Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License in West Virginia

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West Virginia driver’s licenses may be suspended for a variety of reasons. If you drive while your license is suspended or revoked, you may be charged with a crime.

Reasons for Suspension or Revocation

Your license may be suspended or revoked for certain driving offenses, criminal convictions, or other reasons.

Your license may be suspended if you:

  • have been convicted frequently enough of serious traffic offenses that the state believes you disrespect traffic laws and disregard the safety of others
  • are habitually negligent or reckless when you drive
  •   are incompetent
  • are under age 18 and withdrew from school, or
  • have failed to pay overdue child support. (W. Va. Code § 17B-3-6(a).)

Your license may be revoked for certain convictions, including:

  • manslaughter or negligent homicide, if it resulted from using a vehicle
  • a felony, if a vehicle was used
  • failing to stop if you are involved in an accident in which someone is killed or injured
  • three charges of reckless driving within two years, and
  • driving under the influence. (W. Va. Code § 17B-3-5.)

Your license may be suspended or revoked for many other reasons. For example, it may be suspended or revoked if:

  • you receive public assistance from the state because you are blind
  • you use a false license, or allow someone to use your license for an unlawful reason
  • you fail to pay fines or other for a vehicle violation, or if you fail to appear in court for certain vehicle violations, or
  •   if you default on costs, fines, restitution or other penalties for a criminal conviction. (W. Va. Code § 17B-3-11, § 17B-3-12, § 17B-3-3a(a), § 17B-3-3c(a).)

Reinstating Your License

The length of time alicense may be suspended or revoked varies. After your suspension or revocation expires, you may be required to pay a $50 reinstatement fee. (W. Va. Code § 17B-3-9.)  Other fees and conditions may apply.

Criminal Charges for Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License

If you drive while your license is suspended or revoked, you could be charged with a misdemeanor. In many circumstances, your sentence may involve:

  • for a first or second offense, a fine between $100 and $500, or
  • for a third or subsequent offense, a fine between $150 and $500 and between 30 days and 90 days in jail. (W. Va. Code § 174B-4-3(a).)

Alcohol-Related Suspensions

If your license was revoked for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or refusing to take a test to determine whether you are intoxicated, your sentence may involve:

  • for a first offense, a fine between $100 and $500 and between 30 days and six months in jail, or
  • for a second offense, a fine between $1,000 and $3,000 and between six months and one year in jail. (W. Va. Code § 17B-4-3(b).)

A third or subsequent offense under these circumstances may be a felony. Your maximum sentence may involve between a fine between $3,000 and $5,000 and between one year and three years in prison. (W. Va. Code § 17B-4-3(b).)

If you drive while your license is suspended or revoked and you have a blood alcohol concentration between .02 and .08, your sentence may involve a fine between $50 and $500 and 24 hours in jail. (W. Va. Code § 17B-4-3(d).)

Additional Penalties

Your license may be suspended or revoked for an additional period of time in certain circumstances. (W. Va. Code § 17B-4-3(c).)

Legal Help for Charges of Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License

Driving on a suspended or revoked license may result in fines, or in some cases jail or prison time. A conviction can have serious effects on your life, including difficulty getting to work or school, difficulty with vehicle insurance, and difficulty with other areas of your life. While penalties for a conviction are specified by law, your sentence will be shaped by the view that your community, judges and prosecutors have of the crime. Only a lawyer who is familiar with these charges in your area can provide you with this information.

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