Frederick County Driving Without a License Lawyer
An individual may not drive or attempt to drive a motor vehicle on any highway in Maryland, including Frederick County, unless the individual holds a valid driver’s license.
Unlicensed driving in Frederick County is a misdemeanor, the penalty for which is a fine of no more than $500 and a maximum of 60 days incarceration. While such penalties are severe, an experienced Frederick County driving without a license attorney can often assist in resolving such cases. Many times, charges involving driving without a license can be resolved when an individual obtains a valid driver’s license before their scheduled hearing, and their attorney presents this license to the prosecutor.
No License in Possession
Unlicensed driving with no license in possession occurs when an individual is licensed to drive but lacks proof of such while driving. Unlicensed driving with no license in possession is a traffic misdemeanor that may result in a fine. However, the infraction may be dismissed once that individual or their driving without a license lawyer in Frederick County can prove they possessed a valid license at the time of the incident.
Driving With a Suspended or Revoked License
Under Maryland law, drivers who are found to be operating a vehicle on a suspended license can face serious consequences, including incarceration. Driving on a suspended license can result in one year of incarceration, up to a $1,000 fine, and up to 12 points on an individual’s driving record. Further, those who are caught driving on a suspended license for a second time will face up to two years of incarceration, in addition to the aforementioned penalties.
If an individual is convicted of driving on a revoked license, the penalties are similar to those for driving on a suspended license. An individual can be sentenced to up to one year in jail, required to pay a fine up to $1,000, and have 12 points added to their driver’s record.
Proving License Suspension
In order to be convicted of driving on a suspended or revoked license, the driver must have had knowledge that their license was suspended or revoked at the time of the alleged offense. Such knowledge may be either actual or inferred. A judge can determine from all of the circumstances that the individual knew or should have known that their license was suspended at the time, however, proving this knowledge is the burden of the prosecution.
The most common way for the prosecution to prove that a driver had knowledge of their license suspension or revocation is to show that the MVA mailed a letter to the driver informing them of such a suspension or revocation. Here, it is important to note that the prosecution does not necessarily need to prove that the individual read or even received this letter, as a judge may still infer knowledge on the basis of the letter being sent.
Although the penalties are similar between driving with a suspended and driving on a revoked license, a conviction for driving with a revoked license often involves consequences that require a longer loss of a person’s driving privileges. Additionally, it is important to note that such offenses involve must-appear citations. As such, as a result of receiving a citation for either offense, an individual must appear in front of a judge at a scheduled court hearing. A prosecutor from the State Attorney’s Office will handle the case and must prove each element of the sentence to a judge or jury.
The standard required to sustain a guilty finding is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. In order for an individual to be convicted, the state must prove each element of the offense. It is unlikely for someone to be sent to jail on a first conviction for driving with a suspended or revoked license. However, a lengthy incarceration period is possible for a repeat offender who continues to drive on a suspended or revoked license, making it imperative that a Frederick County unlicensed driving lawyer is contacted.
Aggravating and Mitigating Factors
If an individual’s license was suspended or revoked due to a DUI or the act of leaving the scene of an accident involving injuries or death, such circumstances will likely be considered aggravating factors and increase the individual’s penalties. Alternatively, if an individual can prove that they had no knowledge of the suspended or revoked license, this lack of knowledge may serve as a mitigating factor.
Building a Defense
In order to convict an individual of driving with a suspended or revoked license in Frederick County, the state must prove that an individual knew or should have known of the suspension or revocation at the time of the alleged incident. Thus, in order to build a defense against such a charge, an attorney will work to establish that the driver was not given notice and, as such, did not have knowledge their license had been suspended or revoked.
Additionally, the state must prove that the traffic stop that gave rise to the discovery that the individual was driving with a suspended or revoked license was initiated for a valid reason. Therefore, an attorney may also work to establish that probable cause did not exist for the officer to pull the driver over.
Hiring an Attorney
If an individual has been charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license, it is important that they contact a local traffic lawyer as soon as possible as such charges are associated with serious consequences. An experienced lawyer may be able to present mitigating factors that may result in reduced penalties or a dismissal of charges. Moreover, such a lawyer can look for deficiencies in the state’s case and bring such issues to the attention of the judge.
A conviction for driving with a suspended or revoked license can hinder a person’s ability to obtain a new license in the future. Furthermore, such a conviction will result in the assessment of points to their driver’s record, which may, in turn, result in an additional loss of driving privileges and increased insurance rates. These consequences can be severe and are likely to impact an individual’s employment and wellbeing. An experienced, local Frederick County driving without a license lawyer can play a considerable role in mitigating these consequences and limiting their impact on their client.