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Driving Without a License in Arizona

Driving Without a License in Arizona

Arizona has several driver’s license violations on its books. If you get pulled over without a license in Phoenix, AZ, you could face penalties. Your penalty can range from a fine to six months in jail, depending on your license status and why you did not have your license.

Judges have the power to dismiss tickets for driving without a license in Arizona. But if you get stopped for driving on a suspended, canceled, or revoked license, you will likely face serious penalties and fines. You could also face jail time for altering a license or using a fake license.

A Phoenix criminal defense attorney can defend you against charges of driving without a license. Craig Orent of Orent Law Offices, PLLC has decades of experience in criminal defense law. Contact us today at (480) schedule a free consultation.

How Orent Law Offices Can Help After an Arrest in Phoenix

How Orent Law Offices Can Help After an Arrest in Phoenix

Orent Law Offices was founded in 2011 to protect the rights of the accused. Our founding attorney has over three decades of experience in criminal law and has been certified by the State Bar of Arizona as a criminal law specialist. 

When you hire our Phoenix criminal defense lawyers, you can count on us to:

  • Explain your rights
  • Investigate the circumstances of your charges
  • Identify the best possible defense strategies
  • Handle negotiations and communications with the prosecution
  • Defend you in court

A criminal conviction, even a minor one, can create obstacles to finding employment, education, and housing. Contact Orent Law Offices in Phoenix, Arizona for a free consultation to discuss how we can help with your case.

How Common is Driving Without a License in Arizona?

According to Arizona traffic court statistics, police officers in Arizona issued over 36,000 driver’s license citations in 2021. These numbers appear roughly in line with the typical yearly averages for these types of tickets.

This works out to about 3,000 driver’s license citations per month. For comparison, police officers in Arizona issued about 30,000 speeding tickets every month in 2021. Even though 36,000 driver’s license tickets seem like a lot, these tickets are far less common than speeding tickets.

These 36,000 citations largely consist of the following offenses:

  • Driving on a canceled, suspended, or revoked license
  • Violating the restrictions on a restricted driver’s license
  • Falsifying a license
  • Unlawfully using a license

These offenses fall into a classification (non-DUI criminal traffic violations) that only resulted in about 30,000 cases in 2021. But this classification also includes offenses like reckless driving, so it is impossible to know exactly how many criminal driver’s license offense cases were filed in Arizona that year.

Overview of Driving Without a License in Arizona

Arizona requires all drivers to have a valid driver’s license. When you get stopped for driving without a license in Arizona, the default punishment is a civil penalty. In other words, all citations for this offense start with a fine, and only certain types of unlicensed driving get treated as a misdemeanor offense.

This means you may be fined for:

  • Forgetting your license at home
  • Driving after your license expired
  • Driving without ever obtaining a license

The fine for these offenses is $120. The much greater penalty comes if the police impound your vehicle. If the police determine you cannot safely drive your vehicle, they can prohibit you from driving away.

They will call a tow truck and take your car to an impound lot. You will need to pay fees for impound, towing, and storage fees to retrieve your vehicle.

Arizona has four additional offenses relating to driving without a license. These offenses have much more serious penalties, including the possibility of incarceration.

Violating License Restrictions

This offense happens when you have a restricted license and violate the restrictions

Some common violations include:

  • Driving after curfew or with too many kids in the car on a graduated license
  • Operating a motorcycle without a motorcycle endorsement
  • Driving a truck or bus without a commercial driver’s license

Prosecutors can charge you with a class two misdemeanor for violating your license restrictions. Punishment for this offense can include up to four months in jail.

Unlawful Use of a License

Unlawful use of a license is also a class two misdemeanor. This offense happens when you show a fake driver’s license to a police officer. It can also happen if you use a fake license to buy alcohol or cigarettes.

Falsifying a License

Falsifying happens when you make a fake driver’s license or deface it to obscure your birthdate, name, or other information. Falsifying a license is a class one misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail.

Driving on a Suspended, Canceled, or Revoked License

Arizona can suspend, cancel, or revoke your license for many reasons, including:

  • Too many traffic tickets
  • Failure to appear in court for a traffic ticket
  • A conviction for reckless driving, hit-and-run, vehicle theft, or vehicular homicide

If you lose your license to suspension, cancellation, or revocation, you must stop driving. If you get stopped while driving after losing your license, you can get arrested for a class one misdemeanor.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Phoenix Driving Without a License Lawyers

Driving without a license can have serious consequences, including jail time, vehicle impoundment, and fines. Contact Orent Law Offices to discuss your options for defending yourself against a charge of driving without a license in Arizona.

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