What Happens if you Get Pulled Over and Don’t Have a Driver’s License?

The consequences of driving without a driver’s license can be severe, as any good lawyer can tell you. The penalties for failing to show a driver’s license when stopped by a police officer can vary from a fix-it ticket to even jail time. Most drivers are aware that when law enforcement pulls over a vehicle, they must be able to provide their driver’s license and proof of vehicle registration.

The term “driving without a license on person” implies that the driver has a valid license. Sometimes the officer stopping someone driving without a license on person may be forgiving and only issue a traffic citation. However, the driver will have to appear in court, presenting proof of their driver’s license.

Sometimes people drive without their driver’s license on them. Usually, the reason is as simple as forgetting their handbag or their wallet at home. It is also common for drivers to forget to renew their driver’s license due to their busy schedules. However, not presenting a driver’s license when requested by law enforcement for the following reasons may result in a citation issued regarding your license:

  • If you never had a driver’s license
  • If you were driving with an expired driver’s license
  • If you have a valid drivers’ license, but you forgot to have it with you
  • If you have an out-of-state license
  • If you were driving while your driver’s license was suspended
  • If you were driving while your driver’s license was canceled or revoked
  • If you are unable to show proof of your driver’s license
  • If you have failed to apply for a state-issued license before the deadline
  • If you do not comply with the restrictions on your driver’s license

No matter the reason, when someone is caught driving without a valid license will be subject to the consequences.

The Penalties Vary Depending On The Situation

Driving without a license is considered to be a crime. In South Carolina, if someone is operating a vehicle without a driver’s license, they are deemed guilty of a misdemeanor. The penalty can be a small fine or even jail. In case you forgot to have your driver’s license with you, you have a week to present proof of your license in court. If you do so, your ticket may be dismissed.

If you do not have a license because it was revoked or suspended, the punishment could be a higher fine or even prison. According to South Carolina’s statute, drivers that have three or more offenses like this could even face house arrest for a period of 3 to six months.

Driving while your license is revoked or suspended is considered an intentional act of disobedience and can lead to severe consequences. First-time offenders may receive a sentence of 30 days in jail plus a hefty fine. If the law violation is repeated, then the penalties may get too severe.

Defense Attorney for Driving without a License

As with any criminal legal matter, anyone who knowingly or unknowingly drives without a license and winds up with a criminal citation can benefit from having an experienced traffic court defense attorney.

If you have any questions regarding driving without a driver’s license, you should consult a South Carolina auto accident attorney.

What Are Your Options?

In case that your license is temporarily revoked, you have the option to apply for a restricted license that would authorize you to drive to specific destinations. For example, you may be allowed to drive to your work and back. However, to apply for the restricted license, you are required by the state to show proof of employment and that the distance you will be driving will not be further than a mile from your house. The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles may also define the times and routes you will be allowed to drive.

Contact A Greenville Car Accident Lawyer

Having your right to drive affected by traffic offenses can make your life difficult. A car accident lawyer can represent you and defend your rights.

If you or someone you love have been injured in a car collision with a driver without a license, an auto accident lawyer in Greenville may help you with your car accident claim.

Call us at Brumback and Langley for your free consultation. Our team of experienced car accident attorneys can answer your questions regarding driving without a license and discuss your options.