Driving without a Licence

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Driving Without a Licence

If you have been charged with driving without a licence, you could face serious punishment. Potential penalties for this type of offence include a fine, penalty points and a driving ban. However, with the help of JMW's expert motoring solicitors, you may be able to build a strong defence that will reduce the penalties you ultimately receive for the offence.

Driving without a licence is a serious motoring offence in the eyes of the law. This means it can carry significant penalties that may affect your ability to drive in the future. Further to this, if you continue to drive while disqualified, you may face jail time. Our team understands the importance of being able to drive - supporting those who rely on you and retaining employment. Without a licence, you can be left stranded.

To speak to our expert motoring defence lawyers and benefit from their years of experience working in this field, simply call us on 0345 872 6666 or complete our online enquiry form and we will give you a call back. We will be happy to discuss your case with you, regardless of your circumstances.

How JMW Can Help

The expert motoring offence solicitors at JMW can help you by providing legal advice on your situation. Where there is scope to mount a defence, we can dispute a motoring offence charge in court, or try to ensure you receive a fair sentence in cases where you are convicted.

When you call us, we will hold a free initial phone consultation to understand your circumstances, and explain whether we will be able to help you and how. If you decide to work with us, we will discuss your offence with you in more detail and explain the services we can provide.

We will not immediately suggest fighting your charges as this is not always the best course of action; disputing a motoring offence carries significant risks. If you do not plead guilty and you fail to mount a successful defence, you can expect your penalties to be increased considerably. Instead, we will evaluate the full extent of your circumstances and tailor our advice to your particular needs.

In every case, our team will work to find the best solution for you that will have the highest chance of success. In some cases, this means assessing the damage and finding that a guilty plea would be the sensible option for you. We typically suggest this in cases where it is your first offence and the charges are less severe. We will always prioritise your wellbeing over pursuing a victory in court. However, if we are confident that we can reduce or remove your charges through court proceedings, we will take this path.

If we recommend pleading not guilty, we will begin to plan your legal defence. We will have a period of time - usually six months or longer - to gather evidence that supports your argument. This may be in the form of witness statements or photographs and videos, as just a few examples. We will also have access to the evidence that the police have collected in relation to your case, which will heavily inform our understanding of your chances of success.

Before the police can pull you over or give you a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN), they must have reasonable grounds to question you about whether you have the appropriate licence. If they do not conduct themselves in the correct way, or meet all of the legal requirements in collecting evidence and service an FPN, we can use this as a potential argument in court.

Will my solicitor help me in court?

If your case goes to court, your solicitor will be there to represent you. We will prepare a robust defence strategy, advise you on how to plead, and present your case using your evidence to argue why you should not be charged, or why your penalties should be reduced. They will also cross-examine witnesses, challenge evidence presented by the prosecution, and aim to secure the best possible outcome for you.

Driving Without a Licence Explained

Driving without a licence is a serious offence that can carry significant penalties. Under the Road Traffic Act 1998, it is an offence to drive a vehicle without a licence that is appropriate to a vehicle of that particular class. Likewise, it is not permitted to drive a vehicle on a provisional licence unless the driver is accompanied in the car by a full licence holder aged 21 or over who has held their licence for at least three years. Learner plates must also be displayed on the vehicle used in such situations, and the individual must be insured. This helps other drivers to give the learner leeway, and can help to reduce the chances of any accidents happening.

If you have passed your driving test, you will only be allowed to drive the types of vehicles that are covered by the licence you hold. To operate other vehicles, such as passenger-carrying vehicles, buses, heavy goods vehicles or motorbikes, you will be required to pass further driving tests in order to obtain the correct licence. Should you be found to be driving a vehicle for which you do not hold the correct driving licence, you could face a penalty for driving without a licence.

When drivers are caught committing a driving offence, their licence may be revoked or taken away from them. This is done to stop drivers from putting themselves and others at further risk. If you have been accused of driving without a licence, it may be because you were not aware that your licence had been taken away from you. This can happen if you are not informed of your licence’s revocation, or have not noticed communications about it.

Regardless of whether or not you were aware of the revocation of your licence, you will be prosecuted for driving and should discuss this with a professional motoring offences solicitor. 

Is driving without a licence a criminal offence?

Driving without a valid licence is a criminal offence in the UK and it will go on your criminal record.

What is the Penalty for Driving Without a Licence?

There are a number of circumstances under which you may be charged with driving without a licence. The penalty you will receive if you are found guilty will depend on the circumstances under which you were caught, and other factors. For example, if you have not passed a driving test but have been caught behind the wheel, you may be given:

  • Between three and six penalty points for when you do have a licence
  • A maximum fine of £1,000
  • A possible ban dependant on the circumstances and any points already endorsed

Furthermore, you could be punished if you have an ordinary or specific kind of driving licence but are caught driving a different vehicle, such as a large goods vehicle (LGV).

If your offence is not severe, your penalties will be given to you at the roadside by a police officer, detailed in your FPN. If your offence is more severe - such as if it is tied to another offence, like careless driving or driving under the influence, you may be placed under caution and given your penalties later.

If you face a penalty for driving without a licence, it is imperative that you seek the right legal guidance to help you through what can be a difficult process. This will help you to understand your rights and give you the very best chance of limiting or avoiding punishment.

What are the Penalties for Driving While Disqualified?

If you are caught driving whilst disqualified, you could be arrested and taken to the police station for questioning. This is a very serious offence that can bring with it six penalty points and a fine of up to £1,000. Further punishments can also include a prolonged period of disqualification, community service and even imprisonment for up to six months.

Seeking legal assistance is therefore imperative should you ever be found to be driving at a time when you have been disqualified.

Why Choose JMW?

If you have been caught driving without a licence, it is important you speak to specialist solicitors who can guide you through the process and make sure you are given every chance to defend your case successfully.

At JMW, we have vast experience in helping people in such circumstances, enabling them to successfully navigate through this tricky area of motoring law. Our team is highly knowledgeable and will guide you throughout the process, ensuring you are kept up to date on any developments and have the peace of mind that everything is being taken care of as it should be.

FAQs About Driving Without a Licence

Q
Can I drive if I have been released under investigation?
A

The rules of your ‘released under investigation’ (RUI) status should be read to you by the police. There is no standard set of rules for RUI, so you might be allowed to drive legally or you might be held under the terms of a temporary ban. This will depend on what the police deem necessary and safe.

RUIs can last for as long as the police need to conduct their investigation. This can cause significant stress for those held under an RUI, as they often never know when the case is going to come to a head. This is especially damaging if the driver is subject to a ban, as it may lead to a loss of work or job opportunities, and will stop them from being able to support their dependents.

Q
What should you do if you have been released under investigation?
A

If you have been released under investigation for driving without a valid driving licence, it is essential to act quickly. The first step is to consult a qualified solicitor who specialises in motoring offences. The experts at JMW can help you understand the legal implications of ROI and guide you through the process.

While you are under investigation, it is important to cooperate fully with the authorities, but remember that you have the right to legal representation at all stages. Keep all documents and evidence related to the case, as these may be useful in your defence. Do not discuss the case with anyone other than your solicitor, as anything you say may be used against you.

Q
How can I appeal a conviction for driving without a licence?
A

Before you make any decisions about a driving offence that you are being charged with, you should speak to a professional motoring offences solicitor - such as those at JMW.

We will help you to understand whether you are in a position to make an appeal to the court, and work closely with you to make sure you follow the process correctly. This will give you the best chance of success.

Q
How much does it cost to defend against a driving without a licence offence?
A

For information about how much it will cost to dispute your driving without a licence offence, visit our Fixed Fee Motoring Offences page or call us on 0345 872 6666 today.

Q
Is driving on a provisional licence without a qualified driver a crime?
A

Attempting to drive anywhere while you only hold a provisional driving licence and you do not have a valid licence holder accompanying you is a criminal offence. If you are caught driving, you can expect a fine and penalty points on your licence, pote

Q
Is driving on a provisional licence without another driver a crime?
A

Driving on a provisional licence without a qualified driver in the car is a criminal offence. In the UK, provisional licence holders must be accompanied by a qualified driver who is over the age of 21 and has held a full driving licence for at least three years. The qualified driver must sit in the front passenger seat and be fit to drive. Failing to adhere to these rules can result in penalty points, fines and potentially even a ban from driving for both the learner driver and anyone else who is considered to be responsible.

Talk to Us

Find out more about how we can help you defend your driving without a licence charges by getting in touch today. Simply call us on 0345 872 6666 or fill in our online enquiry form and we will give you a call back at a time convenient for you.