Can You Be Arrested for Driving Without a License in Utah?
There are several reasons why someone may not have a driver’s license in Utah. For example, you may receive too many demerit points on your license, or the State of Utah may accuse you of committing a non-driving violation like failing to pay child support. No matter what the offense was that got your license revoked or suspended, it is a traffic offense to drive without a valid license in Utah. Individuals who never had a license or whose license expired are also subject to penalties which could make it hard to reinstate their license. If you or a family member was caught driving without a driver’s license, you should speak with a Salt Lake City license suspension lawyer today. Overson Law is here to explain whether you can be arrested for driving without a license in Utah.
Utah Driving Without a License Charges
Driving without a license and being pulled over by law enforcement will likely result in receiving an infraction. However, there are certain circumstances where driving without a license will result in different outcomes. For example, driving without a license typically refers to three scenarios:
- You are licensed to drive, but do not have your license when you are pulled over. If you are licensed to drive but receive an infraction for not physically possessing your license, you can have the infraction dismissed once you prove that you possess a valid license. In some scenarios, you may also have to pay a fine for the ticket.
- Your license is expired, or you never applied for a license. This scenario will result in an infraction.
- Your license was suspended, revoked, or canceled by law enforcement or Utah’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This scenario can carry substantial penalties.
Penalties for Driving with an Expired or Suspended License in Salt Lake City
The unique facts of your case will determine what offense you are charged with for driving without a license. Driving on a suspended license can either be a class B or a class C misdemeanor.
You may receive a class B misdemeanor for driving without a license and committing any of the following offenses:
- Refusing a chemical test to verify whether you were driving while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances
- Vehicular homicide
The maximum penalty for a Class B misdemeanor is up to six months in prison and a $1,000 fine. However, you are entitled to a trial before being convicted for any of the penalties mentioned above.
In any other circumstances, driving with a suspended or revoked license may result in a class C misdemeanor. The maximum penalty for a class C misdemeanor in Utah is up to 90 days in prison and a $750 fine. It is a good idea to retain an attorney to help you fight your charges for driving with a suspended or revoked license.
Fighting Charges for Driving with a Suspended License
The State of Utah must prove two things before convicting you of driving without a license. First, the prosecutor must show that your driver’s license was suspended, denied, disqualified, or revoked at the time of the traffic stop. Second, the prosecutor must show that you were, in fact, driving on public roads within the State of Utah while your license was suspended or revoked. There have been instances where a driver was able to avoid conviction by proving they were driving on a private road where a license was not required. You should speak with an attorney to discuss case strategies to avoid conviction for driving without a license.
Being convicted of driving without a license can affect your personal life and career in many ways. Besides facing heavy fines or prison time, a criminal record for driving offenses could make it difficult to secure a job that requires a license or make it difficult to secure a job in general. You will also face additional suspensions, making it hard to get to work, transport your children, or run personal errands. You should ensure you have representation to assist you in your driver’s license case.
Salt Lake City, Utah Criminal Attorneys Can Help With Your Driver’s License Case
If you or a family member was arrested for driving without a license, you should consult with an experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney. Darwin Overson of Overson Law has over 16 years of experience representing clients in various criminal cases from misdemeanors to felonies. Our team of legal professionals has represented clients in Salt Lake City and throughout Utah and are ready to represent you. To receive a free consultation and discuss your driver’s license case, call us at (801) 758-2287 or contact us online.