Can I get to jail for a first time offense for driving without a license? 51 Answers as of July 08, 2013

My friend said she was sick and felt dizzy. I said I would take the wheel so we will not get hurt.

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Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
I do not feel the court will send you to jail for this offense. Most likely you will have to pay a fine and cost of court.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 8/27/2012
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
Yes, you could, but it is highly unlikely. The judge will probably give you a suspended sentence.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/27/2012
Conway Law Pllc.
Conway Law Pllc. | B. L. Conway
Well Yeah, but that is a defense. You are looking at up to 1 Year in Jail, a $2500 fine and license suspension.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 8/27/2012
Law Offices of Mark L. Smith
Law Offices of Mark L. Smith | Mark L. Smith
No.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 5/22/2013
Larry K. Dunn & Associates | Larry K. Dunn
All misdemeanor offenses in the State of Nevada carry a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail and/or $1,000 fine. It is unlikely that a judge would impose jail for driving without a valid license because the driver became ill and unsafe to continue driving. A judge would be more likely to impose jail if the driver's license was suspended or revoked.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/27/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    You may want to fight this charge. A medical emergancy is a reason to drive without a license. It depends on how sick your friend was.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/27/2012
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    Driving without a license is an infraction and is not punished by jail time.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
    It's possible. I suggest that you contact an experienced criminal law attorney for a face-to-face consultation and give him/her all of the facts surrounding your arrest. He/she would then be in a better position to analyze your case and advise you of your options.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Grant & Grant
    Grant & Grant | Richard L. Grant, Esq.
    No. But, you need to hire a Traffic / Criminal Defense Attorney who regularly appears in the court where your case is filed. Driving without a License is a Misdemeanor and most often, the District Attorney will file a Criminal Complaint.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
    All cases and facts are different, so I can't definitely predict what will happen. Generally, a conviction for driving without a license does not include jail time. If you have multiple convictions relating to driving without a license or outstanding warrants, there is a possibility jail time can be imposed.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    If you are charged with 509-1 Driving Without a License you will pay a $50 fine and not have a criminal record. If you drove on a suspended license you should retain a good criminal lawyer to try to get a violation plea and avoid a jail sentence. You will usually just pay a fine unless your license was suspended due to a DWI.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Yes, because you drive without a license. There is no justification, because your friend was ill.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    A good lawyer would ensure that you get a fine at most.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    It is possible, but unlikely. If you can apply for a license and if you get the license it will help your situation, possibly a dismissal or at least a less serious charge.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A.
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A. | Donald L. Blaszka, Jr.
    In NH, driving without a valid license is a violation level offense with a maximum punishment of $1000 plus $240 penalty assessment.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Doubtful. Bring your friend to court. It's not a defense but hopefully the judge will be sympathetic.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    William L. Welch, III Attorney | William L. Welch, III
    Yes, you might be sent to jail for a year. Although your reason for breaking the law might be mitigation, it does not excuse the violation. Although it is unlikely that you would be sent to jail, no one can say how the judge would ultimately sentence you.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Blough Law Office | Janis L. Blough
    Although your offense carries a potential jail term, ordinarily you will only be fined (+ court costs). Many courts have a recording which tells you how much the fine is, but it may be worth it to appear and plead your case before a judge/magistrate. It would help to have your friend present, and a doctor's note wouldn't hurt either. If this is one of several/many such violations, you could be looking at jail time, but usually they would rather save the jail space for more dangerous violators. Good Luck!
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Law office of Robert D. Scott | Robert Scott
    No permit does carry jail time, but there may be lesser sanctions available to you if you are a first time offender.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    James M. Osak, P.C.
    James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
    ARGUE "NECESSITY" as she was ill. You were taking her to a hospital? You could have called a cab you know.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    Anything is possible, this is a criminal offense, however I seriously doubt that you will be sent to jail at all, but given some type of probationary sentence, perhaps a fine. Why not get a license? You would probably have the case dropped completely if you do.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    Not with the right way.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Anderson & Carnahan
    Anderson & Carnahan | Stephen Anderson
    It depends on whether your license was suspended and for what you should talk to an attorney on your county.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    It is certainly possible. The offense is a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    If your license was not suspended, and you simply didn't have one, then usually there will not be jail time. But it is still possible, since VC 12500(a) can still be filed as a misdemeanor. Contact an attorney if you want to get it infracted or dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD | Mace Yampolsky
    Yes, but you probably won't.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    MatthewR. Schutz, Esq | Matthew R. Schutz
    No.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/22/2013
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    That charge carries a jail possibility but you would not normally go to jail for a first offense.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    It is possible to get jail it is mandatory if suspension/revocation was for alcohol (dui etc) there is sometimes an emergency defense, but it is not easy.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Anderson Law Office
    Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
    Usually you would not do jail time for a first offense, you would usually get stayed time meaning if the type of offense does not happen again you will not do jail time. Caveat: Every county and prosecutor is different but that is the usual result.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    You could but it is unlikely. Get your license before your court date. It will help.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Pietryga Law Office | Russ Pietryga
    Yes. However, whether the judge sentences you to jail, usually depends on why you do not have a license. For instance, if your license was suspended for a DUI, you are more likely to be sentenced to jail.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    I have never had anyone go to jail for it. Anything is possible.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/8/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    You have a potential defense if this was a true emergency.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/8/2013
    Law Office of Charles J. Block
    Law Office of Charles J. Block | Charles J. Block
    No.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/22/2013
    Law Office of Christopher G Humphrey PC | Christopher G Humphrey
    It is possible.
    Answer Applies to: Wyoming
    Replied: 6/13/2013
    Christensen Corbett & Pankratz
    Christensen Corbett & Pankratz | Craig L. Pankratz
    You can, but you most likely won't.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/13/2013
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    It is a misdemeanor with potential one year in jail. While this isn't a 'capital case', you certainly face fines and potential jail, so handle it right. No amount of free 'tips and hints' from here or elsewhere are going to effectively help you in your legal defense. If you don't know how to represent yourself effectively against an experienced prosecutor intending to convict, then hire an attorney who does, who will try to get a dismissal, charge reduction, diversion, program, or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/24/2013
    Barbara Fontaine, Esquire | Barbara Fontaine
    I would not expect any jail time. Usually you have to come in with a valid license to show that you will not drive without one again. You pay a fine and since I do not know what state you live in, I cannot know what else. But jail seems much too severe. (You didn't have an accident, did you?)
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Law Office of James J. Rosenberger | James Joseph Rosenberger
    If the charge is Driving with Suspended License 3rd Degree you face 90 days jail and/or $1000 fine. Assuming a decent driving record I'd be awfully surprised if you received Jail time especially if you can get a valid license anytime soon.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/23/2012
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