DC DUI Without a License Charges

When a person is charged with a DUI and is alleged to not have had a valid driver’s license at the time of the arrest, they could be charged with the separate offense of no permit.

If the individual is instead alleged to have been driving with a suspended or a revoked license, they could also be charged with operating after revocation or operating after suspension in addition to the driving under the influence charge, which would then carry separate penalties, including additional jail time or additional fines.

When this is the case, it is important to consult with an experienced DUI lawyer to mitigate or avoid as much of the damage as possible. To discuss your case or learn more about the potential steps that can be taken to assist you, call and schedule a consultation today.

Driving On a Suspended License

A person accused of DUI while driving on a suspended license is not facing a different kind of DUI charge. Instead, what that person is going to face is two separate and distinct charges: driving under the influence and driving on a suspended license, driving on a revoked license, or no permit, depending on which it was.

Each of these charges carries separate penalties and must be proven independently of each other by the prosecutors. Even though a no permit or driving on a revoked license charge does not increase the minimum and maximum penalties for driving under the influence, a person accused of having a suspended, revoked, or no license might face harsher treatment in their DUI case.

Hearing the Charges

When a person is charged with a DUI and is also accused of driving on a suspended license at the same time, their offenses will be charged as separate counts in the same case.

This means the case has the same prosecutor and is heard by the same judge, but is considered two separate counts that must be independently proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecutors.

Suspended vs. Unlicensed Driver

When someone is driving without a license, the manner in which the case is handled depends on the individual case. It depends on the reason the person’s license was suspended and the age of the person who is unlicensed.

For example, if the person is unlicensed and 18, that is different than a person who is 45 and their license has been suspended because they have four DUIs.

Out of State Driver

If a person has a license from out of state, for example in Maryland, the DUI component of the court case is handled in the same way. If a person ends up with a conviction for a DUI, the District of Columbia’s DMV suspends that person’s driving privileges for the first time for six months.

That does not necessarily mean that the person’s driving privileges outside DC are affected.

Maryland may or may not recognize that suspension. They may decide to impose a reciprocal six month suspension or decide to take no action. Maryland’s MVA can also grant restrictive licenses, as does Virginia.

Impact of a License Suspension For a Previous DUI

If a person is accused of a DUI while their license is already suspended as a result of a previous DUI, that person could face separate charges of driving on a suspended license and charges of being a repeat DUI offender which carries a mandatory minimum of 10 days incarceration.

This means a judge is required by law to give the person at least 10 days of jail time if convicted and that the sentence cannot be divided up between weekends, served as house arrest, or replaced with community service.

Furthermore, because the individual is being charged as both a second offender and for driving on a suspended license this may prompt the prosecutor to seek higher penalties beyond the mandatory minimum.

This will likely result in that person being seen in a much more serious light than if they had their license suspended for another offense besides a previous DUI and can therefore result in higher penalties.

Defining the National Driver Registry

The National Driver Registry is a database of information about the status of a person’s driving privileges. If someone with a Maryland license gets a conviction for a DUI in the District of Columbia and their driving privileges in DC are suspended for six months.

That fact is transmitted from the District of Columbia DMV to the National Registry, not the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. Unless Maryland MVA has a reason to look up that person’s driving history in the National Registry, there may never be reciprocal restrictions placed on that person in Maryland.

Unique Aspects of DC Law

One of the main differences in the DUI laws is the safe harbor provision that is available in Maryland, but not in DC. The punishments are much harsher in Virginia where a person can be charged with a DUI as a felony with long periods of jail time.

Unlike DC, Maryland and Virginia have restricted licenses that can allow an individual to drive to and from home, school, work but those are strictly enforced.

If a person is convicted of operating while impaired in DC, a state like Pennsylvania may not even recognize that as a traffic alcohol offense. It just depends on the state; some states do not recognize it and some states do.

Help from a Lawyer

Local attorneys who are familiar with the District of Columbia can be very helpful to people from out of state maneuvering through the intricacies of the process of resolving a DUI in DC to get the best results possible.