I got pulled over for speeding but the officer saw I had a restricted license. I wasn’t supposed to be driving – what will happen to me?
You’ve been charged with a violation of Virginia Code 18.2-272. For most people, this means you were convicted of a DWI, asked the judge for a restricted license, then were caught driving for some other purpose, at some other time, or with a blood alcohol level of 0.02%.
The law is tougher on those who get a DUI, ask a judge for a restricted license, and then do not obey the restricted license. A first offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor with a maximum year in jail and $2500 fine though few have ever “gotten the max.”
Newport News can be unusually tough on those convicted. Many people are sentenced to 60 days of misdemeanor time so they have to serve 30 actual days in jail! That’s 15 weekends for a first offense! When you consider that a second DUI in less than 5 years only calls for a mandatory minimum of 20 days, you see how tough a sentence this can be. (Click here for the difference between mandatory and misdemeanor time in Virginia.)
I was charged with a felony for just driving to the store. A felony! How can this happen?
A third offense is a Class 6 felony! That’s imprisonment for 1 to 5 years, or jail for not more than 12 months, and up to a $2,500 fine. Judges typically get tough on a third offense. The parallel statute for driving with a revoked or suspended license carries a mandatory 10 day jail sentence so expect some jail time and a felony on your record unless your attorney can reduce it.
What happens to my license?
Your license is revoked, not just suspended.
When does the 0.02% blood alcohol limit apply?
IF your license was suspended for involuntary manslaughter, DWI Maiming, drunk driving, refusal, or commercial DWI, then you can be convicted of another Class 1 misdemeanor (up to a year in jail, $2500 fine) for having a BAC at or above 0.02% even though the “legal limit” is 0.08%.
What the law says:
§ 18.2-272. Driving after forfeiture of license
A. Any person who drives or operates any motor vehicle, engine or train in the Commonwealth during the time for which he was deprived of the right to do so (i) upon conviction of a violation of § 18.2-268.3 or of an offense set forth in subsection E of § 18.2-270, (ii) by § 18.2-271 or 46.2-391.2, (iii) after his license has been revoked pursuant to § 46.2-389 or 46.2-391, or (iv) in violation of the terms of a restricted license issued pursuant to subsection E of § 18.2-271.1, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor except as otherwise provided in § 46.2-391, and is subject to administrative revocation of his driver’s license pursuant to §§ 46.2-389 and 46.2-391. Any person convicted of three violations of this section committed within a 10-year period is guilty of a Class 6 felony.
Nothing in this section or § 18.2-266, 18.2-270 or 18.2-271, shall be construed as conflicting with or repealing any ordinance or resolution of any city, town or county which restricts still further the right of such persons to drive or operate any such vehicle or conveyance.
B. Regardless of compliance with any other restrictions on his privilege to drive or operate a motor vehicle, it shall be a violation of this section for any person whose privilege to drive or operate a motor vehicle has been restricted, suspended or revoked because of a violation of § 18.2-36.1, 18.2-51.4, 18.2-266, 18.2-268.3, 46.2-341.24, or a similar ordinance or law of another state or the United States to drive or operate a motor vehicle while he has a blood alcohol content of 0.02 percent or more.
Any person suspected of a violation of this subsection shall be entitled to a preliminary breath test in accordance with the provisions of § 18.2-267, shall be deemed to have given his implied consent to have samples of his blood, breath or both taken for analysis pursuant to the provisions of § 18.2-268.2, and, when charged with a violation of this subsection, shall be subject to the provisions of §§ 18.2-268.1 through 18.2-268.12.
C. Any person who drives or operates a motor vehicle without a certified ignition interlock system as required by § 46.2-391.01 is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor and is subject to administrative revocation of his driver’s license pursuant to §§ 46.2-389 and 46.2-391.