Restricted Licenses for Fairfax DWI
If convicted of a Fairfax DWI, the judge may suspend the defendant’s license for at least 12 months. Even if the offender resides in another state, the judge has the power to suspend their “privilege to drive in Virginia,” leaving it up to the individual’s home state to determine how to handle the conviction from the Commonwealth. It is also possible that those found guilty of any Fairfax reckless driving charges could result in the total loss of one’s license. Likewise, any consequent drug conviction will have the same impact.
Because of the significant impact that Fairfax DWI penalties could have on one’s life, experienced defense attorneys make it their mission to help the offender receive a restricted license so that they may attend court dates and required programming. A restricted license in Virginia allows a person whose license is suspended for either a DWI, Reckless Driving, or Drug Conviction to still drive for certain limited purposes. Drivers using a restricted license are able to drive to:
3) ASAP and ASAP required activities
5) Medical appointments (for yourself, elderly parent, household members, and children)
6) Your children’s school
7) Your children’s daycare
Applying for a Restricted License in Fairfax
In Fairfax, the process for obtaining a restricted license is simple especially if it is applied for while the offender is in court for their underlying case. The first step is to work with a skilled Virginia DWI attorney to complete the two page application. It is likely that the individual will need to specify their address, as well as the addresses for all of the locations they intend to travel and the specific times they wish to drive. Timing is a crucial factor in Fairfax DWI cases–judges are more reluctant to approve restricted license applications that are too broad and not specific enough. Likewise, an application that only requests very narrow driving hours may also limit its usefulness.
After successfully completing the application with assistance from legal counsel, the document is then presented to a judge. If the application is being filed after the court date, the offender will be required to obtain a copy of their current driving record and compliance summary from the DMV. (Fairfax City Town Hall has a DMV convenient to the courthouse where these documents can easily be obtained.) Once the judge reviews the presented documents, they will make a final decision and sign it before handing a copy of the application over to the clerk’s office. In Fairfax County General District Court, a restricted license can be obtained as early as later that same day. This is not the case in Fairfax Circuit Court and many another jurisdictions across Northern Virginia where delays are common. While there is no fee for a restricted license, the offender must pay all associated fines and court costs before the clerk will issue a restricted license.
Restricted License Green Sheet
Typically, a restricted license in Fairfax comes in the form of a “green sheet,” which is a piece of paper that lists all of the offender’s driving restrictions including the times and places they are permitted to travel to. Because of that, it is essential that individuals check the form for accuracy before leaving the clerk’s window to ensure that all necessary changes are made. The green sheet will also provide important information regarding the next steps one must take in the DWI process.
Subsequent Steps for Fairfax DWI
If one was ordered info a Fairfax ASAP program, that person must have a staff member sign their green sheet within 15 days. Additionally, the offender must go to the DMV and get a new plastic license, which can only be obtained between 30 and 60 days after receiving the green sheet. If 60 days pass without receiving the plastic license, one must reapply for another restricted license and start the process from the very beginning.
Virginia Restricted License Law
According to Virginia state law, offenders carrying a restricted license must have their green sheet on them at all times and only operate a motor vehicle in specific times and places. Social driving is now allowed for any reason–one can’t even go to the grocery store, gym, or a fast-food drive-thru. Individuals must also complete the ASAP program and DMV aspects addressed in a timely manner. You must carry your green sheet with you at all times. Lastly, offenders are prohibited from having any alcohol on their breath while driving whatsoever. The legal limit for persons driving with a restricted license in Virginia is a BAC of .02, much lower than the .08 that normally applies. And as a .02 BAC is generally less than one beer for most people, it is essential that those with a restricted license avoid driving if drinking alcohol to avoid additional charges.
Unlawful Driving With a Restricted License in Virginia
Persons caught driving in violation of a court-ordered suspension may be charged under 18.2-272, making it increasingly important that the offender retains an experienced Fairfax DWI attorney. Although that law applies only to restricted license suspensions, the punishments are much more severe than for any other type of driving on suspended charge in Fairfax. While the court may not issue harsh penalties, the DMV certainly will.
For a violation of 18.2-272 (Driving after forfeiture of license) the DMV will suspend an offender’s license for at least 12 months, in addition to the previous 12 month suspension. During this time, the individual will lose their old restricted license and be prohibited from receiving a new one or driving anywhere, for any reason for the next year. As experienced legal counsel can be the difference in keeping or losing one’s license for an extended period of time, it is vital that those accused of any type of DWI charge in Fairfax retain skilled lawyers immediately to avoid receiving the harshest punishments.