What Happens if You Get Pulled Over without a License?
A normal day can take a sour turn when you see flashing lights in your rearview mirror and suddenly realize you forgot your wallet at home. What happens if you get pulled over without a license? Will you be penalized for an honest mistake?
Penalties for Driving without a License
Forgetting Your License
There is a standard $120 fine for violating the Arizona law that forbids driving on the highway without a license. This fine would be applied in the scenario above, where you’re driving and innocently realized you forgot to bring your wallet or driver’s license. This is a civil traffic offense, and likely will not hold weight beyond the charge.
We would advise you to get this type of civil traffic ticket dismissed. You shouldn’t have to pay a fine for a simple mistake. Most judges will dismiss the ticket. What you’ll have to do is show up and prove that you had a valid driver’s license at the time you got pulled over.
This $120 fine also applies to driving before you have obtained an Arizona driver’s license, or driving with an expired license.
Suspended Drivers License
Getting pulled over with a suspended or revoked license can be much worse. If you’re pulled over and while driving with a suspended license, and that suspension is because of a DUI, you could get arrested. This situation could turn into a misdemeanor offense, or at worst, a felony. DUI convictions come with many repercussions, often including a suspended license.
Steps to Follow after Getting Pulled over without a License
If you are without a license, and you get pulled over, you will probably be issued a ticket. Here are the steps to follow:
- When the officer asks for your license, tell them simply you don’t have it; explain as little as possible.
- Accept the citation in the moment, and fight it later – anything you say could be used against you and have the potential to make your situation worse.
- If you’re arrested, call your attorney.
Note on Getting Pulled over with a Gun in the Car
An important thing to know about getting pulled over with a gun in the car is that you are not required to notify the officer of the firearm. However, if you’re driving with a gun in your glove compartment, where most of us keep our license and registration, do not automatically open it to retrieve your information. Wait until the officer who pulled you over asks for this info. Before grabbing what you need, tell the officer that there is a gun in the compartment.
Work with a Certified Criminal Law Specialist
Todd Coolidge has been a certified Criminal Law Specialist since 2000. He is also a member of the Criminal Law Advisory Commission. Mr. Coolidge has been very successful throughout his career in pre-file representation. This type of representation is conducted before charges are ever filed. The results from this have been dismissed or reduced charges.
Contact Todd Coolidge if you’re in the Chandler, Phoenix, Tempe, or Scottsdale areas and need an experienced attorney.