What happens if your license has expired and you’re pulled over while driving? Well it depends on whether you knew it or not. For example, if your license expired because of a missed renewal on your birthday, then it’s not a serious offense. We are all subject to busy lives, and not always on top of the exact time that our driving permit has run past its renewal date. This offense is regarded as a simple civil infraction. Life happens. This generally is treated like an ordinary ticket. A note to the wise, take the option to pay your fine in person rather than just mailing it in. This shows the court that there wasn’t any criminal intent on your part. Showing up in person also may save you points and a few bucks.
If you are aware of driving with a suspended or expired license then you are facing criminal charges. It will show on the record the police officer pulls up on his cruiser’s laptop. Now you’re in trouble! The officer has the option to take you directly to jail, do not pass go and you definetly do not collect $200. Instead your vehicle is hauled away via your local crane service or towing company and taken to the impound yard. Now you’re the guests of the local lock-up! Then again, you might get lucky – although at this point you should not be counting on luck – the officer may just issue you a ticket with a notice to appear before a judge. The latter is only likely if, #1 the officer isn’t suffering from indigestion #2 you look trustworthy and have no priors #3 the officer’s dog didn’t die that day #4 the person he pulled over prior to you did not have potty mouth. If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll need to hire an attorney.
Neither scenario of driving with a suspended or expired license is worth the risk. The first may seem harmless enough, but it often disguises pitfalls that you wouldn’t think of. It’s a black eye on your record and may support or lead to future indications that you are an ”habitual traffic offender”. If you have any other traffic offenses over a period of five years, you could end up one day opening your mailbox only to find a letter from the Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department informing you that your license will be permanently suspended, or suspended for an additional five years. At this point that lawyer will come in handy as you will have to appeal. Don’t bother, if you are OK living with the consequences. You have thirty days to ask for relief, but it is in your favor to act quickly. The courts want to see respect, and responding right away will show in your favor.
Let’s say you’ve been ticketed once before with a suspended driving license and you are pulled over. You will automatically win a trip to jail. Because you are termed a chronic offender, the chances are your bond is going to be higher as well. It’s important to know that the offense of driving with a suspended license is cumulative. This means that any other driving tickets can lead all the way up to a third degree felony. Now you’re facing prison. Once you have a felony, you lose other rights that we won’t go into in this article, but surely the right to vote is suspended.
Every state has different penalties for driving with a suspended driving license, but most are very similar. You can expect the to pay high fines and if a repeated offense – much higher fines. As I mentioned above expect some jail time if the offenses have accumulated. Note that in some states it’s not uncommon for a mandatory one-year prison sentence to be levied. You may have to pull community service time in lieu of jail, if you are seen as repentant and have a good attorney. Points are added which of course, means higher insurance premiums. You may still be eligiable for future suspension time or complete cancellation of your driver’s license. When the time comes when you are eligible for reinstatement, you will pay higher fees to get this accomplished.
The risks of driving with a suspended license are huge. A quick trip to the grocery store with a glide through at a Stop sign can change you life forever. It’s not worth it. Stay within the Law.