Driving Without a License
In Missouri, it is against the law to drive without a license—whether one was never issued, or you had one but it was revoked or suspended. In short, every single person operating a vehicle on a Missouri road or highway must have a valid driver’s license.
What happens if I am caught driving without a license in Missouri?
You will be charged with a Class D misdemeanor, which carries a fine of up to $500. And if it’s your second offense, that goes up to a Class A misdemeanor—which can result in a fine of up to $2,000 and land you in jail for up to a year. A third or subsequent conviction may result in a felony, with a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to four years in prison.
Punishment also includes from two to six points added to your driving record, depending on how many times you’ve been charged with the offense.
What if I have a license, I just didn’t have it with me?
If you get stopped while driving and do not have your license with you, it will be presumed that one was never issued to you. If you are contacted by the police while operating a motor vehicle, and you can’t produce a valid license, you could be issued a summons to appear in municipal court.
Are there any exceptions?
If you are not a resident of Missouri but, have a valid driver’s license from your home state or country, you are permitted to drive in Missouri.
What if I have a license, but was driving while it was suspended or revoked?
If you operate a vehicle while your license is suspended or revoked, you are subject to penalties that depend on factors like the reason it was suspended/revoked, as well as your criminal history. The charges for driving with a suspended or revoked license are the same as driving without a license, with a first-time conviction leading to a Class D misdemeanor and a fine of up to $500. A second offense is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a fine of up to $2,000 and a jail sentence of up to a year. A conviction will also result in 12 points on your driver’s record, which results in a one-year license revocation.
What is felony driving while suspended?
There are times when driving with a suspended or revoked license can lead to a class E felony, which is punishable by up to four years in jail and a maximum of $10,000 in fines.
These felony charges can occur when:
- The driver has been convicted of driving with a suspended/revoked license three or more times over the last 10 years
- The driver has been convicted of driving with a suspended/revoked license two or more times over the last 10 years and has a prior DUI conviction
- The driver’s license was revoked because of a second-offense DUI
So, what should I do if I am charged with driving without a license (or with a suspended/revoked one)?
If you are charged with driving without a license, or with a revoked or suspended license in Missouri, do not plead guilty. It could lead to harsh and unnecessary penalties. Instead call the attorneys at Taylor Defense Law. We will talk with you about your individual reasons for your lack of license and then work with the system to minimize your fines and keep you from doing jail time.
The most important thing, however, is to address the problem right away and with an experienced legal team. We can help you fight the charges against you, find options that could prevent a conviction, and work to reinstate your driving privileges.
If you’ve been charged with driving without a license, don’t wait. Call Taylor Defense Law today.