Driving Without a Valid Operator’s License in Ohio

Every state within the United States controls driving privileges by requiring anyone operating a motor vehicle to have a valid driver’s license. Further, drivers are required to abide by laws and restrictions when driving. Should a motor vehicle operator break the law one too many times, they may have their driving privileges revoked. This means they no longer have a valid driver’s license and cannot lawfully operate a car. Each state has its own particular requirements and penalties. If you were caught driving without a valid operator’s license in Ohio, there are a few different charges you could face depending on the specific circumstances. The penalties can range from minor fines to license suspension and even incarceration. Reach out to our experienced Ohio attorneys at Gounaris Abboud, LPA, to discuss your case and defense. Ohio Law In Ohio, no person is allowed to operate any motor vehicle on a public road or highway or any public or private property used by the public for purposes of vehicular travel or parking unless the person has a valid driver’s license.  Is it Illegal to Drive Without Your License on You? Even if you have a valid license, it is still against the law to drive without having your license in your possession. So you might be wondering, What happens if you get pulled over without your license on you? Drivers are required to have their license on them anytime they are operating a motor vehicle. If the police catch you driving without your license on you, but you have a valid driver’s license, this is still a violation of Ohio law.  Specifically, you may be issued a ticket for driving without proof of license in Ohio. If found guilty, you could face up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. Expired Drivers’ License If you are convicted of driving without a valid driver’s license in Ohio because your license is expired, you will be charged with a minor misdemeanor and face a fine of $150. No Operator’s License: Ohio Fine and Penalties We are often asked, What happens if you get caught driving without a license but with a permit in Ohio? A learner’s permit is not a driver’s license and does not allow operators to drive carte blanche. There are restrictions during the learning and provisional process that must be followed. Drivers with a temporary instruction permit under the age of 16 must have a parent, guardian, or licensed driving instructor in the passenger seat while driving. If the learner is 16 or older, they are bound by this restriction only between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m. Otherwise, they must be accompanied by a driver over the age of 21. In both scenarios, the supervising driver cannot be intoxicated. If you violate these provisions, it could result in an extended probationary period. Penalties It may not be the crime of the century, but driving without a license can result in significant consequences. Two of the most common penalties are fines and further license revocation or suspension. Can you go to jail for driving without a license in Ohio? Depending on the specific offense and your prior driving record, you can potentially face jail time for driving without a license. First Offense Generally, a first offense for driving without a license in Ohio will result in only fines and fees. You may also be sentenced to a community residential sanction, otherwise known as community service. If you are convicted of driving without a valid driver’s license and have never been licensed, your charge would be an unclassified misdemeanor. In addition to a fine of up to $1,000, you could be ordered to complete up to 500 community service hours. Second or Subsequent Offense If you are convicted for second or subsequent driving without a valid driver’s license offense, your charge would be a first-degree misdemeanor. The punishment now increases to up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. Three-Year Rule The court may impose a license suspension of up to one year if, within three years of the current offense: The offender previously was convicted of or pleaded guilty to one or more violations of this section, and  The offender’s license has expired for more than six months at the time of the offense.  Under such circumstances, you’d be wise to consult an attorney. Help Is Here At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, we have more than 50 years of collective experience in criminal defense and motor vehicle violations. Driving without a license in Ohio can have serious consequences and even negatively impact your ability to earn a living. We understand things happen at all hours of the day, not just during business hours. At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, we are always available 24/7 to take your call. Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our premier attorneys.

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Your Driving Under Suspension in Ohio Questions Answered If you get caught for driving with a suspended driver’s license in Ohio, you could face jail time and hefty fines. The penalties you face will depend on the reason the court originally suspended your license. If you are convicted of driving under suspension (DUS), you could also face an even longer suspension of your license. What Is the Penalty for Driving with a Suspended License in Ohio? In Ohio, driving under suspension is typically a first-degree misdemeanor offense that carries up to six months in jail. You also face up to $1,000 in fines. The court may also: Impound your license plates, Immobilize your vehicle, or Order you to perform community service. If you are convicted a third time for DUS, you face criminal forfeiture of your vehicle. Finally, you will face an extension of your license suspension of up to one year. When you do get your license back, you must pay reinstatement and service fees. You may also have to take a driving course and a written test to get your license back. Repeat DUS offenses could subject you to having your driver license revoked permanently. What Are the Possible Reasons for Driver License Suspension in Ohio? You can lose your driver license in Ohio for reasons that include: OVI/DUI conviction, Reckless operation of a vehicle, Lack of registration or insurance, Default on your child support, and Excessive traffic violations. If you fail to appear for a court date or default on a judgment, the court also has the option of suspending your license. One of the most common reasons for license suspension is getting arrested for DUI or OVI. When the police arrest you on DUI charges, your license is automatically suspended. You can appeal the suspension through the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). However, you have only five days to formally request an administrative hearing to appeal. Note that these charges can potentially be reduced or eliminated with the help of a DUI defense lawyer. How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help with Ohio DUS Driving with a suspended license in Ohio puts you at risk for a variety of harsh penalties. Repeat offenses place you at an even greater risk for jail time and fines. For these reasons, talking to a criminal defense lawyer about your options is critical. Because Ohio DUS penalties can be so harsh, your attorney may recommend appealing your suspension if possible. The process for appeal can be daunting, and unless you understand how this process works, you may lose your appeal. Having an attorney to represent you at your BMV hearing will give you the best chance of success. Talk to a Lawyer for Help if You Were Arrested for Driving Under Suspension in Ohio If you face charges in Ohio for driving under suspension, contact a criminal or DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can ensure you understand your options and help you make the best choice for your future. In Ohio, Gounaris Abboud, LPA helps clients fight to regain and keep their driving privileges. With more than five decades of experience, we can assist you with even the most challenging of criminal matters, including DUS charges. Contact us today, or call us at 937-222-1515.

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