Got pulled over and summoned to court over a foreign driver's license. Does this qualify me for a Class 2 misdemeanor penalty?

Asked 9 months ago - Fairfax, VA

I got pulled over the other day for not completely stopping at a right turn on an intersection. The officer asked for my driver's license, and he noticed it is a foreign one. He basically gave me the two options of either getting a US Driver's license or an international license permit, saying my foreign driver's license stand-alone isn't sufficient. He was friendly and cooperative, as was I. He let me go without a ticket. All he gave me was a court summons and requested that I show up to court on a specified date on november to show the judge that I got my driver's license. My case will be dismissed afterwards. WORST CASE SCENARIO, can this escalate into a Class 2 misdemeanor penally? If it does, do I need a lawyer to represent me?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Andrew Joseph Cornick

    Contributor Level 9


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A lawyer would need a little bit more information from you in order to answer this question correctly. If you are a non-resident, you can drive on a foreign driver's license pursuant to Va. Code section 46.2-307 -

    If you are living or working in Virginia now, though, you have 30 days from the time you became a resident to get a license from our DMV.

    Do not miss that court date. It sounds like you have already been charged, so I suggest you speak with some local Fairfax attorneys to get a feel for what the judges there might do under your specific circumstances. Many lawyers offer free consultations and can tell you exactly what they would do to help you.

    Best of luck.

  2. Sudeep Bose

    Contributor Level 8


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The fact that you were summoned to court indicates you were charged with an offense which in this case is Driving without an Operator's License or "NoOL." The classic defense to a NoOL charge is to generally provide proof that you were properly licensed at the time of driving. In this case, as the officer indicated, you would need to provide a valid license and it may be accepted by the Court: either a valid US state license or a International Driver's License. The Court may convict you of the NoOL charge even if you provide a license as the license will post date the offense date. However, the Judge may forgive this technicality in your favor. The best course of action is to negotiate the charge with the prosecutor. The only drawback in Fairfax is that prosecutors will only speak with defense attorneys - not with unrepresented parties.

  3. Brenton Daniel Vincenzes


    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . If you received a Summons, he did not let you go. a Summons = you have been charged. If the offense is 46.2-300, then you do face a Class 2 Misdemeanor assuming it is a first offense. You should talk to a lawyer to learn more about whether or not it would be a wise idea given your unique facts.

    This is not legal advice: it is intended to be used for general informational or educational purposes only. For a... more

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