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Driving Without a License in Louisiana
Driving Without a License Penalties in Louisiana
Driving Without a License in Louisiana
Experiencing a problematic situation such as being unable to find your wallet or ID can quickly put anyone in a frenzy. A bank card and driver’s license are a part of a person’s daily life, so if their belongings are lost, misplaced, or they were a victim of theft, it can be stressful to wait for a replacement. Sometimes, people unknowingly drive around without a license and discover they don’t have their wallet or ID with them during a traffic stop.
In Louisiana, driving without a license can lead to severe penalties. Although, forgetting to bring your license along for a drive is different than unlicensed driving or using an invalid license. Depending on the circumstances of your traffic stop, you may owe monetary fines or serve jail time for driving without a license. At John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm, our trusted Louisiana criminal defense attorneys are highly experienced in strategizing an irrefutable defense and helping individuals protect their rights in any case.
Categories That Define Driving Without a License in Louisiana
Driving without a license may be caused by different situations. Varying cases can lead to consequences for being unprepared during a traffic stop or generally disobeying the law. Here are a few examples of driving without a license in Louisiana:
You Have a Valid License but Have Lost or Forgotten to Bring It
In many cases, driving without a license means the driver is legally allowed to drive but does not have their license with them during a traffic stop. However, an officer may give you a ticket, and you may be obligated to show up in court to prove you are a licensed driver.
Driving With an Expired License
This may lead you to pay a hefty fine and fees associated with renewing your driving privileges. If your insurance were affected due to your driver’s license status or coverage termination, you would be required to renew and obtain auto insurance in addition to restoring your driving rights.
Driving With a Suspended or Revoked License Status
In cases such as drunk driving, habitual offenders, or DMV errors, a driver’s license may be suspended or revoked. While the DMV is responsible for communicating with drivers, many people fail to receive notifications of a status change. A lawyer can review your case and may help determine a solid defense.
You Do Not Have a Valid Class License While Driving
Every driver must obtain a valid license for the type of vehicle they are permitted to operate. Motorcycles, chauffeurs, non-commercial, and commercial drivers are required to obtain proper licensure from the state. In a case where you do not have a proper license for operating a vehicle and are stopped by law enforcement, you may be subject to penalties.
Different situations have led to the financial penalties and jail time that individuals have been penalized with after driving without a license. Your best bet is to contact a traffic violations lawyer that can review your case and advise you well about your future.
What Are the Penalties for Driving Without a Valid License?
Many people have taken advantage of Louisiana’s Wallet Program and avoided the inconvenience of facing penalties associated with forgetting their license at home. However, driving without a license may seem like a minor crime, yet it’s essential to understand the penalties one can face when disobeying the law.
Penalties for driving without a license include:
- License not in driver’s possession: May be punishable with up to a $500 fine and up to six months in jail.
- Driving without a valid license: May result in a misdemeanor charge, up to six months in jail, and up to a $500 fine.
Additionally, driving with a revoked or suspended license carries hefty fines and increased jail time. Teen drivers are also subject to specific driving rules and restrictions under their permitted license. Though there are some exceptions in cases with international or US drivers that have license reciprocity, getting caught driving without a license is a crime. A trustworthy attorney that understands the law and is dedicated to their client’s success may lead your case in a favorable direction.
Defenses for Traffic-Related Violations
Depending on the situation that led to you getting caught driving without a license, an attorney may be able to build a strong defense that lessens or eliminates the penalties. In some cases, the charges may be dropped if there is proof you had a valid license but forgot to carry it with you. In other cases, a strengthened defense is needed for habitual offenders, invalid licenses, and unlicensed driving.
Your attorney may argue that you unknowingly used a suspended or revoked license and failed to receive any notification of your driver status from the DMV. Additionally, if you are up against tougher penalties for driving without a commercial license or failing to obtain a valid license with auto insurance for your vehicle, speaking with an attorney may help you put your best foot forward in a courtroom.
Can an Attorney Help Me Get My License Back?
Some people may unknowingly use a suspended license or are unaware of their driver’s license status. It is not uncommon for the Department of Motor Vehicles to make mistakes due to a system error, outdated information, or delays in communication. For individuals caught driving without a valid license, you will either face the penalties of this violation or go off with a warning.
The court may advise you to pursue a valid license through the local DMV. In other cases, individuals without an active license must request an appeal, handle their court-ordered business, and attempt to regain their driving privileges when they qualify. With a knowledgeable traffic violation attorney, you may learn more about your rights and opportunities for license reinstatement.
Call John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm for an Expert Louisiana Traffic Violation Defense Attorney
Getting into trouble with the law can lead to life-changing and stressful consequences. While there are varying levels of crimes, owing monetary fines, serving jail time, and dealing with other consequences remains stressful. Louisiana residents must follow all the driving and traffic laws the state has in place, one of them being to carry a valid driver’s license while operating a motor vehicle.
Suppose you are in an unfortunate situation where you have lost or forgotten your license and have been pulled over by a police officer. In that case, our legal team may be able to help you face the charges and lessen the penalties. At John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm, our seasoned attorney, Eric G. Johnson, holds years of experience helping communities across Louisiana with legal advice, resources, and skilled legal defense. To schedule a free consultation, complete a contact form or call our office at (318) 377-1555.