Driving on a suspended or revoked license in Tucson can come with some hefty penalties. The circumstances of the situation may change the severity of these penalties. If you’re contending with an active case related to driving on a suspended license, call a lawyer. Understanding the facts surrounding the process will help you explain your situation to your lawyer.
Arizona Driver’s License Requirements
All Arizona driver’s licenses must contain the following information about the driver: The driver’s legal full name, date of birth, gender, height, weight, eye color, address, and the driver’s signature. Licenses from other states may not require the same information. Florida, for example, does not require weight on a driver’s license. If you have a valid license from another state and you’re only visiting Arizona (i.e. not staying long term, not relocating residences), your out of state license is acceptable.
What if I’m Licensed but Forgot to Bring My License With Me?
Arizona law requires that all motorists have their current driver’s license in the vehicle with them at all times. The officer who pulled you over will check the database for records of your license. If you possess a license but are not carrying that license with you, the process differs greatly from driving with a suspended license.
If you are a licensed driver in good standing and you haven’t committed any traffic violations, you’re likely to be hit with a fine of $120 for failing to carry your license with you. The fine can be paid to end the matter. In many cases, supplying the court with proof that you are a licensed driver and were at the time of the traffic stop is enough to have the fee waived. Just don’t make a habit of forgetting your license.
What is the Penalty for Driving Without a License?
If the officer who performed the stop cannot find evidence that you were ever a licensed driver, the situation becomes a crime. Unlicensed drivers are charged with a class 2 misdemeanor as first offenders, but this is usually only the beginning. The reason for conducting the traffic stop is still to be addressed. If you were found to be speeding, driving recklessly, or driving under the influence, these are all separate charges. If you’ve already faced charges for driving without a license, penalties will escalate.
What Happens When You Drive with an Expired License?
Driving with an expired license is an uncommon scenario. In the state of Arizona, licenses don’t expire until drivers become 65 years old. This is an issue that pertains specifically to senior drivers. Driving with an expired license is a class 2 misdemeanor, although other factors may play a significant role in the penalties ultimately dispensed by the court. If you’ve been charged with driving with an expired license, it’s best to seek the assistance of a competent attorney. There are some circumstances under which a driver may not be aware that his or her license is expired, and an attorney can help reduce charges to a reasonable fine in some cases.
The Penalties for Driving With a Suspended or Revoked License in Arizona
Your license can be suspended for a variety of reasons. Frequent traffic infractions, DUI, reckless driving, or other exorbitant traffic offenses can lead to the suspension of a driver’s license. Licenses can sometimes be revoked for individuals who fail to pay court fines or drive without auto insurance.
Driving with a license that has been suspended or revoked is charged as a class 1 misdemeanor offense, one rung below a felony. First time offenders can see a maximum of six months jail time, a maximum of three years probation, and fines as high as $2,500.
Defenses for Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License.
There are a few possible defenses can be used to defend a charge of driving on a suspended license in Arizona. The most common one is that the driver did not knowingly drive on a suspended license. Driving on a suspended license is not a strict liability crime. The prosecutor must prove criminal intent. In such cases, the State has the burden of proving that you were notified that your license had been suspended. The prosecutor will try to prove that you knew or should have known that your license was suspended.
Arizona’s suspended license statues require that you be found driving a motor vehicle. (This does not work with DUI, where you merely have to be in physical control of a motor vehicle.) If you were not driving it, you may have a chance for dismissal.
Private property. Also unlike DUI laws, driving with a suspended license on private property (not public owned roads) is not illegal.
Working with a Competent Attorney
A competent attorney can help to reduce or prevent charges for individuals cited for driving without a license. Whether you left your license at home or your license was present but suspended, a great attorney will be able to create an advantageous strategy to reduce your charges or even have them dropped completely.
At Damianakos Law, our team understands just how vital driving privileges are to living our daily lives. We have years of experience representing individuals like you who need and deserve their driving privileges. Call us now to schedule a free consultation regarding your case. One of our competent and experienced experts will advise you as to your best options. If you decide to work with us, we’ll immediately get to work on preparing the aggressive defense you need.