Suspended License Fairfax County Virginia Habitual Offender Lawyers

Suspended License Fairfax County Virginia Habitual Offender Lawyers

Peter John v. Commonwealth of Virginia
Fact:

Defendant was convicted of being a habitual offender under the Virginia Habitual Offender Act, which was based on a conviction of driving under the influence and two subsequent convictions of driving under the influence and driving on a suspended license. On appeal, defendant argued that his convictions for driving under the influence and driving on a suspended license arose out of but one act of driving and did not, therefore, result from “separate acts” as contemplated by the Act.

Suspended License Fairfax County Virginia Habitual Offender Lawyers

Suspended License Fairfax County Virginia Habitual Offender Lawyers

Issue:
  • Whether the two 1968 convictions, having resulted from offenses occurring at the same time, arose “out of separate acts” within the meaning of Code § 46.1-387.2 and count as second and third convictions of the defendant, thereby constituting him a habitual offender?
Discussion:

The defendant’s 1968 conviction of driving under the influence was not barred, under Code § 19.1-259, by his contemporaneous conviction of driving on a suspended license, or vice versa. This is so because the defendant could have been convicted of driving under the influence without evidence of the suspension of his driver’s license, and he could have been convicted of driving on a suspended license without evidence of his intoxication. Since it was not the “same act” that gave rise to violation of the two statutes under which the defendant was convicted in 1968, it follows that the two convictions arose” out of separate acts” — one out of the act of driving under the influence and the other out of the act of driving on a suspended license. Therefore, the convictions must be counted individually as second and third convictions, thereby constituting the defendant a habitual offender.

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Article written by A Sris

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Disclaimer:

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group.  They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions.  The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.