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12500 CVC and the Charge of Driving Without a License

June 27, 2022 Federal Criminal Attorneys

California Vehicle Code 12500, or 12500 CVC for short, is the California law that makes it a crime to drive without a license in the state of California. Breaking this law can result in serious consequences. If you have been charged with breaking 12500 CVC, you should hire legal counsel immediately.

What Does 12500 CVC Say About Driving Without a License?

This law requires that all drivers in California have a valid driver license. However, what is considered a valid driver license under this law? For one, the license does not have to be issued by the state of California. It can actually be any currently valid driver license from any other state. The license, however, should be specific to the kind of vehicle being driven. Regular driver licenses are not the same as motorcycle licenses for example.

This should be rather straight forward. If a person is charged with this crime, the prosecution basically only has to prove two things in court. First, it must be proven you were driving on a street, highway or other public road. Second, it must be proven you didn’t have a valid driver license at the time of the traffic stop.

This law can be broken under a number of different circumstances. For example, if you simply let your driver license expire, you could be charged with driving without a license despite the fact you had previously passed all the requirements for obtaining one. This is why you should always pay close attention the expiration date printed on the card.

What Can the Punishments Be for Breaking this Law?

Driving without a license in California is a serious yet not extremely serious offense. It is treated as a misdemeanor in the California legal system. Being convicted of this crime will go on your criminal record. Misdemeanors in California have a maximum penalty of one year in jail and $1,000 in fines. Being caught driving without a license will also likely result in your vehicle being impounded by the police.

How Our Law Firm Can Help with This Charge

Breaking this law can result in some pretty serious consequences. It is even worse if you know for a fact you did indeed have a license at the time in question. One of the only ways to find recourse is to hire an attorney to tell your side to a jury of your peers.

Thankfully, a successful defense is very possible in this kind of case. All that has to be done is your lawyer must prove to the jury that you did indeed have a valid driver license at the time of the traffic stop. The officer’s mistake could have simply been due to an error in a computer database. Alternatively, if you did not have a currently valid license, there may still be a way to defend your case in court. Juries will often be lenient towards defendants that did not have a license due to an understandable oversight such as forgetting to renew the license for a short amount of time.

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