Q: What is the difference between having my license revoked and having it suspended?

A: In the state of Virginia, as elsewhere in the U.S., there's a big difference between a suspension and a revocation of one's license. When your license is suspended, it means that you have lost your driving privileges for a set period of time, usually ranging from three months to a full year. You can have your license suspended for a variety of reasons, including not having adequate insurance, not paying your parking tickets, or being convicted of various minor traffic offenses (such as speeding or running a red light).

By contrast, a revocation of your license is much more serious. This is essentially when the state “tears up” your driver's license, and is a common penalty for drunk driving, reckless driving, or vehicular manslaughter. When your license is suspended, your driving privileges are restored at the end of the set period, though you may have to jump through some administrative hoops. But having your license revoked means that you have to go through the entire process of obtaining a new license from scratch (usually after an extensive waiting period). What's more, the state of Virginia needn't accept your application; your request for a new license can be denied based on your previous criminal record.

Any questions? Call the expert criminal and traffic defense lawyers at Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC for a free consultation!