Driving With an Invalid License

Driving With an Invalid License

Maintaining a valid license is not as simple as it should be. Clerical errors, lapses in judgment, and imperfect memory are among the many reasons why you may face driving with an invalid license (DWLI) charges.

Whatever your unique circumstances are, you should always consider the option to fight a potential conviction for DWLI.

A criminal defense attorney will create a personalized defense, aiming for the dismissal or reduction of the charge(s) you currently face. Do not underplay the severity of a potential conviction, as consequences may cost you dearly.

Who Can Face Driving With an Invalid License (DWLI) Charges?

Driving with an invalid license can apply to anyone accused of driving with a license that has been revoked, suspended, or expired. This applies not only to individuals who never had a valid license, but also to those whose licenses the state temporarily suspended or permanently revoked.

The laws regarding driving with an invalid license vary from state to state. In some states, you may face a misdemeanor if police catch you driving with an expired license. In others, you may face more severe penalties after a suspension or revocation for certain offenses, such as DUI.

Never take these charges lightly. Always consult a qualified traffic defense attorney who can advise on your options.

Potential Consequences for DWLI

While traffic tickets are easy for some people to dismiss as minor, smart individuals recognize the potentially high cost of a DWLI conviction. If you merely pay the ticket or plea without hiring a lawyer, you may:

Face Substantial Fines

If you are convicted of DWLI as a Class C misdemeanor, you likely face a fine of $500. This is a significant sum ofDriving With invalid license money, and it looms even larger as many Americans are facing significant financial stress.

If the severity of your DWLI charge rises above a Class C misdemeanor, financial penalties may be even more substantial.

Accrue Violations on Your License

Violations on your license can lead to immediate or future consequences, including but not limited to the revocation of your driving privileges and costly financial expenses. For this reason, it is always wise to fight citations, including those for DWLI.

Lose Your Driving Privileges

In some states, DWLI charges result in an individual facing a 90-day suspension of their driving privileges.

Even if you are not subject to an automatic suspension of driving privileges, accruing violations on your license can also mean you suffer the suspension of your license.

The inability to drive can:

  • Make it difficult or impossible to get to work
  • Make life more expensive, as you may need to resort to delivery services and other means to work around your inability to drive
  • Interfere with interpersonal relationships
  • Drastically diminish your quality of life

The ripple effect of failing to fight a DWLI charge can leave a huge impact on your life.

Have to Take Burdensome Measures to Reinstate Your Driving Privileges

If you lose your driving privileges after a DWLI conviction, you may have to:

  • Complete the specified period of your suspension
  • Obtain a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22) from an insurance company
  • Pay a reinstatement fee before receiving a license

These are steps that, if your lawyer successfully fights your pending charge, you will not have to worry about.

Suffer a Significant Criminal Conviction

While DWLI generally qualifies as a Class C misdemeanor, under certain circumstances it can be a Class A or B misdemeanor. You should not downplay even a misdemeanor charge, as any formal conviction on your record can affect you in unanticipated ways.

Pay Higher Insurance Premiums

A conviction for DWLI will almost certain lead to higher insurance premiums because:

  • Insurance companies are constantly evaluating policyholders’ driving records
  • Driving without a valid license is a significant violation of traffic laws, and insurance providers will hold this against you
  • Such a conviction may qualify you as a high-risk policyholder, and insurance companies may deem you more likely to engage in risky driving behaviors

It may take many years for insurers to forgive a DWLI conviction, if they ever do. This risk alone makes the cost of an attorney well worth it.

What to Do If Charged With Driving With an Invalid License

If you face DWLI charges, you should:

  • Recognize the consequences of failing to fight the ticket: You now understand the potential consequences of failing to fight a charge of DWLI. Take these consequences to heart and recognize that they are realistic, direct consequences of simply paying the ticket without fighting.
  • Retain a proven criminal defense lawyer to fight on your behalf: You should strongly consider hiring a criminal defense lawyer to fight the charge you’re facing. An attorney will have knowledge and experience that translates directly to your case.
  • Follow your attorney’s advice: You should be careful not to do anything that might compromise your lawyer’s case. Simply follow your attorney’s advice and focus on your personal and professional obligations—let your attorney worry about your ticket.

Your attorney will contact you to update you about your case and explain any steps you need to take.

How a Defense Attorney Will Help

Your criminal defense attorney will lead every aspect of your defense, including:

Identifying Any Appropriate Defenses

Your lawyer will form a defense that fits your circumstances.

Potential defenses to a charge of DWLI include:

  • That a clerical error caused the license-related sanctions that led your ticket to be issued
  • That the officer inaccurately determined your license was invalid
  • That other circumstances beyond your control led to the issuance of the citation

Every circumstance of a DWLI charge is unique. Leave it to your lawyer to identify and employ the most appropriate defense.

Negotiating with the Prosecutor Overseeing Your Case

Prosecutors may reduce charges, especially if they sense a legal fight from a capable lawyer. Your attorney will likely reach out to the prosecutor and seek a favorable resolution to your case.

Representing You in All Legal Appearances

Your lawyer will join you for court appearances and other case-related appointments. They will take the lead in your case and handle as much of your defense as possible.

Attorney Kelly Benavides
Kelly Benavides, Houston Traffic Defense Attorney

Advising You Throughout the Duration of Your Case

Having a lawyer will take the thought and stress out of your DWLI case. Your lawyer will provide any instruction you require, and they will update you as your defense moves forward.

Don’t Wait to Hire Your Attorney Today

Fighting a charge of DWLI is a time-sensitive matter, and you should not wait to hire your attorney.

Choosing an Attorney Is a Serious Matter

Find out why Attorney Benavides is the right choice.

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