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What are the Suspended License Statutes?

What are the Suspended License Statutes?

I. 46.2-301. Driving while license, permit, or privilege to drive suspended or revoked

A. In addition to any other penalty provided by this section, any motor vehicle administratively impounded or immobilized under the provisions of § 46.2-301.1 may, in the discretion of the court, be impounded or immobilized for an additional period of up to 90 days upon conviction of an offender for driving while his driver’s license, learner’s permit, or privilege to drive a motor vehicle has been suspended or revoked for (i) a violation of § 18.2-36.1, 18.2-51.4, 18.2-266, 18.2-272, or 46.2-341.24 or a substantially similar ordinance or law in any other jurisdiction or (ii) driving after adjudication as an habitual offender, where such adjudication was based in whole or in part on an alcohol-related offense, or where such person’s license has been administratively suspended under the provisions of § 46.2-391.2. However, if, at the time of the violation, the offender was driving a motor vehicle owned by another person, the court shall have no jurisdiction over such motor vehicle but may order the impoundment or immobilization of a motor vehicle owned solely by the offender at the time of arrest. All costs of impoundment or immobilization, including removal or storage expenses, shall be paid by the offender prior to the release of his motor vehicle.

B. Except as provided in §§ 46.2-304 and 46.2-357, no resident or nonresident (i) whose driver’s license, learner’s permit, or privilege to drive a motor vehicle has been suspended or revoked or (ii) who has been directed not to drive by any court or by the Commissioner, or (iii) who has been forbidden, as prescribed by operation of any statute of the Commonwealth or a substantially similar ordinance of any county, city or town, to operate a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth shall thereafter drive any motor vehicle or any self-propelled machinery or equipment on any highway in the Commonwealth until the period of such suspension or revocation has terminated or the privilege has been reinstated or a restricted license is issued pursuant to subsection E. A clerk’s notice of suspension of license for failure to pay fines or costs given in accordance with § 46.2-395 shall be sufficient notice for the purpose of maintaining a conviction under this section. For the purposes of this section, the phrase “motor vehicle or any self-propelled machinery or equipment” shall not include mopeds.

C. A violation of subsection B is a Class 1 misdemeanor. A third or subsequent offense occurring within a 10-year period shall include a mandatory minimum term of confinement in jail of 10 days. However, the court shall not be required to impose a mandatory minimum term of confinement in any case where a motor vehicle is operated in violation of this section in a situation of apparent extreme emergency which requires such operation to save life or limb.

D. Upon a violation of subsection B, the court shall suspend the person’s license or privilege to drive a motor vehicle for the same period for which it had been previously suspended or revoked. In the event the person violated subsection B by driving during a period of suspension or revocation which was not for a definite period of time, the court shall suspend the person’s license, permit or privilege to drive for an additional period not to exceed 90 days, to commence upon the expiration of the previous suspension or revocation or to commence immediately if the previous suspension or revocation has expired.

E. Any person who is otherwise eligible for a restricted license may petition each court that suspended his license pursuant to subsection D for authorization for a restricted license, provided that the period of time for which the license was suspended by the court pursuant to subsection D, if measured from the date of conviction, has expired, even though the suspension itself has not expired. A court may, for good cause shown, authorize the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue a restricted license for any of the purposes set forth in subsection E of § 18.2-271.1. No restricted license shall be issued unless each court that issued a suspension of the person’s license pursuant to subsection D authorizes the Department to issue a restricted license. Any restricted license issued pursuant to this subsection shall be in effect until the expiration of any and all suspensions issued pursuant to subsection D, except that it shall automatically terminate upon the expiration, cancellation, suspension, or revocation of the person’s license or privilege to drive for any other cause. No restricted license issued pursuant to this subsection shall permit a person to operate a commercial motor vehicle as defined in the Commercial Driver’s License Act (§ 46.2-341.1 et seq.). The court shall forward to the Commissioner a copy of its authorization entered pursuant to this subsection, which shall specifically enumerate the restrictions imposed and contain such information regarding the person to whom such a license is issued as is reasonably necessary to identify the person. The court shall also provide a copy of its authorization to the person, who may not operate a motor vehicle until receipt from the Commissioner of a restricted license. A copy of the restricted license issued by the Commissioner shall be carried at all times while operating a motor vehicle.

F. Any person who operates a motor vehicle or any self-propelled machinery or equipment in violation of the terms of a restricted license issued pursuant to subsection E of § 18.2-271.1 is not guilty of a violation of this section but is guilty of a violation of § 18.2-272.

II.  § 46.2-301.1. Administrative impoundment of motor vehicle for certain driving while license suspended or revoked offenses; judicial impoundment upon conviction; penalty for permitting violation with one’s vehicle

A. The motor vehicle being driven by any person (i) whose driver’s license, learner’s permit or privilege to drive a motor vehicle has been suspended or revoked for a violation of § 18.2-51.4 or 18.2-272 or driving while under the influence in violation of § 18.2-266, 46.2-341.24 or a substantially similar ordinance or law in any other jurisdiction; (ii) driving after adjudication as an habitual offender, where such adjudication was based in whole or in part on an alcohol-related offense, or where such person’s license has been administratively suspended under the provisions of § 46.2-391.2; (iii) driving after such person’s driver’s license, learner’s permit or privilege to drive a motor vehicle has been suspended or revoked for unreasonable refusal of tests in violation of § 18.2-268.3, 46.2-341.26:3 or a substantially similar ordinance or law in any other jurisdiction; or (iv) driving without an operator’s license in violation of § 46.2-300 having been previously convicted of such offense or a substantially similar ordinance of any county, city, or town or law in any other jurisdiction shall be impounded or immobilized by the arresting law-enforcement officer at the time the person is arrested for driving after his driver’s license, learner’s permit or privilege to drive has been so revoked or suspended or for driving without an operator’s license in violation of § 46.2-300 having been previously convicted of such offense or a substantially similar ordinance of any county, city, or town or law in any other jurisdiction. The impoundment or immobilization for a violation of clauses (i) through (iii) shall be for a period of 30 days. The period of impoundment or immobilization for a violation of clause (iv) shall be until the offender obtains a valid operator’s license pursuant to § 46.2-300 or three days, whichever is less. In the event that the offender obtains a valid operator’s license at any time during the three-day impoundment period and presents such license to the court, the court shall authorize the release of the vehicle upon payment of all reasonable costs of impoundment or immobilization to the person holding the vehicle.

The provisions of this section as to the offense described in clause (iv) of this subsection shall not apply to a person who drives a motor vehicle with no operator’s license (i) whose license has been expired for less than one year prior to the offense or (ii) who is under 18 years of age at the time of the offense. The arresting officer, acting on behalf of the Commonwealth, shall serve notice of the impoundment upon the arrested person. The notice shall include information on the person’s right to petition for review of the impoundment pursuant to subsection B. A copy of the notice of impoundment shall be delivered to the magistrate and thereafter promptly forwarded to the clerk of the general district court of the jurisdiction where the arrest was made. Transmission of the notice may be by electronic means.

At least five days prior to the expiration of the period of impoundment imposed pursuant to this section or § 46.2-301, the clerk shall provide the offender with information on the location of the motor vehicle and how and when the vehicle will be released; however, for a violation of clause (iv) above, such information shall be provided at the time of arrest.

All reasonable costs of impoundment or immobilization, including removal and storage expenses, shall be paid by the offender prior to the release of his motor vehicle. Notwithstanding the above, where the arresting law-enforcement officer discovers that the vehicle was being rented or leased from a vehicle renting or leasing company, the officer shall not impound the vehicle or continue the impoundment but shall notify the rental or leasing company that the vehicle is available for pickup and shall notify the clerk if the clerk has previously been notified of the impoundment.

B. Any driver who is the owner of the motor vehicle that is impounded or immobilized under subsection A may, during the period of the impoundment, petition the general district court of the jurisdiction in which the arrest was made to review that impoundment. The court shall review the impoundment within the same time period as the court hears an appeal from an order denying bail or fixing terms of bail or terms of recognizance, giving this matter precedence over all other matters on its docket. If the person proves to the court by a preponderance of the evidence that the arresting law-enforcement officer did not have probable cause for the arrest, or that the magistrate did not have probable cause to issue the warrant, the court shall rescind the impoundment. Upon rescission, the motor vehicle shall be released and the Commonwealth shall pay or reimburse the person for all reasonable costs of impoundment or immobilization, including removal or storage costs paid or incurred by him. Otherwise, the court shall affirm the impoundment. If the person requesting the review fails to appear without just cause, his right to review shall be waived.

The court’s findings are without prejudice to the person contesting the impoundment or to any other potential party as to any proceedings, civil or criminal, and shall not be evidence in any proceedings, civil or criminal.

C. The owner or co-owner of any motor vehicle impounded or immobilized under subsection A who was not the driver at the time of the violation may petition the general district court in the jurisdiction where the violation occurred for the release of his motor vehicle. The motor vehicle shall be released if the owner or co-owner proves by a preponderance of the evidence that he (i) did not know that the offender’s driver’s license was suspended or revoked when he authorized the offender to drive such motor vehicle; (ii) did not know that the offender had no operator’s license and that the operator had been previously convicted of driving a motor vehicle without an operator’s license in violation of § 46.2-300 or a substantially similar ordinance of any county, city, or town or law in any other jurisdiction when he authorized the offender to drive such motor vehicle; or (iii) did not consent to the operation of the motor vehicle by the offender. If the owner proves by a preponderance of the evidence that his immediate family has only one motor vehicle and will suffer a substantial hardship if that motor vehicle is impounded or immobilized for the period of impoundment that otherwise would be imposed pursuant to this section, the court, in its discretion, may release the vehicle after some period of less than such impoundment period.

D. Notwithstanding any provision of this section, a subsequent dismissal or acquittal of the charge of driving without an operator’s license or of driving on a suspended or revoked license shall result in an immediate rescission of the impoundment or immobilization provided in subsection A. Upon rescission, the motor vehicle shall be released and the Commonwealth shall pay or reimburse the person for all reasonable costs of impoundment or immobilization, including removal or storage costs, incurred or paid by him.

E. Any person who knowingly authorizes the operation of a motor vehicle by (i) a person he knows has had his driver’s license, learner’s permit or privilege to drive a motor vehicle suspended or revoked for any of the reasons set forth in subsection A or (ii) a person who he knows has no operator’s license and who he knows has been previously convicted of driving a motor vehicle without an operator’s license in violation of § 46.2-300 or a substantially similar ordinance of any county, city, or town or law in any other jurisdiction shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

F. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section or § 46.2-301, nothing in this section shall impede or infringe upon a valid lienholder’s rights to cure a default under an existing security agreement. Furthermore, such lienholder shall not be liable for any cost of impoundment or immobilization, including removal or storage expenses which may accrue pursuant to the provisions of this section or § 46.2-301. In the event a lienholder repossesses or removes a vehicle from storage pursuant to an existing security agreement, the Commonwealth shall pay all reasonable costs of impoundment or immobilization, including removal and storage expenses, to any person or entity providing such services to the Commonwealth, except to the extent such costs or expenses have already been paid by the offender to such person or entity. Such payment shall be made within seven calendar days after a request is made by such person or entity to the Commonwealth for payment. Nothing herein, however, shall relieve the offender from liability to the Commonwealth for reimbursement or payment of all such reasonable costs and expenses.

III. § 46.2-302. Driving while restoration of license is contingent on furnishing proof of financial responsibility

No resident or nonresident (i) whose driver’s license or learner’s permit has been suspended or revoked by any court or by the Commissioner or by operation of law, pursuant to the provisions of this title or of § 18.2-271, or who has been disqualified pursuant to the provisions of the Virginia Commercial Driver’s License Act (§ 46.2-341.1 et seq.), or (ii) who has been forbidden as prescribed by law by the Commissioner, the State Corporation Commission, the Commissioner of Highways, or the Superintendent of State Police, to drive a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth shall drive any motor vehicle in the Commonwealth during any period wherein the restoration of license or privilege is contingent upon the furnishing of proof of financial responsibility, unless he has given proof of financial responsibility in the manner provided in Article 15 (§ 46.2-435 et seq.) of Chapter 3 of this title. Any person who drives a motor vehicle on the roads of the Commonwealth and has furnished proof of financial responsibility but who has failed to pay a reinstatement fee, shall be tried under § 46.2-300.

A first offense violation of this section shall constitute a Class 2 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent violation of this section shall constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor.




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