The Consequences of Driving Without a License in Colorado
Driving without a license is a problem everywhere in the United States, but in Colorado it’s a serious problem. In 2009, approximately 225,000 people were driving without valid licenses, whether suspended or revoked. So exactly what does it mean when your license is expired, revoked, suspended, or cancelled? Let’s take a look inside Colorado’s laws and regulations to find out more.
In Colorado, your driver’s license can get revoked, cancelled, or suspended for the following reasons: Having many traffic violations; driving under the influence; driving with no license; driving with no insurance; and many others. What happens if you’re caught driving without a valid license? There are serious consequences to driving illegally. Here are just three scenarios you might experience if you’re pulled over and your driver’s license is expired, revoked, suspended, or cancelled:
- You have a license but didn’t have it with you at the time of the incident. It can be scary to find out you don’t have your license on you after a traffic accident or traffic violation. However, this charge is often dismissed if and when you can provide proof that you did, in fact, own a valid license at the time of the incident.
- You never applied for a license, or said license has expired. Colorado law clearly states that “no person shall drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in this state unless such person has been issued a currently valid driver’s or minor driver’s license or an instruction permit.” Obviously, you shouldn’t be driving if you’ve never applied for a license; but if your license is expired, you’ll want to get it renewed as soon as possible. Try to get it renewed even before it expires to avoid any fees or inconveniences.
- Your license was cancelled, suspended, or revoked. You should never operate a vehicle in any of these scenarios. Often referred to as driving under restraint, this offense is generally classified as a misdemeanor, and can have consequences that involve jail time and hefty fines. If other charges were given at the time of the incident, or if a driver receives a subsequent conviction within five years, they may have their license privileges revoked for another three years.
If you have been charged with driving without a license, be prepared: This is a difficult charge to fight in court. Once the prosecution or district attorney alleges that you drove without a license, the proof is up to you and your attorney to prove that you did, in fact, possess a valid driver’s license at the time of the incident. If there isn’t evidence, then there is no case. Depending on the case, you may benefit from the advice or negotiating skills of an attorney.
With the large amount of Colorado motorists driving without licenses, traffic accidents and violations can be even more costly than usual. If you drive without a license, consider the risks you are putting on yourself and others.
At Bachus & Schanker, LLC, your safety matters to us. If you or someone you know were injured in an accident that was caused by an unlicensed driver, contact a Colorado personal injury lawyer today to get the best possible outcome for your case.
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