Habitual Offender Declaration in Prince William Traffic Cases
Prince William County traffic lawyer discusses the habitual offender declaration and how these cases are treated in Virginia. To learn more about habitual offenders in VA, call and schedule a consultation with an attorney today.
Habitual offender declaration is a designation that used to be given to drivers in Virginia after they have been convicted of too many traffic crimes. Virginia no longer designates individuals as habitual offenders, however, there are a number of people who were designated as habitual offenders under the old law.
So, the habitual offender statute in Virginia now applies to those people who were designated as habitual offenders under the old law. What Virginia law says is that any person having already been found to be a habitual offender who is after that convicted of driving a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth while that revocation is in effect will be punished as follows:
One, if the driving doesn’t endanger the life, limb, or property of someone else, the person is guilty of a class one misdemeanor punishable by a mandatory minimum term in jail of ten days except in cases where the operation is necessary in situations of apparent extreme emergency that require the driving to save life or limb. In most situations part of the sentence can be suspended.
However, if a person drives after being declared a habitual offender and that driving endangers the life, limb, or property of another person or takes place while they violate a certain other traffic laws, the person is then guilty of a felony which is punishable by not less than one year nor more than five years, one year of which is a mandatory minimum term of confinement in a jail or a Virginia prison.
How Habitual Offender Cases Are Treated in Prince William County
Habitual offender cases are taken very seriously in Prince William County. These are cases that almost always result in incarceration if a person is found guilty. There is a misdemeanor level as well as a felony level and that will determine the significance and the amount of the penalty.
People are often arrested when they are charged with driving as a habitual offender. The person is typically taken in front of a magistrate and bond is set.
Importance of Consulting With An Attorney
It’s important to contact Prince William Country traffic lawyer in a habitual offender case because they will know the best way to build your defense, the most common defenses that are used, the most common tactics by the prosecutor as well as the disposition of the judges, the prosecutors, and the police in that county. Because jail is almost always on the line, these cases have to be treated in the most serious way.