In a world where people are regularly being charged with driving while seriously drunk, driving dangerously at high speeds or driving while under the influence of drugs, it might be easy to think that driving without a valid driver’s licence is a minor offence. After all, you’re not necessarily putting anyone at risk of harm simply because you’re driving without a licence, right?
The truth is, unlicensed driving offences can in fact be very serious charges and you should not take them lightly. They can have serious consequences if you are involved in an accident and they can also result in heavy sentences being imposed.
Risks of Unlicensed Driving
If you take the risk by driving without a licence, you are taking a massive gamble. If your drive goes without any problems, you might be fine. However if you are involved in any type of accident, you’ll soon regret your decision to drive without a licence.
Insurance companies have strict conditions about when they will assist you in the event of an accident. If you are in an accident because you are drunk, for example, 99.9% of insurance companies won’t help you to cover the costs of repairs or compensation.
The same applies to unlicensed drivers. Your insurance policy will require that you only drive while holding a valid driver’s licence. If you don’t have a valid licence, you are basically on your own – the insurance company will simply say that you were not driving according to their conditions and therefore they don’t need to cover your costs.
Take a minute to think about this. Let’s say that you’re driving a car worth $20,000. You are involved in an accident which results in the other car (worth $30,000) to be written off. As a result of that accident, the other driver suffers quite serious injuries and has to spend a few weeks in hospital recovering. Let’s pretend that the medical costs are $50,000 and their loss of income is $5,000.
Without insurance protecting you (because you drove without a licence), you are now looking at a bill of more than $100,000.
Given these circumstances, can you really afford to drive without a licence?
Penalties for Unlicensed Driving
The penalties for driving unlicensed can also be severe. At a minimum, you will be given a fine of several hundred dollars. Depending on the reason why you were unlicensed at the time, you also face a licence disqualification from anywhere between one (1) month and indefinite. This means that you could risk losing your licence for the rest of your life. For most people, the loss of licence for even just one month can be devastating.
For serious offences or for repeat offenders who continue driving while unlicensed, you also face potential imprisonment. It is in fact quite concerning how many people are sent to prison for driving without a licence. The worst part is most people don’t expect to be sent to jail for this type of offence and they end up leaving their loved ones stranded with bills to pay and children to care for.
Therefore if you have been charged with driving unlicensed, don’t take the risk of representing yourself in court. Contact Harper Finch Lawyers now to speak with an expert unlicensed driving lawyer who will make sure you get the best outcome possible.