The 'Driving While Revoked - DUI Related' Hat Trick of Charges: Are You a Victim?

March 02, 2018

Were you Charged with a violation of Virginia Code 18.2-272(a), (b), and (c)? How can this be? In short, it can’t. But the unwary are often convicted of all three. The drastic results include lengthy jail sentences, multiple years of consecutive license revocations, and exposure to future felony charges for driving.

The dreaded 'Driving While Revoked - DUI Related' charge under Virginia Code Section 18.2-272 is often a close second to being a “habitual offender” as far as license violations go. A single violation of 18.2-272 is a Class 1 Misdemeanor facing a potential 365 days in jail, a $2,500 fine, and a mandatory one-year license revocation. A third violation of this section within 10 years of two others is a Class 6 Felony. These charges are not to be taken lightly.

Simply, if you are revoked, suspended, or restricted because of a DUI, then: 18.2-272(a) says you can’t drive outside your restrictions; 18.2-272(b) says you can’t drive with a BAC of 0.02 or more, and; 18.2-272(c) says you can’t drive without an ignition interlock installed.

If you have been charged with this then you were probably stopped by the police and your license was suspended because of a DUI or Breath Test Refusal conviction, or you were driving outside your court ordered restrictions from a DUI conviction. You may also have been driving without a required ignition interlock device, or were driving with a Breath Alcohol Content of 0.02 or more while on a restricted, suspended, or revoked license.

This code section is confusing to lawyers, judges, magistrates, and to law enforcement officers alike. If you were caught driving with a BAC of greater than 0.02, had no ignition interlock, and were outside your license restrictions, then chances are you were (incorrectly) charged with all three subsections ((a), (b), and (c))  of 18.2-272. That’s three (3) Class 1 Misdemeanors with a potential 1,095 days in jail, $7,500 in fines, and a 3-year license revocation!

There is no scenario that should result in a conviction of all three. And the scenario that may land you in trouble for two subsections is fairly limited. For instance, because of the law’s specificity, even if you are driving without an ignition interlock you should suffer only one charge for 18.2-272(a). The interlock punishment under 18.2-272(c) will apply only in circumstances that rarely occur.

Take care to avoid or mitigate these consequences and hire knowledgeable counsel to defend you on these charges.  If you or your attorney believe you are guilty of more than one count of this code section then make certain you completely understand why you are guilty before you enter a plea bargain or guilty plea.