Restricted Licenses for Reckless Driving in Virginia
While it is rare, in certain cases of very high speeds or horrendous driving records, a judge may suspend a person’s license for up to six months in the event of a Virginia reckless driving conviction. However, often times a judge will authorize a person to get a restricted license while their full driving privileges are suspended for this type of motor vehicle violation.
According to state law, a restricted license allows a person whose license is suspended to drive for certain limited purposes. Drivers using a restricted license are able to drive to:
3) Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) and ASAP-required activities
4) Medical appointments (for yourself, elderly parent, household members and children)
5) Your children’s school
6) Your children’s daycare
8) Church or other house of worship
Applying for a Restricted License in Fairfax
The process for obtaining a restricted license is easy in Fairfax, especially if it is done while one is still in court for their underlying case. While it is always a good idea to work with a knowledgeable Virginia defense attorney to fill out the two-page application, the document almost certainly will ask the person to list their address, the addresses for all the locations they wish to travel, and at what times they want to drive. As judges are hesitant to approve restricted license applications that are too broad, timing is a crucial factor in this process. Likewise, an applicant that only requests limited driving hours may not be useful either.
Once the application is completed, it is presented to a judge for review. If the document is filed after the offender’s court date, they will need 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 be easily obtained.) As soon as the judge puts his or her stamp of approval, a copy of the application will be sent to the clerk’s office. In Fairfax County General District Court, a restricted license can sometimes be obtained later that day. This is not the case in Fairfax Circuit Court however, and in many other jurisdictions that are more prone to delay. Although there is no fee for the restricted license, the individual must pay all the other associated fines and court costs before the clerk will issue it.
The restricted license comes in the form of a “green sheet,” which is a piece of paper that outlines all of the offender’s restrictions, including the times and places they are permitted to drive. It is essential that one checks the form for accuracy before leaving the clerk window, as changes are much harder to make after the fact. This document will also provide information about what steps an offender is to take next in order to regain full use of their license.
Next Steps for a Restricted License
Should the defendant be ordered to participate in an ASAP program, they must have a staff member sign their green sheet within 15 days. The individual must also go to the DMV to receive their new plastic license between 30 and 60 days after obtaining their green sheet. If 60 days pass and the offender has yet to obtain their plastic license, their green sheet becomes invalid and they must reapply for another restricted license.
Virginia Restricted License Law
Those carrying a restricted license in Virginia should keep in mind that social driving is not allowed for any reason–one can’t stop somewhere on their way to an approved location, even if it is just to get a bite to eat. When driving during designated hours, motorists with a restricted license are required to carry their green sheet with them at all times, and to complete the ASAP program and DMV tasks in the quickest time frame possible.
It is also important to note that Fairfax motorists with limited driving privileges are prohibited from having any amount of alcohol in their system while behind the wheel. According to law, the legal limit for people driving with a restricted license in Virginia is .02–much lower than the .08 that typically applies. As a .02 BAC can usually be comprised after a single beer, individuals must be extremely careful to avoid getting behind the wheel if they’ve had anything to drink. The legal limit for people driving with a restricted license is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .02. This is much lower than the .08 limit that usually applies.
Penalties for Driving with a Virginia Restricted License
Should a driver be caught violating any of the terms set forth by a court-ordered suspension, having an experienced Virginia defense lawyer becomes more important than ever. As the punishments are much more severe for this violation than any other type of driving on a suspended license charge in Fairfax–and the consequences won’t be handed out by the courts, but the DMV instead.
For a violation of driving after the forfeiture of a license, the DMV will suspend one’s driving privileges for at least a year in addition to the previous suspension assigned for the initial reckless driving charge. Also during that time, the offender will lose their restricted license and will not be allowed to get a new one, ultimately prohibiting them from driving anywhere, for any reason, for the next year.