DUI Without a License Charges
While DUI charges are serious on their own, the impact can be two-fold if you are charged with a DUI while not having a valid license. As a result, it is imperative to understand exactly what you are facing and consult with a DC DUI attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case and begin building a defense. Call today to learn more.
Impact of a DUI Charge When Driving Without a License
In DC, if you are arrested for a DUI and driving without a license, it is called no permit. If your license was suspended prior to the DUI, it is called operating after suspension. The fact that you do not have a valid license at the time of your DUI does not turn your DUI into a more serious DUI. It just adds a separate charge, so you will be charged with DUI. This means that you will be subject to an additional misdemeanor charge for either no permit or operating after suspension.
In many jurisdictions, not having a driver’s license or driving on a suspended license will increase the penalties for the DUI itself, either turning it into a felony or just triggering enhanced penalties. However, in DC, the different charges will be part of the same case, but will be filed as separate charges against you.
Driving without a License as An Aggravating Factor in a DUI Case
Driving without a license can be an aggravating factor in a DUI case. When the prosecutor initially examines a case and considers how strongly to pursue it, the fact that the defendant does not have a valid driver’s license at the time of the event could affect the resolution that they are offered.
If it gets to the point where a judge reviews the circumstances of the case and decides what penalty to impose, the fact that a person drove without a valid license and under the influence certainly will influence the penalty.
DUI Charges While Driving on a Suspended License
A suspended license is an additional issue that must be contested by the defense because, it does not enhance the actual DUI charge. It does not turn the DUI charge into a more serious DUI charge; however it will be an additional charge in the case. The reason for a license suspension will not affect the actual charges, even it was for a DUI, but it certainly can make a difference in how strongly the prosecution proceeds with the case and how the judge views the defendant.
Charges Are Heard at the Same Time
Unlicensed driving and DUI charges will be heard at the same time in the same case. Thus it is essential that a person consult with a lawyer who has experience dealing with unlicensed driving charges and DUI charges.
License Suspension in DC
If someone has previously had their license suspended because of a DUI, and then they are accused of DUI again, then that person could be facing charges of both a second DUI offense, as well as driving on a suspended license.
The penalties for these offenses increase to 180-day license suspension for the first offense and up to possible one-year license suspension for the second offense and the minimum penalty for the second offense DUI increases from zero days in jail for a first time offense up to a minimum of 10 days in jail for a second offense. A judge will hand down a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 days in jail if a person is convicted for a second DUI offense. It is imperative that you contact a DC DUI lawyer right away if you are facing these types of charges.