If you go away to college and don’t have to drive, you may never bother to get a license. Many people just have state IDs or other forms of identification, so a license isn’t essential to their needs.
You may find yourself in a sticky situation if you ever need to drive, however. For example, if you and a friend go out drinking and your friend is too drunk to drive home, you might think it’s safe to drive the short distance back to campus or your apartment. Should you get stopped, you could face serious penalties for driving without a license.
Driving without a license is a misdemeanor offense
If you drive without a license in Colorado, it’s a misdemeanor charge, and a conviction comes with a potential penalty of up to $500 and imprisonment for up to six months. While that might not seem particularly serious, there is the risk that you could be imprisoned just because you were trying to keep a more dangerous driver off the roads.
What are the defenses for driving without a license?
There are several different defenses that you may be able to use for driving without a license. For example, you could tell the truth and explain that this was the only way to get home safely and that it was better than the alternative. Depending on other factors, the judge may be lenient. You may also be able to defend yourself if you have a learner’s permit but the other party was old enough to serve as the licensed driver monitoring you.
Every case is different, so it’s worth learning more about your rights before speaking with the police or going to court. Don’t trust your future to chance — or the court. Talk to an experienced defense attorney instead.