PRE-JULY 2019: SUSPENDED LICENSES FOR UNPAID COURT FEES IN VA
Previously, if a Virginia resident who was convicted of a crime or traffic citation was not in a position to immediately pay her fines, she was required to sign a contract with the local court promising to pay the fines in full by a specified date. Anyone who failed to pay by the contract date was punished by having her drivers license suspended.
TIME FOR A CHANGE
However, many of us in the State of Virginia, including Governor Ralph Northam who described the penalty as “counterproductive” and Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran, felt that the penalties of drivers license suspension for unpaid court fees were often inequitably levied on the poorest members of our community.
Effective July 1, 2019, through a new law signed into effect by Governor Northam,
VA residents will no longer be penalized by having their drivers licenses suspended for failing to pay fines, and anyone whose license was previously suspended as a result of unpaid court fees will be granted reinstatement. The more than half million Virginia residents who qualified for reinstatement through this program were sent letters from the VA Department of Motor Vehicles which explained the requirements for returning to legal driving status which includes the fulfilment of any remaining owed court costs and fines.
Following the announcement of the new law, Moran stated, “This is a significant step in the right direction toward getting Virginians back to work and enabling them to support their families.”
WHAT TO DO IF YOU QUALIFY FOR A LICENSE REINSTATEMENT
For individuals who may qualify for drivers license reinstatement through this program and are looking for additional information, the following news article from WHSV 3 provides a summary of the information issued from the Virginia DMV
ARE YOU IN DANGER OF LOSING YOUR LICENSE FOR OTHER REASONS?
It is important to note that someone whose license has been suspended for reasons other than failing to pay court fines and costs, such as for a DUI, reckless driving, drug offenses, driving on a suspended license, or other charges, will not be eligible for restoration through this program. In these cases, if you need a reckless driving attorney, traffic court attorney, criminal defense lawyer, or DUI lawyer in Harrisonburg Virginia, our English and Spanish speaking lawyers at Cook Attorneys are here to help.
We invite you to contact us for a consultation to discuss how our Harrisonburg lawyers can help you.