Unlicensed Driving in Rockville
Cars have become an indispensable part of people’s lives. Having your license suspended can have serious repercussions, especially if you live or work in an area that does not have reliable public transportation.
With obligations to fulfill, you might feel the urge to drive despite your suspended license. However, unlicensed driving in Rockville can make your situation worse by elevating the charges you are already facing.
Contact an experienced Rockville traffic lawyer who can advocate for you, and work to mitigate the charges you do face.
Unlicensed Driving With No License Issued
Section 16-101 of the Maryland Transportation Article states that an individual may not drive or attempt to drive a motor vehicle on any highway in Maryland unless the individual holds a valid driver’s license, making unlicensed driving in Rockville County quite illegal.
CHARGES AND PENALTIES
Unlicensed driving in Rockville is a misdemeanor, and the penalty is a fine of not more than $500 and a maximum of 60 days incarceration. It is possible that a judge will place someone in jail if they have not hired an attorney due to the seriousness of the offense or if someone has been charged previously for the same offense. However, many times, this charge can be resolved by obtaining a valid license and bringing it court to show the prosecutor.
Unlicensed Driving With No License in Possession
Unlicensed driving with no license in possession in Rockville means that an individual is licensed to drive but that person lacked proof that they were licensed to drive. This is an infraction that may be dismissed once a person can prove that they possessed a valid license at the time of the incident.
Unlicensed driving with no license in possession is a misdemeanor and an individual may have to pay a fine. Many times, this charge can be resolved by obtaining a valid license and bringing it to court to show the prosecutor. The prosecutor may then, in turn, dismiss the citation.
What is Unlicensed Driving with a Suspended License?
Under Maryland law, drivers who are found to be operating a vehicle on a suspended license can face very serious consequences including incarceration. Driving on a suspended license can result in a year of incarceration up to a $1,000 -fine and up to 12 points on their driver’s license. Those who are a caught driving on a suspended license for a second time face up to two years’ incarceration in addition to the other penalties.
This offense is also likely to result in a substantial increase in a person’s insurance rate. This will make it harder for a person to afford to drive once their license is eventually reinstated. If a person is convicted of driving on a revoked license, the penalties are similar to those for driving on a suspended license.
A person can be sentenced up to one year in jail, a $1,000.00-fine and 12 points on their driving record. Although the penalties are similar for driving while suspended and driving on a revoked license, a conviction for driving with a revoked license means it’s very likely that the consequences will include a longer life of their loss of their driving privileges.
Driving With a Suspended or Revoked License Sentencing
Driving with a suspended or revoked license is a jailable traffic offense because the maximum penalty includes potential jail time. Additionally, it is a ‘must appear’ citation. As such, a person must appear in front of a judge at their scheduled court hearing. A prosecutor from the state’s attorney’s office will handle the case against that person.
The prosecutor in a driving with a suspended or revoked license charge must prove each element of the charge to a judge or jury. The standard required to sustain a guilty finding is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. That means that in order for a person to be convicted, the state must prove each element to a moral certainty.
It is extremely unlikely for someone to be sent to jail on a first conviction for unlicensed driving in Rockville. However, a lengthy incarceration period is likely for someone who is a repeat offender but continues to drive on a suspended or revoked license.
Aggravating and Mitigating Factors
If a person’s suspended or revoked was due to a DUI or leaving the scene of an accident involving injuries or death, those situations will likely be considered aggravating factors and can increase a person’s penalties. A mitigating factor is when a driver can prove that they had no knowledge of the suspended or revoked license.
Building a Defense
In order to be convicted of driving suspended in Rockville, the state must prove that the person knew or should have known that they were suspended at the time that they were caught driving. A defense to this could be that the person was not given notice.
Also, in order to be convicted of driving on a suspended license, the state must prove that the traffic stop, if there was one, led to the officer’s discovery that a person was suspended. The traffic stop has to be initiated for a valid reason. A defense in that situation can be that there was no probable cause for an officer to pull a person over.
Also, the law prohibits driving on a suspended license in Rockville if the person knows their license is suspended. So, a defense to that could be that the individual cited was not the one that was driving at the time of the incident.
Benefit of Contacting a Lawyer
It is important to contact a traffic lawyer if you have been arrested for unlicensed driving in Rockville you face very serious consequences. A lawyer might be able to present mitigating factors in order to get your penalties reduced or your charged dismissed. It is also the lawyer’s job to look for deficiencies in the state’s case and to bring those to the attention of the judge.