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What happens if you're caught driving with no license?

If you get behind the wheel when you have your driver's license revoked or suspended, you're risking harsher penalties for taking that risk. There could be situations where you feel you have no choice, and those might be good for building a defense.

The penalties for failing to drive with a license are fairly severe in Colorado, with a first offense requiring imprisonment for up to six months. You also face a fine of no more than $500. This may seem lenient, but the offense can also lead to an extension of your license suspension. Typically, a year is added to the suspension.

Being convicted of your first offense can, therefore, lead to a number of issues in your personal and work life. You might lose your job if you have to miss too much work, or you could be unable to get to work because of not having a vehicle. You could be imprisoned and face not seeing your family. On a subsequent offense, you could face all the previous penalties, but the state also makes you ineligible to receive a driver's license for three years. That means that you can't apply for any form of license in most situations, leaving you at the mercy of the public transportation system or friends and family members.

Not all states are the same when it comes to losing your license, and if you are caught across state lines, your potential penalties could be different. Your attorney can help you defend yourself, particularly if you have a good reason for using your vehicle despite not having a license.

Source: National Conference of State Legislature, "Driving while revoked, suspended or otherwise unlicensed: Penalties by State," accessed Nov. 30, 2016

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