Mecklenburg County Unlicensed Driving Lawyer

Unlicensed driving charges in Mecklenburg County are more commonly referred to as driving without a license or driving with no operator’s license which is abbreviated as “NOL.” This refers to a situation where someone is pulled over while driving a vehicle who has never been issued a currently valid driver’s license before driving. Unlicensed driving is a criminal misdemeanor that will affect both a person’s criminal history and driving record.

If you are facing charges, contact a Mecklenburg County unlicensed driving lawyer. An experienced traffic attorney could fight for you and possibly help you reach a favorable resolution to your case.

What Level of Offense is Unlicensed Driving?

A first offense of unlicensed driving is a Class 2 Misdemeanor in Virginia, which means that it can be punished by a maximum of up to six months in jail and a maximum of a $1,000 fine, or both. It can also be punished by up to 90 days of subsequent suspension of one’s privilege to drive inside Virginia.

A second or subsequent offense of unlicensed driving is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, which carries a punishment of up to 12 months in jail and up to a $2,500 fine, as well as a possible 90 days of additional suspension of one’s privilege to drive in Virginia.

Depending on the number of times someone has been convicted of unlicensed driving, the maximum penalties can range from:

  • Hundreds or thousands of dollars in fines
  • Six to 12 months in jail
  • Three months of further suspension of one’s privilege to lawfully drive in Virginia

The collateral administrative penalties with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) include three demerit points on the person’s DMV point balance and an offense that will remain on their driving record for three years after conviction. Therefore, it is crucial for a defendant to obtain an unlicensed driving lawyer in Mecklenburg County.

What to Expect From an Unlicensed Driving Case

The vast majority of unlicensed driving cases are treated as minor charges in Mecklenburg County and are usually situations where someone has been charged with the more serious offense of driving on a suspended license which gets reduced down to unlicensed driving.

It is rare for a high fine or for jail time to be imposed for unlicensed driving. The bigger issues tend to be:

  • Avoiding a new criminal charge on a person’s record
  • Avoiding their license or privilege to drive from being further suspended
  • Avoiding associated consequences with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Avoiding consequences with one’s automobile insurance carrier

Sometimes a person will have a legal defense to the charge if they were only operating the vehicle at the time of the stop versus actually driving the vehicle, or if the person was driving the vehicle on a road that is not considered a public highway. A skilled defense lawyer could often get the charge dropped or dismissed if the person obtains a valid license before their trial date.

Driving Without a License in Possession

Driving without a license in one’s possession is much different than driving without having a valid license issued. Driving without a license in possession is probably the most minor traffic ticket one can receive in Virginia.

Driving without a license in possession is a traffic infraction that is punishable by only a maximum fine of $10. Consequently, the court costs will actually be a higher sum than the court’s fine. There is no possible jail time, license consequences, or DMV demerit points associated with the conviction.

In almost all driving without a license in possession cases, if the accused brings their actual physical license card to the court showing that it was issued by or before the date that they were charged, the court will dismiss the charge. However, the accused may be required to pay court costs as part of the dismissal, which is usually a sum that is less than $100.

For more information, contact a dedicated Mecklenburg County unlicensed driving lawyer today.

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