Orange County has its share of unlicensed drivers, who typically fall into these categories: non-U.S. citizens without a valid driver license, people whose licenses are suspended or revoked, and people who’ve never had a valid license before. It’s not uncommon for our local law enforcement agencies to arrest unlicensed drivers for driving under the influence.
Can You Get a DUI If You Don't Have a License?
Yes, you can be arrested and convicted for DUI if you do not have a valid driver's license. By law, you are required to have a valid license before operating a motor vehicle, and you must do so in a safe manner.
You do not necessarily need a California driver's license to drive in California. As long as you have a valid license issued by the state in which you reside, your driver's license will be recognized as valid.
What Are the Penalties for a DUI Without a Valid License?
Drivers who operated a vehicle while intoxicated without a valid driver's license can face a variety of criminal penalties, such as:
- Never had a driver's license: If you've never received a driver's license, you could face an infraction or a misdemeanor. The penalties include up to $1,000 in fines and up to 6 months in jail for a misdemeanor, or up to $250 for an infraction.
- Suspended or revoked license: If you were driving on a suspended or revoked driver's license, you could be facing fines up to $1,000 and up to 6 months in jail, with the possibility of vehicle impoundment.
You could also face additional punishments that require DUI School and community service, probation, etc. If you have a previous offense, you could be facing higher fines and/or jail time.
Arrested for DUI? We're Here to Help
We regularly defend unlicensed drivers throughout Orange County against DUI charges. When our clients are first arrested for DUI without a driver license and they contact our firm, they often ask us:
- Will I go to jail?
- Will I be deported?
- What are the fines?
- Can I re-enter the U.S. if I leave?
- Will I be arrested if I attend the hearing?
- What will happen if I don’t show up in court?
- Will the DUI affect my ability to get a Green Card?
- Will the DUI stop me from getting a driver license?
- Will the DUI stop me from becoming a U.S. citizen?
- Will a DUI come up on employment background checks?
- Will my license suspension or revocation be extended?
Related: How to Prevent a DUI Arrest
Contact our firm to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. It would be worth your while to speak to an experienced DUI lawyer who can fully explain how the DUI “system” works and what you can expect in your particular situation.
We offer free consultations, so contact our office and find out why we are known as one of Orange County’s top DUI defense firms!