Unlicensed Driver Ticket
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All motorists are required to have a valid driver’s license when operating a motor vehicle on California’s roadways. If you are driving a motorcycle or commercial vehicle, you must have a valid license or certification for that type of vehicle. If you’re facing a Unlicensed Driver ticket, we can help get your life back to normal.
When Can You be Charged?
You can be charged with driving without a valid license under the following circumstances:
- You never obtained a license
- You failed to renew your driver’s license
- You failed to obtain a California driver’s license after establishing residency
- You are an undocumented immigrant
- You are driving a commercial vehicle or motorcycle without the proper class of license or validation
Driving without a license is a misdemeanor but it rarely results in any jail time unless you are a multiple offender, or it is a probation violation or the offense is combined with another more serious charge.
If you simply failed to have your license in your possession when stopped but can produce it later, it is considered an infraction only, which will be dismissed once you produce it. An infraction is not a criminal offense.
This offense is not the same as driving on a suspended or revoked license. The penalties for that offense are more substantial with a longer maximum jail time and will result in extending the time of your driver’s license revocation along with a higher fine.
Penalties for Driving Without a License
This offense may be charged as either a misdemeanor or as an infraction, meaning it is a “wobbler” offense. Driving a motorcycle without the proper validation is an infraction.
In many cases, the prosecutor will agree to dismiss the charge once you obtain a valid license, if you are eligible.
The consequences of a conviction are as follows:
- A fine up to $1,000
- Up to 6 months in jail
- 30-day impoundment of your vehicle
- Informal or summary probation for up to 3 years
Jail and/or vehicle impoundment usually occurs if you have been repeatedly ticketed for the same offense of your violation occurred while you were still under probation for some other criminal offense.
An infraction carries a fine of up to $250 only.
Retain a California traffic ticket lawyer if you were charged with driving without a valid license, are facing license suspension or a probation or parole violation. Your lawyer may be able to delay prosecution so that you can obtain a valid license, if eligible, or represent you in a probation violation hearing.