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Can You Get Charges Dropped after Driving Without a License?

 Posted on May 30,2024 in Criminal Defense

Cooke County criminal defense lawyerDriving without a valid license in Texas can lead to serious legal consequences. If you face charges for this offense, you may wonder if it is possible to get those charges dropped. A Texas lawyer can help you with potential avenues for dismissing driving without a license charges and what you can expect from the legal process.

Make Sure You Understand the Severity of the Offense

In Texas, driving without a valid license is considered a misdemeanor offense. The penalties for this crime can vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case. Generally, a first-time offense is classified as a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500. However, if you have been convicted of driving without a license in the past, the offense may be elevated to a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a potential fine of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail.

See What Possible Defenses You May Have

While the outcomes of operating a vehicle without a license can be severe, several potential defenses may help you get the charges dropped. A criminal defense attorney in Texas can assess your case and determine the most effective strategy for your unique situation. Some possible defenses include:

  • Lack of Knowledge: If you were unaware that your license was suspended, revoked, or expired, you may have a valid defense. However, you must be able to demonstrate that you need a reasonable way of knowing the status of your license.
  • Necessity: In rare cases, you may be able to argue that driving without a license was necessary to prevent greater harm. For example, if you had to drive someone to the hospital in an emergency situation, this defense might apply.
  • Mistaken Identity: If you believe you have been wrongfully accused of driving without a license, your attorney can investigate the case and gather evidence to support your claim of mistaken identity. You will need to be prepared with many forms of proof for this.

Negotiating with the Prosecutor

In some cases, your lawyer may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to have your charges reduced or dropped entirely. This process, known as plea bargaining, can effectively minimize the consequences of driving without a license. Your attorney can present mitigating factors, such as a clean driving record or efforts to rectify the situation (e.g., obtaining a valid license), to persuade the prosecutor to offer a more lenient outcome.

Consider Pretrial Diversion Programs

You may be able to access pretrial diversion programs for individuals charged with driving without a license. These programs allow you to avoid a conviction by completing certain requirements, such as attending classes or performing community service. If you successfully complete the program, your charges may be dismissed. Your lawyer can help you determine if you are eligible for a pretrial diversion program in your area.

Contact a Cooke County, TX Criminal Defense Lawyer

Facing charges for driving without a license can be a lot to try and handle on your own. Working with a Denton County, TX criminal defense attorney can make the process a bit smoother. Call Magaña & Van Dyke at 940-382-1976 to start with a free consultation to see how we can help you.

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