Suspended License Virginia Habitual Offender Traffic Ticket Lawyers Prince William County

Suspended License Virginia Habitual Offender Traffic Ticket Lawyers Prince William County

JOHNNIE EDWARD ESTES v. COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

Facts:

In this case, Johnnie Edward Estes, the defendant, was declared by the trial court to be an habitual offender under the Virginia Habitual Offender Act (Code §§ 46.1-387.1 to 46.1-387.12). This finding was based upon a conviction of driving under the influence in 1964 and convictions of driving under the influence and driving on a suspended license in 1968. Defendant sought review of a judgment from the Circuit Court of Prince William County (Virginia), which convicted him of being an habitual offender under the Virginia Habitual Offender Act, Va. Code Ann. §§ 46.1-387.1 to 46.1-387.12, based on a conviction of driving under the influence and two subsequent convictions of driving under the influence and driving on a suspended license.

Suspended License Virginia Habitual Offender Traffic Ticket Lawyers Prince William County

Suspended License Virginia Habitual Offender Traffic Ticket Lawyers

Issue:

  • Whether the defendant’s two prior 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:

This court held that it is clear that 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 an habitual offender. This court hence affirmed the judgment convicting the defendant.

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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.