August 9, 2023 | Kentucky Law
Whether you forgot your driver’s license when you left home or are driving without a valid driver’s license, you could be charged if a police officer pulls you over. However, there are several defenses to the charges. Don’t accept the charges as valid until you speak with a Lexington criminal defense lawyer.
What Is the Law in Kentucky for Driving Without a License?
You must have a valid driver’s license in your possession when you operate a motor vehicle, according to Kentucky Revised Statute §186.510. You must also present your driver’s license when requested to do so by a police officer. A defense to a charge under this section is to appear in court and produce a valid driver’s license in your name that was issued before you were charged with driving without a license.
People drive without a license for many reasons. Common reasons people are charged with driving without a license include:
- Their license was revoked or suspended
- They left their license at home by mistake
- Their driver’s license is expired
- They never applied for a driver’s license
- They are an undocumented individual
If you are charged with driving without a license, contact a Lexington criminal defense lawyer to discuss your legal options. A Lexington driving without a license attorney might be able to help you avoid penalties for driving without a license in Lexington.
What Are the Penalties for Driving Without a License in Kentucky?
Kentucky Revised Statute §186.620 makes driving without a driver’s license unlawful. If you are convicted of operating a motor vehicle without a license, you could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor.
The penalties for a first-offense Class B misdemeanor include the following:
- A maximum fine of $250; and/or,
- Up to 90 days in county jail
The penalties can be enhanced if your license is suspended for a DUI offense. You could face up to six months of additional license suspension, higher fines, and longer jail sentences. The penalties become harsher if you were drunk at the time you were driving with a DUI-suspended license.
Are There Defenses to Charges of Driving Without a License in Lexington, Kentucky?
Some individuals are not required to have a driver’s license in specific situations. People who might not be required to have a driver’s license on their person include:
- Individuals operating road machinery or equipment
- Disabled veterans who have a military-rated license plate
- Individuals operating farm equipment
- Non-residents who have a valid driver’s license from another state or country
- Military officers driving a vehicle in the course of their service
If you are an exempt individual, you should be able to raise this defense to get out of a charge of driving without a valid license. If the court does not dismiss the case, contact a lawyer immediately.
Other defenses to driving without a license include:
- You did not know your driver’s license was revoked or suspended
- You thought you had your driver’s license with you
- You were not operating a motor vehicle
- You are not required to have a Kentucky driver’s license
- The officer violated your constitutional rights
- You had a valid driver’s license issued by another state
Whether the officer might accept your reason and give you a warning depends on the situation. If you were wrongfully charged with driving without a license, a Lexington criminal defense attorney can help you sort out the problem with the court.
What Do I Need To Do To Get a Valid Kentucky Driver’s License?
You must apply for a driver’s license and provide the following information and documents:
- Proof of identity
- Proof of Social Security Number
- Proof of Kentucky residency dated less than one year
- Name change document if your current name does not match the documents proving your identity
Before you can obtain a driver’s license, you must complete the required vision, written, and skills tests administered by the Kentucky State Police. If you are transferring your driver’s license from another state, you have 30 days to do so.
A Kentucky driver’s license is valid for four or eight years. You can renew your license online, by visiting a Driver Licensing Regional Office, or by mail. If your driver’s license is expired for more than five years, you must begin again as a new driver, including taking all required driver’s tests.
A valid driver’s license is required to drive in Kentucky, and keeping yours on your person every time you get behind the wheel is the best way to avoid these charges.
Contact the Lexington Criminal Defense Attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC For Help Today
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Lexington
333 West Vine Street #212
Lexington, KY 40507