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The Wilson Law Firm

Driving Outside a Restricted License in Virginia

Under Virginia law, operating or driving a motor vehicle in Virginia in violation of the terms of your restricted license is a Class 1 misdemeanor criminal offense punishable up to 1 year jail and up to a $2,500 fine.  A third offense committed within a 10 year period is a Class 6 felony.  Generally, for a first driving outside of your restricted license conviction, the DMV will revoke your license for one year, whereas for a second or later conviction within a ten year period, the DMV will revoke your license for 3 years.

Typically, this charge arises from a restricted license issued after a driving under the influence of alcohol conviction and license suspension.  Consequently, violating the terms of your restricted license may also constitute a probation violation that possibly triggers exposure to previously suspended fines and jail time.

Under Virginia Code §18.2-271.1, following your original driving under the influence (DUI) conviction and license suspension, the court, for good cause shown, may have authorized issuance of a restricted operator's license for any of the following limited purposes:

For travel to and from the following: 

i. Place of Employment;

ii. Alcohol rehabilitation and safety program;

iii. During hours of employment, if operation of motor vehicle is a necessary incident of such employment;

iv. School, if student;

v. Health care services, including medically necessary transportation of elderly parent

vi. School, daycare and medical facilities where travel is necessary to transport minor child;

vii. Court ordered visitation with your child;

viii. Court appearances where you are party or a subpoenaed witness, meetings with probation officer, and programs required under court order or probation;

ix. Certain drug programs;

x. Place of religious worship one day per week at a specified time;

xi. Jail. 

Normally, the court issues an order specifically enumerating your driving restrictions imposed, provides a copy to you, and advises you that you shall carry a copy of the order at all times while operating a motor vehicle.  In those circumstances, we urge our clients always to carry a copy of the order when operating a vehicle, to strictly comply with the prescribed driving restrictions, and to always assume that they will be stopped by an officer who will need written proof as to their authorized driving purpose, place and time.

§ 18.2-272. Driving after forfeiture of license or Outside Restricted 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 § 18.2-26618.2-270 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 § 18.2-36.118.2-51.418.2-26618.2-268.346.2-341.24, 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.

A Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

If you've been charged with driving outside a restricted license or after forfeiture of license, don't make the common mistake of trying to go it without an experienced Virginia criminal defense attorney.  You need an aggressive and knowledgeable Virginia attorney who will fight for your rights and, where appropriate, negotiate a favorable outcome. Let us be your legal advocate.

If saving your driver's license, limiting fines, and avoiding or minimizing a jail sentence are important to you, call The Wilson Law Firm at 703-361-6100 or toll free at 1-888-384-5997 for a free, no obligation consultation. Also, visit our website and download your FREE copy of DUI/DWI Arrest Survival Guide - The Guilt Myth, written by attorney T. Kevin Wilson.

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