Fight Driving on Revoked Under Va Code 18.2-272
If you’re accused of violating Virginia Code 18.2-272, you should be aware that this is a Class 1 misdemeanor, and you are facing a real likelihood of jail if you are found guilty.
This statute covers violations of driving while your license is suspended for a DUI charge, essentially. This is considered very serious by the court because the court told you not to drive as a punishment for DUI, and now you’re accused of driving without permission or outside your restricted license. To see what exactly you’re faced with, let’s first look at the actual Virginia Code of 18.2-272:
Driving after forfeiture of 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or of an offense set forth in subsection E of § 18.2-270, (ii) by § 18.2-271 or 46.2-391.2, (iii) after his license has been revoked pursuant to § 46.2-389 or 46.2-391, or (iv) in violation of the terms of a restricted license issued pursuant to subsection E of § 18.2-271.1, is guilty of a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 § 18.2-266, 18.2-270 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 § 18.2-36.1, 18.2-51.4, 18.2-266, 18.2-268.3, 46.2-341.24, 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.
The first and most important defense for a charge of 18.2-272 is to see if first of all, you actually were driving. If you were not driving the vehicle, we wouldn’t have an offense. However, this statute is unlike the regular common law suspended statute. For a regular driving on a suspended license offense under 46.2-301, you have to “driving” the vehicle. But under 18.2-272, you are guilty if you’re “operating” the vehicle, which could just mean using the radio.
Another issue to examine is whether you were still suspended. Clerical errors do happen. DMV errors do happen. It may be possible that the officer, made an error and thought you were suspended, but you weren’t in fact still suspended at the time they are charging you.
The typical main defense, in this kind of a case under 18.2-272, is whether or not you were still suspended for DUI. In most courts, the way they interpret this statute, in order to be guilty, you have to still be under the time period for which you are suspended for a DUI conviction. For a first offense for DUI, that’s one year. For a second offense, that’s three years. If you are driving during that time period, then it would probably be an 18.2-272 violation. However, if you’re driving after that time period and you’re still suspended from something like the reinstatement fee, it would really be a violation of 46.2-301.
What punishment are you facing for 18.2-272?
As I mentioned at the top of this article, the problem is that a lot of courts will give actual jail time for a violation of this statute. They take is seriously, even more more seriously than a violation of 46.2-301.
In my local courts around Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Stafford, King George, and Caroline, a lot of judges will consider giving 15-20 active days of jail for a Va code 18.2-272 violation.
In addition to the possibility of jail, if you’re find guilty of this violation, even for a first offense, the law requires that your license is suspended for another full year. The problem is that for this suspension, there is no restricted license allowed. So, let’s say you had a first offense DUI, and you drove outside of your restriction, or you did not get a restricted license, so now you still have the remainder of that full year suspension. Then if you’re found guilty of 18.2-272, you now have an additional year of suspension with NO restricted license allowed.
What can you do about it?
The most important thing for you to do in this kind of a case, is to contact me immediately so we can discuss what happened. I’d love to discuss the facts of your case, what your previous DUI was, and see what defenses we might have in your case to try to fight the charge completely, or at least try to mitigate the damage.
Photo by: Terry Chapman No-one turned up 4