason, a person should examine their legal options with a reliable traffic attorney.
One of the most common causes for someone’s license or privilege to drive to become suspended in Virginia is due to non-payment of outstanding court fines or court costs from a different legal case. These expenses are typically due within 30 days after a case has concluded, and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicle (“DMV”) will administratively suspend a person’s privilege to drive for an indefinite period of time if payments are not received within that 30 day period.
The second most common cause for someone’s privilege to drive being suspended is that they were convicted of an offense, or put on some sort of probation or first offender program, under which the court ordered their privilege to drive to be suspended for a certain amount of time. For example, many drug offenses in Virginia, even for first-time offenses, require a person’s license to be suspended for at least six months, and most DUI offenses require a person’s license to be suspended for at least one year. Outside of those offenses, there are multiple other charges that carry a potential mandatory period of license suspensions or revocations for a number of months or years at a time.
Drivers whose licenses were suspended or revoked because of a DUI conviction have to fulfill a number of demanding obligations before they are eligible to have their license reinstated in Virginia. If a person requests a restricted license, they typically need to have an ignition interlock installed for at least six months without incident or may simply refrain from driving for that period of time and wait until the suspension has passed. Furthermore, a person generally needs to complete an Alcohol Safety and Abuse Class (known as “ASAP”).
Once a person has gone through all of these steps and has paid off all of their related court expenses (or scheduled them on a payment plan), they are typically eligible to pay a reinstatement fee to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicle (“DMV”) to be issued a new license. Depending on how long the person was without a valid license and the nature of the DUI conviction, the person may be required to retake the Virginia driving test, in addition to paying the reinstatement fee.
There are a number of technical ways that drivers may challenge their suspensions. This could range from disputing that they received adequate notice of their suspension to arguing that the Department of Motor Vehicle (“DMV”) or law enforcement has mistakenly calculated the duration of their license suspension. In a small amount of cases, the person might become suspended because another person falsely used their personal information when getting pulled over or convicted. Those false suspensions can also be challenged on the basis of identity.
Most drivers in Virginia do not seek to challenge or appeal their driving suspension other than in reaction to receiving a criminal charge for driving while suspended. However, there are limited means of challenging the validity of suspensions both in a court of law as well as in an administrative hearing with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicle (“DMV”).
It is important to realize that successfully avoiding a conviction for driving while suspended by disputing the validity of the suspension in court does not automatically result in the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and Virginia Law Enforcement correcting their state databases as to whether someone is still suspended after the case is over.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounded by your license suspension, it may be beneficial to increase your knowledge of the common causes of license suspension in Prince William County. If you or a family member had your license suspended, consider contacting an experienced lawyer who understands the impact of license suspensions. Reach out today and set up a time to review potential legal strategies.
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