Just about everyone understands that driving a motor vehicle without a valid license is illegal. Unfortunately, the real world often presents situations where you may feel that you do not have any choice but to jump behind the wheel. If your child needs to get to school or your grandma has to make it to a doctor’s appointment and nobody else is available, you may feel a duty to drive them.
Of course, police officers generally do not care why you are operating a motor vehicle. If they catch you on the road without a valid driver’s license, you will almost certainly face criminal charges.
If you would like to avoid facing the serious consequences that typically accompany a driving without a license conviction, you will need to hire a skilled Dayton criminal lawyer. Fortunately, you can find plenty of those at Suhre & Associates, LLC in Dayton, Ohio. Contact our Dayton law office to schedule a free consultation to find out how we can help you fight to protect your future.
Why You Should Hire One of Our Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys
When you enlist the help of a Suhre & Associates, LLC, you can expect us to work tirelessly to get you the best possible outcome to your driving without a license charge. As part of our commitment to defend you against your criminal charge, we will:
Provide You with Sound Legal Advice
The actions that you take during your criminal case will have a huge impact on its eventual outcome. As such, you must ensure that every move you make is as constructive and well thought out as possible. The best way to accomplish this feat is with the help of one of our knowledgeable attorneys.
Having worked on countless driving-related criminal cases in the past, we know how to navigate the process seamlessly. When you are faced with a difficult situation during your case, we can provide you with the advice you need to make the right decision.
Negotiate Your Charges with the Prosecution
A driving without a license charge can lead to serious consequences. However, in some cases, it may be possible to negotiate with the prosecuting attorney to have the charge reduced to something with less severe penalties.
The lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC in Dayton, OH, have been negotiating with prosecutors for years. As such, we have developed a good understanding of exactly what they need to see and hear before they will reduce charges. When you hire us, we will do everything in our power to convince them to do just that for you.
Protect Your Constitutional Rights
From the moment you are pulled over, law enforcement officers and prosecuting attorneys must respect your constitutional rights. In the context of a traffic offense, this usually means that they must have had a reason to stop you and must not search your vehicle without your permission.
When you work with our skilled lawyers, we will make sure that your rights are respected throughout the process. If any violations occurred before you had a chance to call us, we will raise it with the judge and may even be able to use it as part of your defense.
If you have been charged with driving a vehicle without a valid license, please do not hesitate to reach out to Suhre & Associates, LLC. Our experienced Dayton defense attorneys are always available to review your case and provide you with the advice and guidance you need. Just give us a call or contact us online to set up your free consultation.
Defining Driving Without a License
Section 4510.12 of the Ohio Revised Code explains that anyone who “operates a motor vehicle on a public road, highway or private road intended for public use without a valid driver’s license” may be charged with the crime of driving without a license. Violating this law can have serious consequences.
Penalties for Driving Without a Valid License in Ohio
The state of Ohio treats driving without a license as a safety issue. As such, the penalties you may face for operating a motor vehicle as an unlicensed driver can be quite severe.
When handing you a punishment for driving without a license, the state considers the reason why you did not have a valid license. You can find a breakdown of potential penalties for each reason below:
Punishments for Driving with an Expired License
Driving with an expired license is generally charged as a misdemeanor in the state of Ohio. As such, you are unlikely to face any jail time for committing this offense. Instead, you will most likely be ordered to renew your license and pay a fine of up to $150.
If you fail to renew your license and are found to be driving while it is expired on multiple occasions, your potential punishments will get more severe. A second conviction of this type can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 6 months in jail.
Punishments for Driving with a Suspended License
There are a variety of reasons why the state of Ohio may decide to suspend your driving privileges, including:
- Repeated traffic violations
- Multiple DUI convictions
- Failure to pay child support
If you are found to be driving while your license was suspended, you could face a fine of up to $1,000. In some cases, you may even be ordered to complete up to 500 hours of community service as punishment for your offense.
Ohio law also states that anyone who drives with a suspended license on three occasions within three years may be required to forfeit their vehicle.
Punishments for Driving without Having Ever Had a Valid License
The state of Ohio does not want individuals who have never held a license operating motor vehicles on public roads or highways. As such, if you are caught driving without ever having had a license, you will likely face some serious penalties. For a first offense, a fine of up to $1,000 and/or as much as 500 hours of community service is common.
If you violate the same law a second time, you can expect your penalties to become even more severe. A 6-month jail term is not unusual for repeat offenders.
Over the years, the Suhre & Associates, LLC legal team has helped hundreds of clients fight back against their driving without a license charge. We would love to do the same for you. Get in touch with us today to set up an initial consultation with one of our skilled and knowledgeable lawyers.
What Happens if You Simply Forget Your Driver’s License?
If you are pulled over by the police and do not have your license on you, they may choose to charge you with driving without a license. Generally speaking, however, you will be able to have your charge dismissed if you can later present your valid license to the court. Though you are unlikely to face any serious punishments for simply forgetting your license, you may need to pay some administrative fees.
At Suhre & Associates, LLC, we understand that you may have some questions about the process of having your charge dropped. If so, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We would be happy to help you prove the validity of your license to the court.
How to Get Your Ohio Driver’s License Reinstated
The best way to avoid being charged with driving without a license is to make sure that your driver’s license is valid at all times. If your license is currently suspended, you will need to take some steps to have it reinstated. These steps usually include:
Waiting Out Your Suspension Period
When your license was originally suspended, a timeline for reinstatement was set. In most cases, you will not be able to have it reinstated until this period has passed. As frustrating as it can undoubtedly be, you will probably have to wait it out.
Completing Required Courses
While you are waiting for your suspension period to conclude, you should attend and pass any courses that were assigned to you when your license was taken away. The exact nature of the classes you need to take will depend on why your license suspension occurred. For DUI suspensions, alcohol training is the most common required course.
Paying Your Fines and Reinstatement Fees
Before the state of Ohio will give you your license back, you will need to pay off all of your fines as well as a reinstatement fee. Once your balances have been reduced to zero, you can submit the paperwork and your license should be returned to you in relatively short order.
Depending on your specific circumstances, the process of reinstating your license may be a little complicated. If you run into any difficulties, please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.
Call Our Dayton Driving Without a License Defense Lawyers Today
If you are a Dayton resident who has been caught driving with a suspended or revoked license, the Suhre & Associates, LLC team can help. We would be happy to thoroughly review your charges and provide you with the advice and assistance you need to handle your case. Give us a call or contact us online today to set up a free initial consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.