Driving without a license is one of the serious traffic violations in Pennsylvania and is prohibited by Sec. 1501 that states that all drivers should be licensed. Therefore, for you to drive on public roadways, you should be licensed. Your license is proof that you know how to operate a motor vehicle and that you understand all the rules of the road. In case you are found driving without a license, then you risk being arrested or ticketed depending on the situation.
Driving Without a License in Pennsylvania
You are a licensed driver, but your license isn’t in your possession: This means that you are licensed but don’t have proof. However, in most cases such a violation can be dismissed in case you prove that you possess a valid driving license during the incident. Keep in mind that you may be required to pay a small fine.
Revoked, canceled or suspended license by the authorities: If you are a first time offender, you will have to pay a fine of up to $500, and you can also be imprisoned for 60 to 90 days. However, according to Penn Statute 1543, if your license was suspended due to DUI and there is evidence of high alcohol content in your system, as a first-time offense you will pay a fine of $1,000 and face imprisonment of 90 days. In case this is your second offense, you will be charged with a third-degree misdemeanor where you will be fined $2,500 and be imprisoned for at least a period of six months. For a third offense, you will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor where you will be fined $5,000 and face at least two years of imprisonment.
Additionally, if you are convicted due to driving with a revoked or suspended license, the revocation or suspension period will be increased. In some situations, your car can also be impounded.
Your license has expired or you never applied for one: The Pennsylvania Statute 1501 states that all motor vehicle drivers should be licensed except only those who are expressly exempted. Violators are charged with a fine of $200 unless he or she proves that they held a valid driver’s license and one year since the renewal date hasn’t expired. However, there is a fine of $25.
In Pennsylvania, your license can also be revoked or suspended due to certain criminal convictions, including
- Engaging in dangerous race competitions on highways
- Committing a felony where a vehicle was involved
- Homicide by a vehicle due to drunk driving
- Reckless or careless driving
- Serious assault by a vehicle due to driving under the influence
- Vehicle accidents that cause injury, death, or damage to property
How to Fight These Charges
If you are charged due to driving without a license, fighting such a charge will be difficult. After the prosecutor or district attorney alleges that you drove without a license, you will have to provide evidence that you were in possession of a valid driving license during the time of the offense. You will most likely lose if you don’t have evidence.
Getting convicted due to driving on a revoked or suspended license can also cause serious effects on your life. You risk facing a jail term, heavy fines, and your license can be revoked or suspended for a longer period. Such a conviction can also hinder your ability to stay in school, go to work, and can cause problems with your insurance company. However, although the law contains specific penalties for crimes of this nature, your actual sentence will be shaped by the local judges’ and prosecutors’ opinion towards the crime. In such a situation, only an experienced attorney who is familiar with such cases can provide you with sound legal advice. Contact Brian Fishman today to help you with a charge of driving without a valid driver’s license.