All states require that drivers hold a valid driver's license in order to operate a vehicle on their roadways—and California is not an exception. California Vehicle Code 12500 strictly prohibits people from driving without a valid driver's license. While the majority of "driving without a license" offenses are infractions or misdemeanor offenses, these offenses can still significantly impact your criminal record, your driving record, and even your insurance premiums.
If you are stopped and cited for driving without a license in the State of California, it is important to contact an experienced Oakland traffic violation lawyer immediately to prevent further damage to your driving record, your criminal record, and your future.
In the State of California, a police officer could charge you with driving without a license for any of these offenses:
If you have been charged with DUI and your license was suspended, driving while on a suspended license is a separate offense and should not be mistaken for driving without a license. Driving on a suspended license is a more serious offense and carries more significant penalties.
Driving without a license in the State of California can either be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a non-criminal infraction. The prosecution will review your driving history to determine if they wish to prosecute this as a misdemeanor. If you are charged with a misdemeanor offense, you face the following penalties and consequences:
There are times when driving without a license could cause significantly more trouble. If you are an illegal immigrant and are caught driving without a license, you could face possible deportation. Also, if there is a warrant for your arrest, being caught driving without a license could kick off a chain of unfortunate events, including jail time.
Unlike other offenses, the burden of proof is on you to prove that you were licensed while driving. If you are unable to do so, then your attorney may be able to have your case postponed while you obtain a license. If the prosecution wishes to pursue a misdemeanor charge, then your Oakland vehicular offense attorney can work to have those charges reduced to infractions, which will not affect your criminal record.
Unfortunately, many individuals who are charged with driving without a license do not realize that they can fight these charges. As such, they take the penalties and pay the fines without ever fighting back. At the Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed, we fight aggressively for all our clients—regardless of the charges against them. Even misdemeanor offenses can wreak havoc on your life and should absolutely be fought.
If you are facing charges for driving without a license, it is important to understand how these charges could affect your driving record, your insurance, and your future.
Call our firm at (510) 907-6600 to get our Oakland criminal lawyer working on your case strategy.