What happens when I get pulled over driving with a suspended license? 57 Answers as of June 02, 2013

Do you go directly to jail on the spot?

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Kenneth M. Hallum, Attorney at Law
Kenneth M. Hallum, Attorney at Law | Kenneth M. Hallum
In most counties you will receive a citation with a court date, also known as a promise to appear. Unless there are outstanding warrants or additional violations, jail does not occur on the spot. However, the car will most likely be impounded for 30 days.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/14/2011
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
Officers can arrest on the spot, but some jurisdictions may just issue a summons.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 11/14/2011
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
I'd recommend you retain a lawyer to assist you with this matter. If you are ultimately charged, you may have the option of requesting a court-appointed attorney at the public's expense. Your are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The prosecutor must prove any allegations of criminal conduct beyond a reasonable doubt. Whether a person is arrested or issued a ticket depends on the circumstances. Sometimes, they'll simply issue a ticket. In other situations, they will arrest you. Cops have a lot of discretion in some situations. However, if the individual has other warrants, the police are not allowed to issue a ticket and must arrest them. I'd recommend you retain a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/14/2011
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
Provided that you sign the ticket you may not go to jail. Most police officers will not allow you to drive off in the car so you better have someone to call to come and get the car.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 11/10/2011
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
Yes, you can go to jail on the spot. Also if you are caught driving on a suspended license the court (if you are convicted) can put you in jail and fine you. The Secretary of State will also charge you a driver responsibility fee for the next two years.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/10/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    You get arrested.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Law Offices of Kenneth M. Christopher ESQ | Kenneth Christopher
    If you are driving with a suspended license you will likely be charged with a misdemeanor (criminal) offense. Whether you go directly to jail is a matter of individual officer discretion at the time they pull you over. However, most officers will not let you drive your car and you can be arrested and held for misdemeanor unlicensed operation. Please be careful and work to clear whatever suspensions you may have to your license.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Donahue, Sowa & Magana Attorneys at Law
    Donahue, Sowa & Magana Attorneys at Law | Glenn M. Sowa
    Usually you will be taken into custody, allowed to post bail, and then released with a future court date. The police officer will not let you drive away, he'll probably tow your vehicle. Most driving while license suspended offenses are misdemeanors, which have possible incarceration in the county jail for up to a year. This all depends on why your license was suspended. Some have mandatory minimum jail and/or community service requirements.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    It depends. If this is the first time you have been pulled over for driving without a valid license and there is no warrant, you probably will not be arrested.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    Generally you do not go directly to jail, you are given a ticket to answer either by mail or in person in court.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
    You are subject to arrest. Whether you are arrested or not will depend on the police officer. I have heard that the police do not always arrest people for driving on a suspended license. It also depends on what other information comes up to the officer when they run a search of your license.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Law Office of Richard Southard
    Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
    Driving with a suspended license is a misdemeanor crime in New York and you can be arrested. If convicted you will have a permanent criminal record and could end up in jail Each county handles these differently. Some will only give you a summons, some will issue a Desk Appearance to see a judge at a later date and some will keep you in jail for 24 hours to see the judge. Best advice is to clear up your license or get a conditional license before driving.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    No, you are generally given a citation ordering you to appear in court. However, under some circumstances you car may be impounded.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    You could be arrested and taken to jail. Another option would be for the officer to write you an appearance ticket and allow you to appear in court on a given date. Either is possible.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    A Magisterial Hearing would be scheduled. You would/should/could be given Bail to post before that Hearing.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Vasilkovs Law Office | Donna Vasilkovs
    It depends on the state where you reside. In Washington state you can be arrested for DWLS and No Valid Operator's License (NVOL), but not NVOLOn Person (NVOLP). I would assume likewise in most other states. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    You are generally taken to the police station and in some cases, will need to post bail. If unable to post bond (in Illinois, usually $100.00), you may be kept overnight and then taken to see a judge, who may impose an individual recognizance bond. The police, here in Chicago, often release offenders in such cases with "i" bonds almost immediately after booking.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    You can and usually will. Plus the cop can impound the car and as a consequence search it. Hope he does not find anything bad like guns or dope.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Law Offices of Louis M. Leibowitz, LLC
    Law Offices of Louis M. Leibowitz, LLC | Louis Leibowitz
    Driving on a suspended licenses does carry jail time. Depending on the reason a person is suspended, the offense can carry up to one year in jail for a first offense. However, it is extremely unusual for a person to be arrested and hauled off to jail on the spot. Typically, a person is given a ticket and the car may be towed if there is not another licensed driver who is available to move the car.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 11/9/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    You'll probably be issued an appearance ticket for Aggravated Unlicensed Operation, a misdemeanor.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    They could take you to jail and make you bond out (which would be a low amount) or they could just give you the citation and send you on your way. If it's your first offense, it's a misdemeanor but a lot is still at stake so I would suggest having a lawyer represent you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    That depends on the reason the license was suspended. If it was for unpaid tickets you should pay the tickets and retain an attorney. He will get the prosecutor to reduce it to a 509-1 or 511-a1 violation and you won't have a criminal record. You will pay a $50 fine and a surcharge but you will not have a criminal conviction or points on your license.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    It depends. You may go to jail, if they set bail and you can't make bail. Usually, they just issue you a citation and impound your car. Mostly, you won't go to jail unless you are convicted/plead guilty.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    bark & karpf
    bark & karpf | peter bark
    It all depends on the county where you are stopped and the reason for the suspension. If you were suspended for DUI you will probably be taken to jail. If you just missed a traffic court date one time the cop might just issue you a ticket, but you never know what he might do.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    Depending on the situation, you would likely get arrested, booked and released on a promise to appear at court. That is assuming no priors or other circumstances and can vary depending on jurisdiction.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    If you are suspended for a DUI in any way, then yes, and the bond will be set at 10,000. If it is not a DUI or other alcohol suspension, it will not be so awful.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Anderson Law Office
    Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
    It depends on the city or county you are arrested in and the level of your suspension, revocation, cancellation. If it is a suspension then usually not but for a cancellation usually yes.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Braunstein Law, PC
    Braunstein Law, PC | Jacob Braunstein
    If someone is pulled over for driving on a suspended license, the officer can either issue a citation and release the individual (though not to continue driving) or arrest and book into jail. Often, the end result will depend on several factors, including prior criminal history, outstanding warrants if any, whether the suspension is a result of another criminal charge such as DUII,
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    Sometimes you will be arrested, other times issued a citation. It depends on your record, the officer's preference,
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    You might be taken to a jail facility briefly but it is doubtful that you would be held for any period of time. Unless you are found in possession of contraband, Driving After Suspension does not require that you be held in custody. Obviously, you would not be allowed to drive away. Your vehicle might well be impounded.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Law Office of William S. Smith
    Law Office of William S. Smith | William S. Smith
    Typically, in Massachusetts if you are stopped and found to be driving on a suspended license, the officer will not arrest you but, rather, will serve you with a summons. You will then be charged and have to appear in court for a criminal arraignment. If the suspension, however, was due to a license suspension stemming from an OUI adjudication, that is a far more serious offense, and you will likely be arrested. Regardless, you will have to make arrangements for someone else to come and pick up your car, as you will not be allowed to drive.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Robert Mortland
    Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
    This depends who pulls you over. The officer is able to take you to jail on the spot. However, some officers will cite and release you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    It's a misdemeanor, so you can be jailed. The preference is to cite and release you with a date to appear, but being booked is a possibility. In addition, they can impound your car. A conviction for driving on a suspended license can carry large fines, potential jail time and/or community service, not to mention probation and points on your driving history.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    It depends upon why you are suspended. In most cases you are not taken to jail. You need to know why you were suspended and then speak with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    Usually, yes.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/2/2013
    Law Firm of Martin & Wallentine
    Law Firm of Martin & Wallentine | Jerry Lee Wallentine Jr.
    In Kansas, the officer could arrest and take you to jail. Also, the officer could simply issue you an order to appear in court.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
    The officer has discretion to allow you to arrange for a licensed driver to drive you and the vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    Sometimes, not always. The best way to deal with such a charge is to go to DMV and try to have your license reinstated before you go to court.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    It is up to the officer. You could be arrested and your vehicle impounded.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    First of all, you should do whatever you can to get your license reinstated. Most courts in Washington have license restoration programs. As far as what can happen if you drive, you may be arrested; particularly if you have outstanding warrants. Your car may be impounded and that get's expensive. If you were to have drugs or illegal weapons in your car, the officer will find them and you will go to jail. The obvious solution for avoiding such mayhem is to get your license reinstated before you drive. If you insist on driving, be aware that some officers will sit and run license numbers. If the number is associated with a suspended license, the cop will stop you. Also, remember that your license was suspended for a reason. In Washington State, we do not have a right to drive. Rather, it is a privilege that can be lost. You will do yourself the most good by jumping through whatever hoops that stand between you and being a licensed driver.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Swann-Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC
    Swann-Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC | Elizabeth Swann
    No, not usually. You will receive a ticket for driving while suspended. An attorney may be able to work on your behalf and have the ticket for driving while suspended dropped down to "no state ID" or something equivalent in most courts.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Law Offices of Paula Drake
    Law Offices of Paula Drake | Paula Drake
    Usually one gets pulled over for a traffic violation and the officer then will discover the license is suspended. The person is then cited for both the traffic violation and the suspended license charge, which is a misdemeanor that can result in fines and/or jail time depending upon the underlying reason for the suspension. If you are suspended due to dui and are still on probation, you could also end up with a probation violation and additional action by the dmv. Whether you are cited to appear or taken into custody depends on the particular circumstances regarding the reason for the stop (was it for dui, reckless driving, etc), whether you are on probation, whether there is an outstanding warrant, etc. The best thing for you to do is not to drive on the suspended license; try to take care of the underlying cause of the suspension. Consult an attorney to review your dmv record and then advise you how best to do this.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin | Daniel K Martin
    Not usually, but your car will get towed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    You can. It is discretionary with the officer.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Miel & Carr, PLC
    Miel & Carr, PLC | Keeley D Heath
    It depends. While a police officer can place you under arrest and take you to jail for DWLS, often times the officer merely issues a ticket with an appearance date for an arraignment.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    You could. It depends on whether the officer sees you as someone who should pay bail. Usually, a summons is issued, although the car is frequently towed, unless there is someone there to lawfully drive the car or the car can be safely parked nearby.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    The Law Offices of Seth D. Schraier
    The Law Offices of Seth D. Schraier | Seth D. Schraier
    Driving with a Suspended License in New York, also known as Aggravated Unlicensed Operation (AUO) is a crime which can either be a misdemeanor (511.1 or 511.2) or a Felony (511.3). *AUO - 3RD Degree* - Unclassified misdemeanor punishable up to 30 days in jail, a mandatory fine from $200 to $500.This offense is committed when a person is operating with any suspension other than alcohol related. *AUO - 2ND Degree* - Unclassified misdemeanor punishable up to 180 days in jail, a mandatory fine from $500 to $1000 Jail time is minimum mandatory 7 days unless given 3 years probation. This offense can be committed 3 ways and occurs when a driver: 1. Operates with an alcohol related suspension or revocation; 2. Operates with 3 or more active suspensions or revocations that have occurred on 3 or more separate dates; 3. Commits AUO in 3rd Degree and have been convicted within the previous 18 months. *AUO- 1st Degree * - Is a Felony and is punishable up to 4 years in prison and a mandatory fine of $1,000 to $5,000. This offense is committed when a driver: 1. Operates a motor vehicle and has 10 or more suspensions or revocations imposed on 10 different dates. 2. Commits the offense of AUO - 2nd Degree while intoxicated or impaired by alcohol or drugs.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    The offense is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. In most cases, you would be cited and released.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Depends if you have a decent cop or not. If you have a friend with a valid license the cops will usually let him/her drive the car away. Stop driving on a suspended license. Big fines and god forbid you are in an accident. Your insurance won't cover you because you are unlicensed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Law Offices of Kenneth Wincorn P.C.
    Law Offices of Kenneth Wincorn P.C. | Kenneth Wincorn
    Yes, that is the usual situation.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/2/2013
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    You normally would be arrested, but able to bond out fairly quickly. Many consequences flow from that including eventually possible jail time, extended loss of license.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Wallin & Klarich
    Wallin & Klarich | Stephen D. Klarich
    It depends on why your license was suspended and if you had notice (knowledge) of suspension. If for alcohol reasons for suspension, very serious and would require jail time. If for a less serious reason, ie. failure to appear, it is not as serious They do not take you to jail on the spot unless you have an active warrant for your arrest.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Not necessarily. It is at the discretion of the cop. You may simply be cited and released. The cop also has the discretion to impound your car for up to 30 days. If that happens, you have only 48 hours to request an impound hearing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    When pulled over by a law enforcement officer for driving with a suspended license you will be issued a citation and told not to drive until you have a valid license. Unless you have an outstanding warrant you should not be arrested. However, you will not be allowed to drive the car away from the area of the stop.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/8/2011
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