What Happens if You Drive Without a License?

What Happens if You Drive Without a License?For many teenagers, being able to finally drive can be an amazing experience. It isn’t just teenagers that value the ability to drive – almost all adults rely on cars to get around the state of California. In order to drive, a person must have a valid driver’s license. However, some fail to renew their license or even have one at all, and these individuals can be punished by the law. California Vehicle Code 12500(a) makes it illegal to drive without a license.


This charge is not applied if a visitor to California is driving on public highways or parking facilities. Visitors who are at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license from another state in the US or another country can drive without being charged. However, if someone becomes a resident of California, they only have ten days to receive their valid state of California license.


In order for the prosecution to prove the above crime, the court must be shown evidence that at the time of the crime, the defendant was driving on a public street or highway and was not licensed to do so. There are some individuals who do not need to prove they have a valid license, and some of these include government officials in government vehicles. Depending on the driving history of the defendant, they can face either an infraction of misdemeanor. An infraction results in a fine, while a misdemeanor can require probation, six months in jail, as well as paying a fine. Those with previous driving offenses can be charged with a misdemeanor instead.

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