Caught Driving Without a License? If You're a Teen, You're in Serious Trouble
Most high-school students in Virginia obtain their licenses the legal way—they apply for their learner's permit, take driver-education courses and submit to a road test, after which they receive a permanent driver's license (albeit with certain restrictions if they're under the age of 18). Every now and then, however, an unlicensed teenager decides to take dad's Lexus out for a spin or gets behind the wheel of a friend's SUV, and is stopped by the police—at which point he (or his parents) will need the advice of an experienced attorney from Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC.
The Law Can Deal Harshly with Unlicensed Teenage Drivers
Many people in the U.S. aren't entirely comfortable with 16-year-olds earning driver's licenses; after all, the reasoning goes, these kids still have a lot of growing up to do, and they often aren't capable of mature decisions. Now, imagine how the average person would react to the prospect of an untutored, unlicensed teenager getting behind the wheel of his parents' car and taking it out for a spin around the neighborhood!
Virginia law doesn't distinguish between juveniles and adults who are caught driving without a license. The penalties include:
- Stiff fines amounting to hundreds of dollars
- Potential jail time
- Points added to your driving record (once you acquire a legal license)
- A possible misdemeanor or felony on one's permanent record
How harshly a judge punishes a teenager caught driving without a license will usually depend on the circumstances of the incident and the individual's prior record. A first-time offender, even a teenage one, may be able to get off with a lighter penalty, but if he has previous convictions for joyriding or theft, all bets are off.
Driving without a License Can Make it Hard to Get a License
Juveniles who are caught driving without a license may find themselves unable to obtain a learner's permit, or may be subject to additional restrictions when they do finally acquire a Virginia driver's license. That's why, if you are the parent of a teenager who was caught driving without a license, you need to secure the best legal representation possible in order to minimize the potential penalties. Call Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC today for a free consultation!