Getting a Restricted License after a DUI Conviction
A Virginia restricted license attorney can be a valuable ally in the quest to restore your driving privileges after a DUI.
Many residents of northern Virginia rely on being able to drive their personal vehicles. Without abundant public transportation options, you need your car to get to work or school, buy groceries and household supplies, handle personal errands, etc. Without that freedom, handling the tasks of everyday life can become a challenge.
The Driver License Suspension Process
If you are arrested for DUI, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) automatically suspends your license. For a first DUI arrest, the suspension period is 7 days. For a second DUI, your license will be suspended for 60 days or until your trial, whichever comes first. Upon a third DUI arrest, the DMV suspends your license until your trial. But these administrative suspensions are only the beginning.
Upon conviction for a drunk driving charge, your driver license will be suspended for a longer period, as follows:
- First DUI Conviction – 1 Year Suspension
- Second DUI Conviction – 3 Year Suspension
- Third DUI Conviction – Indefinite Suspension
Virginia imposes longer suspensions than most other states because the Commonwealth takes a harsh stance on impaired driving. Likewise, if you are caught driving on a suspended license, you will face even harsher consequences.
Penalties for Driving on a Suspended License
In addition to conviction for DUI, you could have your license suspended for a variety of other reasons, including the following:
- Reckless driving,
- Aggressive driving,
- Drug offenses,
- Failure to pay child support,
- Violation of driver improvement probation, and
- Too many demerit points on your license.
After your license has been suspended, the temptation—or the need—to drive might become overwhelming. However, if you get caught driving on a suspended license, you will face a Class 1 misdemeanor charge. This charge carries penalties that include up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. In addition, your original license suspension period will double. If you are a repeat offender, you could face license revocation and have your vehicle impounded.
Fortunately, Virginia offers an alternative to the highly risky option of driving on a suspended license—a court-issued restricted license.
Applying for a Virginia Restricted Driver License
You can file a motion with the court requesting a restricted license. A judge will review your motion and either approve or deny your request. In some cases, the court will ask you to provide proof of why you need a restricted license.
You might not automatically be eligible for a restricted license, depending on the circumstances under which your license was suspended.
For example, you can apply for a restricted license immediately after your first DUI conviction. Upon a second DUI conviction, you are not eligible for a restricted license for four months, or if your second conviction was within five years of the first, you must wait for one year. For a third DUI conviction, you must wait three years before becoming eligible to apply.
What a Restricted License Allows
With a restricted license, you will be permitted to drive to work or school, to your court dates and court-mandated activities, and to have an ignition interlock device installed or removed. You will also be permitted to go grocery shopping, go to the bank, attend church, and drive to medical appointments. If you need to transport a minor child, elderly parent, or other household members for any reason, a restricted license also permits those activities.
If you have other pressing needs to drive, the court might also approve those if your motion provides the necessary support for your request.
How a Virginia Restricted License Attorney Can Help
You can file a petition for a restricted license yourself. However, consider having a Virginia restricted license lawyer from The Law Offices of Michael Pignone handle this onerous process for you. An experienced attorney understands how to craft the most compelling motion possible, helping to increase your chances of having the court approve your request.
We understand how to make the strongest possible case on your behalf and demonstrate to the judge all the reasons why it is necessary for you to be granted driving privileges. We take the time to understand your needs and explain your options. We answer your questions and help you make the right decision for you.
Consulting a Virginia restricted license lawyer as soon as possible after a DUI could even help you avoid suspension in the first place. Our experienced legal team can potentially get your drunk driving charges dismissed or reduced, helping you avoid a lengthy suspension and the threat of jail and expensive fines.
Contact a Virginia Restricted License Attorney Today for Help
Our legal team understands how vital the freedom to drive can be. Our skilled Virginia restricted license lawyer will work closely with you to prepare a petition that makes a sincere and compelling argument for a restricted license. With more than 10 years of experience, our lawyer Michael Pignone can assist you no matter why your license was suspended.
We offer a free consultation and case analysis, so we can help you explore all your options. We provide a highly personal and customized level of service with excellent communication, so you always know where we are with your case. We work tirelessly to protect your legal rights and help you put your legal challenges behind you. We handle every aspect of your case, and we will be by your side throughout the legal process.
Our experienced legal practitioner also handles other types of cases, including:
You do not have to face these challenges alone. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with an experienced Virginia restricted license lawyer.