In New York, if you are stopped for a traffic violation, the officer will first request your driver’s licence. If you cannot produce a valid licence, you may face severe consequences. Understanding the distinction between driving without a licence and not carrying your licence with you can help you mitigate your penalties. A lawyer specialising in such cases can be of assistance.
I Have a License, But I Didn’t Have It With Me
Insufficient licence documentation is a fairly common occurrence. Perhaps you were in a hurry and left your wallet at home, or you switched purses without transferring your driver’s licence. If you are caught driving without your licence, you will be charged with unlicensed operation and issued a citation.
If you appear in court and present your driver’s licence to the judge, you may be able to have the ticket dismissed. However, if you fail to appear in court, you may be fined or have your licence suspended.
Driving Without a Driver’s License
If you operate a motor vehicle without a valid licence, whether you were never issued one or it is no longer valid, you will be charged with unlicensed operation. If you have never been issued a driver’s licence, you will likely receive a traffic ticket rather than a criminal charge. If it’s your first offence, you’ll probably receive a fine.
Driving With an Expired License
It is typical to forget to renew your licence. You may have been preoccupied or never received a postal reminder. Some officers may simply issue a warning and instruct you to rectify the situation. However, this outcome is unlikely. If you are caught driving with an expired licence, you will receive a citation, a fine, and a point on your driving record.
Driving With a Suspended License
If your licence has been suspended or revoked and you continue to drive, you will face severe penalties if you are caught. State law in New York defines driving with a suspended or revoked licence as the crime of aggravated unlicensed operation. You will not be permitted to drive away with a ticket. Your case will likely be heard in criminal court, not traffic court, if you are arrested.
You may wish to retain an attorney to assist you in fighting this charge. If you are a repeat offender, you could face incarceration. The charge will also appear on your criminal record.
What If I Don’t Have My License and I Get in a Car Wreck?
Whether or not you possess a valid driver’s licence does not alter the fact that the other driver caused the collision. However, your claim may become more complex. If you have never had a driver’s licence or if your licence has been suspended or revoked, the insurance company for the other party may contest your claim.
Because New York is a no-fault state for auto accidents, both parties typically resolve their own issues with their insurance companies. However, if you do not have a valid licence or if it has been suspended, your insurance coverage may be at risk. Your own insurance company may deny your claim on the grounds that you should not have been driving.
In any circumstance, a lawyer can be of assistance. They may be able to mitigate the penalties you face for driving without a licence, and if you’re in criminal court, they may be able to help you avoid jail time. An attorney may be able to pursue your claim for damages if you were involved in an accident without a licence.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm
Contact Abrams Law Group for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt in an accident and require legal assistance.