Written by attorney Philip Daniel Hache

California Driving without a license; VC 12500

California law requires a person to hold a valid California drivers license if driving a motor vehicle upon a California highway. A violation of that law can bring a misdemeanor criminal charge pursuant to California Vehicle Code 12500, with a penalty that can include up to six months in jail, and a fine up to $1,000 + penalty assessment, and a probation period up to three years. In reality though, if you are convicted of a first offense misdemeanor "Driving without a license" charge, under normal circumstances you will not receive a penalty of 6 months in jail or the max $1,000 fine + penalty assessment. But that doesn't mean that you should take this charge lightly. If you receive a citation for Driving Without a Valid License and given a court date, either you or your privately retained attorney must appear at Court on that date. If neither you or your attorney show up to Court on that date, it is very likely that the Judge will immediately issue a bench warrant for your arrest. Note that when retained for a Driving without a Valid License charge, a privately retained attorney can appear in Court on your behalf, and with your permission can resolve the case without you ever stepping foot inside a Court room. A misdemeanor conviction should be avoided when possible, and consequences of this violation minimized. An experienced attorney can often get Driving without a Valid License charges dismissed completely or reduced to an infraction. Call me at 818-336-1384 if you would like a free evaluation of your case. *Note, there is a similar charge, Vehicle Code 14601, Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License. Although similar, it is a different charge than Vechicle Code 12500 Driving without a Valid License. Information for that charge can be viewed at\_id=1117

Additional resources provided by the author That link lists CVC 12500 in full.

Free Q&A with lawyers in your area

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer