Driving on Suspended Secret: You Must be Operating a Motor Vehicle

To be guilty of the regular version of driving on suspended in Virginia, the Commonwealth has to prove that you are driving what the law calls a “motor vehicle.” Now this is not just a car. A motor vehicle does have a broader definition than that, and this is where we may have some wiggle room.

For a regular driving on suspended case, typically what they have to prove is that you were driving basically a car or a motorcycle. Mopeds are where the cases get tricky.

The law has very specific requirements on what exactly a moped is. The key point is that if you operate a moped faster than 35 miles an hour at any point, by law it magically becomes a motorcycle. If an officer sees you driving along on what you think is a moped, and he clocks with his radar going 36 miles an hour, he can pull you over. He’ll likely ticket you for not having a valid registration, no inspection, and if your license is suspended, for driving on a suspended license.

It gets even more complicated if your license is suspended for a DWI. In that case, you can’t operate ANY engine anywhere. However, for driving on suspended situation from regular driving on suspended, you can operate other engines. That means you’d be allowed to drive a riding lawn mower or ride a proper moped (under 35 mph).

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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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