Philadelphia Driving Without a License Defense Attorney
Many people living in Philly rely on SEPTA to get around and never actually get their driver’s license. However, if you ever intend on getting behind the wheel of a car, you need a valid driver’s license. If you are pulled over while driving, and you do not have a license, you could face fines and penalties for driving without a license.
Philadelphia driving without a license lawyer Lloyd Long explains how these charges can lead to serious consequences and problems, especially if you commit another driving offense without a license. For a free consultation on your driving without a license case, contact The Law Offices of Lloyd Long today at (215) 302-0171.
When Is it Illegal to Drive Without a License in PA?
To drive a car in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you need a valid driver’s license. It doesn’t matter if you are 18 or 81, you cannot drive if you do not have a license, and you always risk penalties for getting behind the wheel without a license.
In PA, you can get two different types of ID cards: a driver’s license, and a photo ID card. Although the photo ID card comes from the DMV and looks a lot like a driver’s license, it does not permit you to legally drive a car. However, driving with a learner’s permit instead of a license is permitted if you follow the proper rules.
Driving without a license is illegal under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1501. However, this only applies to driving on public property. Additionally, there are exceptions for foreign visitors who have a license in their home country, federal employees with licenses, armed service members with military or foreign driver’s licenses, and certain 14- or 15-year-old operators of farming equipment.
Penalties for Driving Without a License in Pennsylvania
Driving without a license is a traffic offense with relatively strict penalties. First, this is a summary offense (the lowest level of criminal offense in PA), and it comes with a $200 fine. If you simply did not have your license with you because you forgot it, or it was lost or stolen, you may be able to avoid this penalty entirely. The same is true if your license recently expired before you were pulled over.
If you get into an accident and cause bodily injury or you are arrested for DUI while you do not have a driver’s license, you can face harsher penalties for your driving. DUI and reckless driving charges have some of the harshest penalties of any traffic offenses. If your license is suspended as punishment for these offenses, your license will appear as “suspended” in the driver database.
Even if you never had a driver’s license in the first place, your license can be registered as “suspended,” meaning at any further driving would be considered driving with a suspended license rather than driving without a license. This is an offense that PA legislators and DAs are particularly strict about, and it usually comes with an extended suspension and may include jail time.
If you do not have a driver’s license, you may be committing other offenses simply by driving. If you do not have a driver’s license, you cannot register a vehicle or get insurance for the car. This means that you may be committing offenses for driving without insurance and driving without a valid registration. If the car belongs to a friend or family member, they may have these things covered – but you could be charged with unauthorized use of an automobile if you did not get permission to drive their car.
How to Fight Driver’s License Offenses in PA
If you are charged with driving without a license, you may be able to avoid charges entirely. If you actually do have a driver’s license, but you simply didn’t have it with you, you may be able to bring it to court to resolve the charges without too much trouble. If your license was stolen or destroyed, you can get a new copy of your license and show it to the authorities to resolve your case. If you simply forgot your driver’s license at home, you may be able to bring it to court with you at your scheduled court date. Lastly, if your license recently expired, you may be able to get your license renewed and bring that with you to court to avoid the fine.
If you were accused of additional charges, you will need to address those charges separately. Even if you did not have a valid license, you could still face tickets and potential license suspensions for things like speeding, running a red light, and other traffic violations. Talk to an attorney if you face additional criminal charges or traffic tickets alongside your driving without a license citation.
Philadelphia Defense Lawyer for Driving Without a License Charges
If you or a loved one is facing charges for driving without a license, talk to our attorneys today for help with your case. The Philadelphia driving without a license lawyers at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long have decades of experience handling criminal cases, and we may be able to help with your charges. To schedule a free consultation, call our law offices today at (215) 302-0171