Driving Without a License in Arizona
Do you check that you have your phone, keys, and wallet whenever you leave the house? In Arizona, as in most states, driving without a valid driver’s license is a crime, and the consequences can be severe. It’s a good idea to always make sure you have it on you before you get into the driver’s seat. In this blog, we’ll explore Arizona’s driver’s license laws, including the potential penalties for driving without a licence.
What Is Considered Driving Without a License?
According to Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 28-3151, driving without a valid driver’s license is illegal. However, not having your license on you isn’t the only circumstance that is considered driving without a valid license. You can also face penalties if you are unable to find your license when pulled over—even if you do possess a valid license—or if you are caught driving on a suspended, revoked, or expired license.
What Happens If You Get Pulled Over While Driving Without a License in Arizona?
In most cases, the penalty for driving without a license (or with an expired license) is a $120 fine in Arizona. However, driving without a valid license can sometimes earn you a class 2 misdemeanor charge. You can also be charged with a class 2 misdemeanor if you permit a minor to drive your vehicle without a license.
The penalties for a class 2 misdemeanor include:
- A maximum of four months of jail time
- Up to $750 in fines, plus additional fees and surcharges
- Up to two years of probation
Driving on a suspended or revoked license, however, is a Class 1 misdemeanor, and comes with harsher penalties. You could face:
- A maximum of six months in jail
- Up to $2,500 in fines plus additional fees and surcharges
- Up to three years of probation
- An extended suspension of your license
Your vehicle could also be impounded for up to 30 days if you are caught driving on a suspended or revoked license. A vehicle that is impounded after an arrest can be searched by police officers and any illegal items they find will be confiscated.
If you drive under the influence without a valid driver’s license, you could be charged with an aggravated DUI instead of a standard DUI. An aggravated DUI is a felony offense that could earn you up to four months in prison, a driver’s license suspension, as well as fines and fees totaling $4,600 or more. And if you have any prior felony convictions, the penalties are even more severe.
Defending Driving Without a License
Common defenses for driving without a license include being able to produce a valid driver’s license after being charged, having a valid driver’s license from another state, not knowing that your license was suspended, and not being the one who was driving the vehicle.
For instance, if you didn’t have a license on you or were unable to locate it when you were charged, you may be able to reduce the penalties by showing proof of the valid license in court. As another example, say you were charged while sitting in the driver’s seat of a running vehicle while the driver was shopping. You could potentially get the charge dropped if you can prove that you did not operate the vehicle. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you build a strong defense and get your penalties reduced, depending on the circumstances.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Scottsdale, AZ
If you were caught driving without a license, on a suspended license, or under the influence, contact the expert criminal defense team at Van Norman Law. Whether you’re facing a class 1 misdemeanor or a class 6 felony, we fight for the rights of the residents of Scottsdale and the surrounding areas. If you’d like to discuss your case and get started building your defense, give us a call at 480-481-0616 today to schedule a free consultation.