Virginia laws such as §46.2-300 make it perfectly clear that a person must have a driver’s license to operate a vehicle on the Virginia roads. Some drivers may know that information as common knowledge, while others may be surprised to receive a ticket. A person must go through the proper procedures after moving to Virginia from another state or country. The person must eventually possess a Virginia driver’s license, or the police officer can issue him or her a citation. Many people do not realize Virginia’s strict driver license laws until someone pulls them over for a simple incident such as a dim or broken headlight.
Driving Without a License in Virginia
Driving without a license is a criminal offense in Virginia. The authorities classify the crime as a misdemeanor, which means that the offending party can end up in jail. The person may have to pay fines, as well. Such an offense can be detrimental to various parts of that person’s life. The person may have difficulty securing a job or getting an apartment because a charge will come up. An accused person will want to contact a criminal law attorney to avoid getting a conviction for driving without a license in Virginia. An attorney can help in several ways. He or she can get the charge dismissed or changed to something less severe. Alternatively, an attorney can request that a judge enforce minimum punishment or alternative punishment for a convicted person.
Situations That Do Not Require a Virginia Driver’s License
Some situations and persons in Virginia do not require a driver’s license. For example, a person does not need a driver’s license if he or she is driving farm equipment. Other situations that do not require a driver’s license include:
- Military personnel who are driver military vehicles
- New residents of Virginia
- Licensed people who visit from other states
Penalties for Driving Without a License in Virginia
Driving without a license in Virginia can bring forth many negative penalties. The authorities consider the crime a Class 2 felony. A person can get up to six months in jail for committing a Class 2 felony. The charging party may issue a fine of up to $1,000, as well. A second offense could result in as much as one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Another detrimental effect that driving without a license may have on a person is that his or her license may be suspended for up to one year.
Defenses for Driving Without a License
An attorney can help a client to use several defenses for driving without a license in Virginia. One defense that a driver can use is that he or she was not a resident of Virginia when the officer made an arrest. Residency is not immediate for certain people, and it does not begin the first day someone moves to Virginia. A new resident does not become a Virginia resident for at least 60 days. The 60 days is called the amnesty period. An attorney can help the driver to express the amnesty defense.
Contact Us For Assistance
If you have been charged with driving without a license in Virginia – contact The Brown Firm PLLC immediately. Our experienced traffic defense attorneys are ready to pursue all possible legal avenues in order to have your charge mitigated so that you receive the best result possible. We offer free initial in-person or phone consultations so that you can make the best decision moving forward. Call us or send us a message online to set up your free initial consultation today.