There are two types of driving on a suspended license: with knowledge and without knowledge. IF tickets for without knowledge, it is just a traffic ticket and he will have to pay a civil fine if convicted. If with knowledge, then he could fact jail time.. Many times first offense are not offered jail, but some jurisdictions treat DUI suspension harsher. He should consult a criminal defense attorney in his area. Consultations are generally free.
You are correct--it comes down to the judge, prosecutor, and factual allegations. For example, if the facts underlying the DUI are particularly aggravating, the State will likely seek jail on the new charge (assuming he was charged with Driving While License Suspended With Knowledge, as opposed to without). He needs an experienced local attorney to review the discovery, contact the prosecutor, and get a better idea of where his case(s) may be headed.
Depending on how the citation was written, or at thge discretion of the prosecutor, Driving While License Surpended/Revoked (DWLS) may be an enhanced penalty crime. Even if your cousin does not get jail time, this DWLS could be used in the future to "enhance" their penalty. A third conviction for DWLS could be considered a Felony offense carrying a possible 5 year prison sentence. Your consin should consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer to avoid these legal pitfalls. Feel free to contact my office for a free consultation- 321-255-6300.
Definitely get an attorney for him. I don't practice in that area, but where I am, judges frequently want to see jail time for driving on a DUI suspension. There are ways around that, and the good attorneys will be able to evaluate all the options for him!
There are a number of factors that will affect the ultimate penalty in your cousin's case. If his license is still suspended from the DUI, that would be treated more seriously than if it was suspended for something like unpaid traffic tickets. Your cousin should consult with an attorney. Depending on the circumstances of his driving record, there are other potential consequences for him such as being labeled a Habitual Traffic Offender.
I have seen Assistant State Attorneys seek 15-30 days of jail for driving on a suspended license when the license was still under a suspension for a DUI. You guys should consult a lawyer.
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