Drivers License Reinstatement
Under What Conditions Can My Driver’s License Be Suspended, Revoked or Disqualified?
The state of Virginia can suspend, revoke, or disqualify your driver’s license for a variety of offenses. The more obvious reason fora suspendeddriverslicenseinclude being convicted of DUI, reckless driving conviction, or too many demerit points on your driver’s license. Additional reasons include failure to pay court fines, court costs or jail fees, or failing to satisfy an outstanding judgement related to a motor vehicle accident.
There are also several legal offenses that are notdirectlyrelated toyourdrivingrecord, such as giving alcohol to a minor or intoxicated person or failure to pay child support. Additionally, failure to properly insure and maintain your vehicle, failure to pay the required uninsured motor vehicle fee, or failing to have valid license plates can also result in a suspended license.
REINSTATEMENT OF SUSPENDED LICENSES – DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY?
Depending on the circumstances involving the suspension, revocation, or disqualification of your license, there are various ways of getting your license reinstated. These requirements range from the simple, such as providing proof that you have paid court fees and costs, to the more complex, such as satisfying all the court-ordered requirements (such as serving jail time). Regardless of the reason for the suspension, the driver must always pay DMV a reinstatement fee — even if they are not licensed in Virginia — before they will be validly licensed again. For example, a Maryland driver gets a DWI in VA, the court will suspend his privilege to drive in Virginia, but will not take his Maryland license. At the end of the suspension time, he must still pay VA DMV the reinstatement fee, otherwise, he will still be suspended.
In simple cases involving only administrative-type requirements (paying fees or providing proof of insurance), you may not even need to go to court and therefore not require the services of an attorney.
More complex cases involving criminal charges such as reckless driving or DUI will almost certainly require the services of an attorney. While reckless driving that only involves speeding is often classified as a Class 1 Misdemeanor (which is a criminal charge), more serious violations of the traffic code, including DUI, can result in felony charges.
But even misdemeanors may require the services of an attorney, as some jurisdictions in Virginia will not allow you to plea bargain with legal representation. Withouttheabilitytoplea bargain on your own behalf, any sort of reasonable defense becomes virtually impossible. In many cases, plea-bargaining, in which your attorney negotiates with the prosecutor for lesser charges, is the strongest strategy available to the accused.
The prosecution always has the burden of proof, so it is their job to prove each element of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense has no burden. At trial, if the defense can successfully argue that there is reasonable doubt, then the verdict should be not guilty.
If you are unsure whether you need an attorney for your case, most attorneys offer free consultations, so it is definitely to your advantage to consult an attorney who specializes in your type of case.