Driving with expired License, California

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Latest post 07-29-2010 1:43 AM by rogelioR. 16 replies.
  • 04-02-2009 2:32 AM

    • rogelioR
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 04-02-2009
    • CA
    • Posts 4

    Warning [=*#] Driving with expired License, California

    Please help me,

     

    I am very scared, because yesterday I got pulled over by a very jerky motorcycle cop in Orange County because he saw me holding a cell phone in my hand.

    I was not really using it, and then he asked for my license and registration. I was shocked because my license was expired, and I had not realized it, because I hoped the DMV was sending my renewal notice in the mail, as they did with my registration.

    He told me that my car could have been towed, and I started to panic, and then I was crying very badly, because I have an anxiety disorder. I think he felt bad, so he dismissed the cell phone violation, but ticketed me for the license, and told me to park the car and get someone else to pick me up.

    My fear is I dont know what will happen, the cop implied I could just correct the violation, but according to the ticket that is not so..

    Also, this is a misdemeanor, and that scares me because I don't want to go to jail, and I am poor, I can't afford a severe penalty, I dont know what to do.

    I have already fixed the license renewal with the DMV, but I can't get any information over the phone with the courts about the fine. They just told me to wait for the curtesy notice.

    I am not an irresponsible driver, so this is very frightening to me. I read you can go to jail and pay over $1000 for this, thats too much for me to swallow.

     

  • 04-02-2009 8:24 AM In reply to

    • Kivi
      Consumer
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on 01-01-2005
    • CA
    • Posts 6,097

    Re: Driving with expired License, California

    Note

    I have never heard of anyone going to jail in CA solely over an expired license.  There would have to be more, such as a history of blowing off tickets or driving with a suspended license.

    If there is no history of ignoring other tickets, etc., you may indeed get a fine, but I don't see jail time for a first offense of this nature.  When you get your court date, be prepared to show that you have fixed the problem.

    If the fine is too high ask about whether you can work it off via community service or payment plans if the idea of picking up trash off the road for a few Saturdays does not really appeal to you.

  • 04-02-2009 11:22 AM In reply to

    Re: Driving with expired License, California

    rogelioR:
    I got pulled over by a very jerky motorcycle cop

    The guy gives you a free pass on a cell phone ticket and you call him "jerky"? Geez....

    rogelioR:
    My fear is I dont know what will happen, the cop implied I could just correct the violation, but according to the ticket that is not so.

    Chances are that, if you get your license renewed by the time of your court date, the ticket will be dismissed. As the court clerk said, wait for the courtesy notice and make your appearance.

  • 04-02-2009 11:24 AM In reply to

    Re: Driving with expired License, California

    If you've fixed the problem and have now renewed your license, stop fretting.  When you get the courtesy notice, it should tell you whether or not you can just show the proof of correction or not.  If the notice doesn't provide for that, you can simply go before the judge, explain what happened and show him that you corrected it.  He/she can amend the charge to a simple infraction of no license in possession, impose a small fine for the correction and you go on your way.  Driving without a license is a misdemeanor in CA but the court never incarcerates anyone for that crime, at least not that I've seen in more than 25 years of practice.  Last I checked, the fine for not having a DL was @ $250.  Not having it in your possession is @$100.  You don't need a lawyer to help you but you are certainly free to hire an attorney....

  • 04-02-2009 1:27 PM In reply to

    Re: Driving with expired License, California

    baker33:
    the risk/reward equation, imo, is completely slanted toward spending the $70 or $129 for an attorney.

    With all due respect, the poster isn't going to find an attorney in Orange County that will charge less that @ $750-$1000 for this relatively simple matter.  While there are times when having an attorney would be essential, this is not one of them.  The poster can handle this without incurring an additional expense outside of the fine.  12500's are handled in traffic court and given that my law partner is a retired CA traffic court commissioner, I think I know from where I speak.

    baker33:
    my state has fairly severe penalties for contesting it and not prevailing----I think the penalty is then $1,000 and "disincentives."

    CA fines are not increased if a defendant contests the charge and as I indicated, the fine for no license is @250.  If the court reduced the charge to not in possession, with proof of correction, it will cost the poster a total of $10.  The clerk's may require she pay the fine/bail amount before appearing but she would get a refund if the court reduces the charge and fine which is SOP in cases like hers.  As I said, she is certainly free to consult or hire an attorney but she doesn't need one to take care of the matter.

     

  • 04-02-2009 4:18 PM In reply to

    • rogelioR
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 04-02-2009
    • CA
    • Posts 4

    Re: Driving with expired License, California

    thank all of you for your responses to my post.

     

    I was mostly scared cause I had no idea what to expect, but I feel generally better about this now and after speaking to the traffic division operator for the police dept. that gave me the ticket.

    My primary concern was being jailed or being forced to pay an outragous amount of money,...if this ticket is about the equivalent of driving without insurance or invalid registration, then I can deal with that.

  • 04-02-2009 4:19 PM In reply to

    • rogelioR
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 04-02-2009
    • CA
    • Posts 4

    Re: Driving with expired License, California

    I also wanted to try to handle this matter in Trial by Written Declaration, since going to court in front of the judge would really freak me out.

     

    I've dont this before with parking tickets and won.

  • 04-02-2009 6:49 PM In reply to

    Re: Driving with expired License, California

    NewsDriving without a valid license is a midemeanor and not remotely the same thing as a parking ticket.  While I'm not in OC, I wouldn't count on being able to do a trial by declaration.  In the counties I practice in, you would be required to appear for arraignment even though it would be handled by the traffic commissioner.

  • 04-03-2009 10:35 AM In reply to

    Disagree [)*(] Re: Driving with expired License, California

    Clearly, you've never been in a CA traffic court.

    baker33:
    I strongly disagree with that sentiment especially when it comes to traffic tickets. First, attorneys, imo, too often don't appreciate the clout that they have before a judge merely by being an attorney.

    Clout? Seriously? What exactly do you think an attorney is going to do here?

    baker33:
    Second, they underestimate the antipathy too many judges feel toward pro se litigants.

    99% of "litigants" in traffic court are unrepresented.

    baker33:
    Third, the risk/reward equation, imo, is completely slanted toward spending the $70 or $129 for an attorney.

    It'll be a $250 fine with or without an attorney, so where's the reward for spending extra on the lawyer?

  • 06-27-2010 5:35 PM In reply to

    • bosko
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 06-26-2010
    • CA
    • Posts 2

    Re: Driving with expired License, California

    What ever happen with this? I got into the same bind last saturday when the officer said my lic. had expired when they wree doing a drivers licence check. in anycase I got a tcket for a misdormeaner with no correction which is *** because he kept telling me to just go get my licence renewed and that I had an online reg.  the dmv sends everything else to me but magically i never got the lic renewwal one. well whatever I plan on getting my lic renewed tommrow at the dmv but Im curious as to what happen with your case??? how much did you end up paying?

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