Below, a Prince William County traffic lawyer discusses unlicensed driving charges in Virginia and what happens if you can’t present your license when pulled over by law enforcement. For more information regarding your case call and schedule a consultation with an attorney.
Driving without a license in Virginia is illegal and Virginia law says that any person who drives their vehicle on any highway in Virginia before having applied for a driver’s license, passed the exam, and obtained a valid driver’s license is guilty of a misdemeanor.
Violation of that section is a class 2 misdemeanor, but a second or subsequent violation of that section is a class 1 misdemeanor. If a person is convicted of that charge, the court may suspend their privilege to drive for a period of up to ninety days.
What someone should expect from this kind of case is that their matter will be heard in the Prince William County General District Court and that that is where the case will be tried, or a plea agreement entered if appropriate. They should anticipate that it will be treated seriously and that there is a potential for jail time, as well as license suspension if they are convicted.
Under Virginia law, the operator of any motor vehicle, including a trailer or semi, which is being operated on the highways in Virginia has to have in their possession a valid driver’s license, learner’s permit, or temporary driver’s permit. The owner or operator of that motor vehicle, trailer, or semi has to stop on the signal of any law enforcement in uniform who shows them their badge of authority or other sign and then on the officer’s request is required to show their driver’s license, learner’s permit, or temporary driver’s permit and write his name in the presence of the officer for the purpose of establishing his identity.
Every person who is licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles as a driver, or issued a learner’s or temporary driver’s permit, who fails to carry their license or permit is guilty of a traffic infraction and upon conviction is punished by a fine of $10. However, if the person summoned to appear before the court fails to display their license permit or registration card before the date of the return of the summons to the court, a license or permit issued to them prior to the time the summons was issued as the case may be, or appears pursuant to the summons and produces before the court the license or permit issued to him prior to the time the summons was issued, upon the payment of their court cost, the case will be dismissed as complied with.
This is a traffic infraction level offense, what someone should expect from this kind of case is that if they wish to have a trial it will be in the Prince William County General District Court. However, this is low level traffic infraction and it can be prepaid.
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