Revoked vs. Suspended License in Virginia

In Virginia, a driver’s license revocation or suspension can seriously affect various aspects of your life. The critical difference between a revoked and a suspended license in Virginia lies in the permanence of the action.

When your license is revoked, your driving privileges are completely terminated, while suspension temporarily restricts your ability to drive.

If you are facing a license revocation or suspension in Virginia, it is essential that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to learn about your rights and defenses against this serious action.

Revoked vs. Suspended License

Under Virginia law, a revoked license is the permanent termination of driving privileges, often due to serious offenses or habitual violations.

A suspended license is a temporary restriction, often imposed for specific violations or non-compliance with regulations.

What’s the Difference Between a Revoked and Suspended License?

Understanding the distinction between a license that’s revoked vs. suspended is essential, as these terms have significant implications for driving privileges and carry different collateral consequences.

A revoked license signifies a permanent and more severe penalty. It is typically imposed for severe offenses, such as multiple DUI convictions, reckless driving resulting in fatalities, or being declared a habitual offender due to a pattern of serious traffic violations.

When your license is revoked, your driving privileges are entirely terminated, and there is no fixed time frame for reinstatement.

To regain a revoked license, you must usually go through a rigorous process, which may involve legal proceedings, paying fines, completing rehabilitation programs, and proving that you are no longer a danger on the road.

A suspended license is a temporary restriction of your driving privileges. Suspension is often the result of specific violations or non-compliance with Virginia’s traffic laws and regulations, such as accumulating too many demerit points or missing court appearances.

\It is important to note that as of July 2019, Virginia law prohibits Virginia courts from suspending driving privileges solely for failure to pay court fines and costs.

However, the change does not apply to suspensions based on non-payment of tolls, failure to pay child support, or driving on a suspended license.

Unlike a revoked license, suspension has a defined duration, and once the suspension period concludes, you can typically apply for reinstatement. Reinstating a suspended license usually involves the following:

  • Paying any outstanding fines;
  • Completing required courses or programs; and
  • Possibly serving a suspension period without additional violations.

Suspensions are generally less severe than revocations and are designed to provide a path for drivers to rectify their behavior and regain full driving privileges.

What Does It Mean When Your Driver’s License Is Suspended or Revoked?

License suspensions and revocation can affect your ability to commute to work, school, or fulfill daily responsibilities, and it may lead to increased insurance premiums, fines, and legal issues.

To navigate these situations effectively, individuals facing license suspension or revocation in Virginia should consult with an attorney.

Contesting Driver’s License Suspension or Revocation in VA

Contesting a driver’s license suspension or revocation in Virginia is a complex legal process that requires careful adherence to Virginia’s strict motor vehicle rules.

However, contesting a driver’s license suspension is a crucial step in protecting your driving privileges and legal rights. It is important that you work with an attorney to understand the reason for the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.

Identifying and understanding the reason for the suspension or revocation is crucial to building a defense. Your attorney can also review all documents you received from the DMV or the court regarding your suspension or revocation.

These documents and notices generally contain critical information about the reasons, duration, and steps for contesting the action.

VA Driver’s License Suspension Hearings

Hearings for contested license suspensions play a pivotal role in determining whether a driver’s license suspension or revocation should be upheld or modified. These hearings are typically conducted by the VA DMV or, in some cases, a court.

If you request a hearing, a hearing officer or judge will examine the evidence, listen to arguments, and assess the merits of your case. The DMV conducts administrative hearings and usually pertain to issues like demerit point accumulations or DUI-related offenses.

Other cases may involve judicial hearings held in court, especially for more serious offenses like reckless driving or habitual offender status.

In these hearings, the burden of proof typically falls on the driver contesting the suspension. After evaluating the evidence and hearing arguments, the hearing officer or judge will make a decision.

If they find it in your favor, your license may be reinstated or the suspension period reduced. On the other hand, if they uphold the suspension or revocation, you must comply with any additional requirements or penalties.

In some cases, if the hearing outcome is unfavorable, you may have the option to appeal the decision to a higher authority or court.

Contested license suspension hearings in Virginia are difficult to win, and the best approach is to try to fight the charge itself to prevent a suspension or revocation in the first place.

Has Your Driver’s License Been Revoked or Suspended in Virginia?

If your VA driver’s license is in danger of being revoked or suspended based on a DUI or traffic violation, you should consult with an experienced traffic attorney before you go to court.

At the Virginia traffic violation law firm of Flusche & Fitzgerald, we have extensive, hands-on experience helping to fight charges that could revoke or suspend your license.

We command an in-depth understanding of the laws and administrative regulations that govern how the courts and VA DMV proceed against our clients.

To learn more about how we can help you, call us today. You can also connect with us through our secure online contact form.

Ryan Fitzgerald

I'm Ryan Fitzgerald; everyone calls me Fitz. I partnered with Andrew to form a focused defense team that is devoted to your needs. I have over 12 years of experience as a former prosecutor, so I know what the Commonwealth wants to see for negotiations and how to find the weak spots in their case. My experience ranges from reviewing all incoming DWIs to prepare other prosecutors for court, to training officers how to build their DWI cases, to successfully prosecuting a thirty-year cold case homicide. Your initial consultation with me is free; you'll talk directly with me about your case and how we can leverage my experience and connections to obtain the best possible result.

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