Driving without a license is now a serious charge in Maryland and a conviction may result in jail time and a fine of up to $500. Situations involving driving without a license can be complex. Therefore, if charged with driving without a license in the State of Maryland, it is important to be familiar with the law and possible outcomes..
Driving Without a License in Maryland
Before 2006, driving without a license in Maryland used to be what is considered a “fine only” offense, meaning one could simply pay the assessed fine and not have to appear in court.
The law changed in October 2006, at which point it was reclassified as a “must appear” Maryland traffic offense, carrying a penalty of up to a $500 fine as well as up to 60 days in jail for a first offense.
For a second or subsequent offense, the penalties are even more harsh, with the maximum jail time increasing to up to 12 months along with a $500 fine. These stricter penalties are also applicable for a first-time offender if the reason for his or her being unlicensed is a prior conviction of a crime.
A conviction for driving without a license also results in 5 points being assessed against your driving record. In Maryland, one can still be assessed points even without a valid license; these points can make it exceedingly difficult to be granted and to keep a license in the future, even after all fines have been paid and time has been served for the driving without a license conviction.
Given the harsh nature of these penalties, being charged with driving without a license can be a scary experience. However, with the right attorney fighting for you, you have an excellent chance of getting these charges reduced or even dropped altogether.
When our firm represents you for a driving without a license charge, the first thing we will examine in full detail is the traffic stop itself which led to the charge. Some common questions to consider are:
- Did the police officer have a valid reason to stop you in the first place?
- Once you were pulled over, did the officer conduct the stop in the proper manner?
- Was any and all evidence used against you in making the charge obtained in the appropriate manner?
Our number one priority is ensuring that your rights are protected. Our experienced attorneys have extensive experience representing individuals charged with driving without a license.
Reducing Your Charge
While not as favorable as an acquittal, another possibility is to have your charges reduced. There are many times when someone is charged with driving without a license even though they should have been charged with a less serious offense.
For example, if you were granted a valid drivers’ license at one point but that license was suspended or revoked, you should not be charged with driving without a license but with driving on a suspended or revoked license. Similarly, if you have a driver’s license but not on your person when stopped by police, the proper citation is failure to display, not driving without a license. There is also a lesser charge for someone caught driving on a learner’s permit without required supervision.
How we Can Help You
Regardless of your exact circumstances, if you were charged with driving without a license in Maryland, you need a qualified attorney to sort through the details of your case, figure out the best defense, and get to work for you so you can get these charges behind you and get on with your life.
If you have been charged in Maryland with driving without a license, or with any other crime, call our firm today so we can get to work on your case.