It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle without a license in Virginia or any other state. However, the law generally differentiates between those who don’t have a valid license and those who aren’t able to produce their licenses when asked to present them. In most cases, an individual will receive a “fix-it” ticket for offenses that are relatively easy to correct. Individuals who comply with a request to provide proof of a valid driver’s license will generally have their charges dismissed.
An individual who fails to provide proof that he or she has a valid driver’s license may be subject to fines or other penalties. Drivers who commit willful violations of state licensing laws might be taken into custody and charged with misdemeanor criminal offenses. Examples of willful offenses include knowingly driving on a suspended or revoked license. Licenses are commonly suspended or revoked following a conviction for drunk or impaired driving.
Those who are charged with either a willful or correctable traffic offenses may be able to handle them on their own. However, drivers who are facing jail time, a fine or other serious penalties may want to have an attorney help with their cases. An attorney may be able to prove that a driver didn’t know that his or her license was suspended or revoked at the time he or she was stopped by an officer.
An attorney may also be able to show that an individual did have a valid license at the time of a traffic stop but lost or misplaced it. Generally speaking, individuals cannot drive on an expired license. However, it may be possible to have a citation or criminal charge dropped or reduced if a person can show that a license was renewed prior to a court date.