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Although driving without a license in Oakland may not be as severe an offense as driving with a suspended or revoked license, it can still result in criminal charges. Even if the offense results only in an infraction, it can adversely affect your driving record and vehicle insurance rates. As a result, contacting legal counsel for advice may be wise.

Various defenses and mitigating factors may exist in your case. Without the guidance and knowledge of a skilled criminal attorney on your side, you may not be aware of all the options available to you. By getting the legal advice that you need, you may be more likely to reach a positive outcome in your case.

Charges for Operating a Vehicle Without a License

California Vehicle Code § 12500 requires that most drivers hold a valid driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle, with few exceptions. As a result, most individuals who drive vehicles on public streets or highways without a proper license can face criminal charges.

In many cases, charges for driving without a license result from human error. For instance, people could face these charges if they:

  • Forgot to renew their licenses
  • Failed to get a California license within 10 days of relocating to the state
  • Never got a valid state license

People who have valid state licenses but do not have it with them while driving likely will not face driving without a license charges in Oakland. However, they could face charges under California Vehicle Code § 12951 for failing to present a driver’s license. This offense, however, is an infraction with a maximum fine of $250.

Defenses for Not Possessing a Driver’s License in Oakland

In some situations, individuals may not be guilty of this offense, even if they do not have a valid license. For example, a visitor from another state who is driving in California is not required to have a California license. It is a violation to possess to licenses at the same time under California Vehicle Code §12511 which states that “no person shall have in his or her possession or otherwise under his or her control more than one driver’s license.” A driver license from the state identified as an individual’s state of permanent residency will serve as the location for a valid driver license.

Some people are exempt from having a valid driver’s license. U.S. government employees can operate vehicles owned by the federal government without valid licenses. People driving specific “off-road” vehicles are also not required to have licenses. As various circumstances may preclude charges, getting legal advice about particular situations can be crucial to avoiding or defeating these charges.

Common Penalties

Driving without a license in Oakland can result in an infraction or traffic ticket that does not carry the potential for a jail sentence, but does include a maximum $250 fine. However, driving without a license is also a “wobbler” offense under state law, meaning that it can result in an infraction or lead to criminal misdemeanor charges.

This offense can potentially result in a misdemeanor charge, with a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. A conviction can also lead to a period on probation and impoundment of vehicles. People likely will also experience an increase in insurance premiums that can remain in effect for several years.

Discuss Oakland Driving Without a License Charges with an Attorney

While driving without a license in Oakland is not the most severe traffic violation or misdemeanor offense that exists under state law, a conviction for this offense still can result in unwanted consequences. Knowing when you must have a valid license before driving is crucial to avoiding this type of charge. The stakes can be high if you are convicted of this offense, even for first-time offenders.

By seeking legal advice from the outset of your situation, you may place yourself in a better position to obtain a satisfactory outcome in your case. You may qualify for reduced charges or penalties based on your specific circumstances. Discuss your options in a free case consultation. Call now.

Top-Rated Criminal Defense Lawyers Serving the Bay Area

The Nieves Law Firm is dedicated to providing aggressive criminal defense representation to working professionals who have found themselves in trouble with the law. We show up to win, and we’re not afraid to fight aggressively to accomplish our client’s goals.

We understand that being accused of a crime can be a scary and confusing experience. That’s why we take the stress off our clients by handling the full scope of their legal situation from the initial consultation to the final outcome. Our bilingual attorneys and staff are here to ensure that our clients feel heard and understood every step of the way.

As one of the largest criminal defense teams in Oakland and the Greater Bay Area, we have the resources and experience to handle even the most complex cases. Our experienced team examines various aspects of your case and, perhaps most importantly, we genuinely care about our clients and their future. We take the time to learn about their goals and priorities so that we can achieve an outcome that allows them to move past their mistakes and focus on the future they want. When you work with us, you become part of our team.

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Our skilled criminal defense attorneys have experience handling a wide range of criminal cases. With a deep understanding of the legal system and a track record of successful cases, our lawyers are committed to achieving the best possible outcome in your case.

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When facing a criminal charge, having dedicated and experienced attorneys on your side is critical. At The Nieves Law Firm, we understand the gravity of your situation, and our criminal defense attorneys provide unwavering support and legal guidance.

From the moment you reach out to us, we prioritize your well-being and legal interests. Our criminal lawyers are with you every step of the way, from arrest to hearings and beyond, to ensure that your rights are protected. Whether you’re facing charges related to DUI, drug offenses, assault, sex crimes or any other allegation, we have the knowledge and courtroom experience to fight vigorously on your behalf.

We believe in the power of collaboration and will actively involve you in the decision-making process, ensuring you are well-informed and empowered to make the best choices for your defense. Our goal is not only to navigate the legal complexities but also to provide you with the peace of mind and reassurance you deserve during this challenging time.

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