Driving without privileges seems like small potatoes compared to other misdemeanor and felony offenses, doesn’t it?  Unfortunately, it’s not.  A conviction for driving without privileges can send you to jail and then leave you walking to work. 

First, the bad news:

If you are convicted of driving without privileges while your license is suspended, you will likely be sentenced to jail sentence for at least 2 days and up to 6 months.  If you’re lucky enough to be in a larger county (like Ada), you may be able to serve your jail time on the sheriff’s inmate labor detail or by doing community service, but only if you were not previously suspended as a result of a DUI conviction.  If you’re in a smaller county like Valley County, however, you will serve those two days in the jail regardless of the reason for your underlying suspension.  A conviction also carries a fine and court costs, and the loss of your license, again.  The “new” suspension will likely run another 180 days and by statute, this suspension will begin after your current suspension has run its course.  A judge can give you restricted privileges to drive to work, but he or she cannot run the new suspension and the suspension that existed at the time you were charged concurrently, or at the same time.  It must run consecutively.

A second conviction for driving without privileges results in a mandatory 20 days in jail, with a maximum jail sentence of 1 year. Again, your license will be suspended for up to 1 year.  You may be able to serve that time on the Sheriff’s inmate labor detail or community service, but 20 days is a long time to be picking up trash or serving soup.  Many judges have a rule that they will impose a minimum amount of actual jail time before they’ll allow you to have the other options.  If you were caught driving on a DUI suspension, you will not have the luxury of performing community service.  If you’re in a small county that does not offer options, you’ll be stuck in jail for those 20 long days. 

If you’re caught driving without privileges a third time within five years, you’re facing a mandatory 30 days in jail and a suspension of your license for up to 2 years.  Add to this a fine and court costs, and you have yourself some expensive small potatoes.

But there is good news – we can help!

Your driving without privileges charge can often be reduced to driving with an invalid license if (1) you are eligible to reinstate your license, meaning your suspension has run, and (2) you were not driving on a DUI suspension. 

A conviction for driving with an invalid license will not result in another license suspension and is unlikely to land you in jail. We have experience in obtaining this result for many of our clients. 

In trouble for driving without privileges?  You need a lawyer who has experience in negotiating down this charge and preserving your freedom.  Give us a call. 


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