Driving on Suspended Secret: There may be Problems with the Prior Offenses

If you’re charged with driving on suspended second or subsequent offense one of the most important jobs we have is to look into all the prior offenses that the Commonwealth claims you have. The driving record from DMV just shows the synopsis of the case and what you are found guilty of. However, records can be wrong and they are in many cases.

One of the first things we do when we get your driving record for a driving on suspended charge is to look for any prior driving on suspended convictions. For every single one, we will do our absolute best to get the actual paperwork from the court to show what happened in the case. Also, we’ll get paperwork from the court to see if you had an attorney or if you waived your right to an attorney.

Once we see that paperwork, I’ll check to make sure it’s in order. Sometimes you weren’t actually found guilty of anything. Sometimes the judge hasn’t signed the form or maybe the box wasn’t checked to say “I find you guilty.”

Another big issue when analyzing the priors is that if you were given any kind of jail time, you have to either have an attorney or have waived your right to an attorney. Waiving your right to an attorney doesn’t just mean there wasn’t an attorney present. It means that knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waived your right to an attorney. A proper waiver is one of the other issues that we look at if were you given any kind of jail time.

I can’t say that in every case we’re going to find issues with the prior offenses. But I can say that in at least in a good number of cases that prior offense documentation can be very helpful. It frankly disturbs and disgusts me that some attorneys don’t get those priors. I think that’s a lazy way to practice law, and it’s hurting the clients in the end.

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Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

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