Driving without a license is illegal in all 50 states, and the consequences vary depending on the state and whether it’s your first or repeat offense.
If you are caught driving without a license, your situation falls into one of three scenarios:
– You have a valid driver’s license, but it’s not in your possession
This is the easiest scenario. If prove you possessed a valid license at the time, this infraction may be dismissed, although you may still need to pay a fine.
– You do not have a valid driver’s license (never passed the test) or it expired
– Your license was revoked or suspended by authorities
Penalties for Driving Without a License in Hawaii
If you do not possess a valid driver’s license at the time of the incident, this is considered a traffic crime and can involve jail time, fines, or both.
For a first offense, you are subject to a fine of up to $1000, imprisonment of up to 30 days, or both.
If someone has two or more prior convictions for the same offense in the preceding five-year period, then the fine is between $500-1000, jail time is up to one year, or both.
If a minor under the age of 18 is caught driving without a license, they may either be subject to a fine of $500 or lose the right to drive until they turn 18.
If someone is found to driving a commercial vehicle without a license, fines can be as high as $5000.
In addition to possible fines and jail time, you can also expect car insurance rates to increase since insurers view driving without a license to be high risk behavior. If your license is suspended for a long time, your insurer may even cancel your coverage, and a gap in coverage will result in even higher insurance rates when it comes time to apply for coverage again.
Being Charged for Driving Without a License
Once you have been charged with driving without a license, you must appear in court on the date and time indicated on your citation. Failure to appear in court can result in the judge issuing a bench warrant for your arrest. It can also place a stopper on your license to prevent you from getting another driver’s license.
Fighting the Charge
You have the option to either pay the ticket or fight the charge. If you pay the ticket, you are admitting guilt to driving without a license and the traffic crime stays on your driving record, which can be viewed by potential employers and car insurance companies.
Even if you were caught driving without a license, you can still fight your ticket. This will allow you to contest the ticket, have the opportunity to further explain the circumstances, and have an attorney negotiate on your behalf.
An attorney knows all of Hawaii’s laws, will make sure you were pulled over legally and all the right procedures were followed in your arrest, investigate the evidence against you, formulate the strongest defense, and fight to secure the best possible outcome for you and your future.