Have you been charged with driving with no permit or operating vehicle after suspension.  We can help you resolve this case.  

Charged with Operating after suspension or revocation in the District of Columbia

Charged with Operating after suspension or revocation in the DcHave you been been charged with driving after your license was suspended or revoked?  First of all do not panic.   You would be surprised how many people are driving around in the District of Columbia and they did not know their license was suspended or revoked.  Most of the time it is suspended because of traffic charges, like camera tickets.  Some people were charged with a case that was later dismissed by DC Superior Court but did not know that the Department of Motor Vehicle in the District of Columbia took action against their driver’s license.  Trust me we have heard them all.    Operating after suspension or revocation is different than driving without a license

What is Operating a Vehicle After Suspension or Revocation?

Operating a vehicle after your license is suspended or revoked is misdemeanor offense in the District of Columbia, as codified in DC Code § 50–1403.01.  The prosecutor only has to prove:

  • that you were operating a vehicle
  • your license was suspended or revoked
So, the offense of operating after suspension or revocation is a strict liability offense which means there is no requirement of knowledge or a mens reas (for you latin geeks).    The District of Columbia Court of Appeals held that notice or knowledge of the suspension is not necessary.   However, there is a caveat, the Court in LOFTUS v. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA   51 A.3d 1285 stated in a footnote that “We here deal only with the issue whether, as an across-the-board matter, the government must in all cases prove notice or knowledge as an element of the offense of OAS. We do not address a situation where the defendant presents some evidence that he or she had no notice of suspension and had no idea that the permit had been suspended. In such a scenario, not present here, the government, similar to instances where self-defense is raised, may well have the obligation to at least present proof that the constitutionally requisite notice of suspension was properly sent.”) Hmm…. interesting footnote huh?
 

What is the maximum penalty for operating a vehicle after suspension or revocation?

The maximum penalty for operating a vehicle after suspension or revocation is 1 year days and/or $2500.00 dollars fine.  If you are convicted in DC Superior Court it can have additional consequences on your drivers license because it carries 12 points with the District of Columbia Department Motor Vehicles. 

So What will Happen if I am Charged With Operating After Suspension or Revocation in DC?

The good news is that most prosecutors in the District of Columbia usually will offer diversion, a remedy, or a favorable plea for first time offenders and some repeat offenders.  However, please do not try to do this on your own (in other words hire a lawyer) because the wrong plea or wrong deal can cause your license to be suspended or revoked for even a greater period of time.