Suspended License York Virginia Habitual Offender Double Jeopardy Lawyer

Suspended License York Virginia Habitual Offender Double Jeopardy Lawyer

Thomas v. Commonwealth
Facts:

After defendant was convicted of the misdemeanor of driving on a suspended license, second or subsequent offense, in violation of Va. Code Ann. § 46.2-301, he was convicted in the Circuit Court of York County (Virginia) of the felony of driving after having been adjudicated an habitual offender, second or subsequent offense, in violation of Va. Code Ann. § 46.2-357, based on the same act of driving. He appealed the felony conviction.

Suspended License York Virginia Habitual Offender Double Jeopardy Lawyer

Suspended License York Virginia Habitual Offender Double Jeopardy Lawyer

Issue:
  • Whether the defendant’s misdemeanor conviction for driving on a suspended license and his felony habitual offender conviction involve the same offense for double jeopardy purposes?
Discussion:

After an officer cited defendant for misdemeanor driving on a suspended license, second or subsequent offense, he found defendant was adjudicated an habitual offender and got a felony warrant charging driving after being adjudicated an habitual offender. Defendant did not appeal his misdemeanor conviction. The appellate court held defendant, claiming double jeopardy barred a conviction for both offenses, had to show the two offenses involved the same act and crime both in law and in fact. The evidence supporting his conviction for driving after being declared an habitual offender, contrary to Va. Code Ann. § 46.2-357, was based on the same act of driving as the misdemeanor, but the felony conviction required proof of driving after revocation rather than suspension. His driving record showed after he was adjudicated an habitual offender, and his license was revoked, his license was suspended many times. Absent evidence that his misdemeanor conviction was based on the same revocation as his felony charge, he showed no identity of the act and crime alleged for each conviction both in fact and in law, so the denial of his motion to dismiss on double jeopardy grounds was not error. Defendant’s conviction was affirmed.

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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.