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Consequences of driving without a valid license

Some drivers in New York are charged with traffic offenses that result in a revoked or suspended license. While this consequence for a traffic offense can be inconvenient, it is important for drivers to follow the driving restrictions until the driver's license is reinstated. Unfortunately, some drivers might drive outside of the restrictions and could face charges for driving without a valid license.

Charges related to driving with a revoked or suspended license could result in additional penalties for the driver. In New York, driving without a valid license could amount to a fine of $200 to $500, and the person's vehicle could be confiscated. If the driver is charged for aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, that person could face 30 or more days in jail.

Drivers who have had past convictions for unlicensed driving could face harsher penalties, because both fines and jail time is increased for habitual offenders. Whether it a driver's first, second or third offense, it is important to understand the situation and the options that may be available. Like any misdemeanor charge or traffic offense, drivers have the right to a defense.

An accused driver could collect evidence that could help make a case that the driving that took place was in fact within the diving restrictions. Other defense options might include a plea bargain or an alternative sentence, such as community service.

No matter what defense route a defendant takes, it is crucial that the individual is aware of all the defense options available. This could help them make an informed decision regarding a defense strategy, possibly assisting with reduced or dismissed charges.

Source: Ncsl.org, "Driving While Revoked, Suspended or Otherwise Unlicensed: Penalties by State," Accessed Oct. 5, 2015

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