Suspended License Virginia Traffic Violation Unlawful Driving Lawyers Louisa County
JOHN V COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
Defendant “involved in a traffic violation” in Louisa County and issued him a summons for reckless driving. At the time, defendant had a valid operator’s license in his possession. The trooper later determined that defendant’s privileges to operate a motor vehicle had been suspended by an order of the Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issued on October 19, 1977. The trooper then obtained a warrant charging defendant with unlawfully operating “a motor vehicle on [a] public highway after his privilege to drive had been suspended.” Defendant sought review of the judgment of the Circuit Court of Louisa County (Virginia), which convicted defendant of perjury in contravention of Va. Code § 18.2-434 in connection with his testimony at trial on a charge of driving a motor vehicle on a public highway after his privilege to drive had been suspended. Defendant testified at that trial that he had not received notice that his driving license had been suspended. Defendant was given a traffic citation for reckless driving, and had a valid driver’s license in his possession. The state trooper later determined that defendant’s license had been suspended at the time of the citation. The trooper obtained a warrant charging defendant with driving with a suspended license.
- Whether the language of the order accomplishes a suspension of defendant’s driver’s license?
At trial, defendant testified that he had not received notice that his license had been suspended, and the charge was dismissed. Defendant was later indicted for perjury, and the evidence adduced at trial showed that a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) employee had personally advised defendant that his license had been suspended, and the evidence further showed that a copy of the suspension order had been mailed to and received by defendant. Defendant was convicted and sought review. The court affirmed. Defendant argued that his statement was not false because the notice letter was so vague that it did not advise him that his license was suspended. The court found that the letter was a DMV form letter in which inapplicable terms had not been crossed out, but held that when viewed in its entirety, the letter was sufficient to notify defendant that his license was suspended. The court affirmed defendant’s conviction for perjury over his objection that he did not falsely state that he did not know his driver’s license was suspended because the DMV notice letter was so vague that it did not advise him of the suspension.
The SRIS Law Group Virginia lawyers will do their best to help you with your traffic ticket. Contact a Virginia lawyer from our firm to discuss your traffic ticket. A Virginia lawyer from our firm will talk with you about your traffic ticket in Virginia and advise you about your options. You can count on a lawyer from our firm to try their best to help you obtain the best result possible based on the facts of your case.
We have client meeting locations in Fairfax County, Prince William, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Fredericksburg & Lynchburg.
Article written by A Sris
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.