DC DUI Without a License Charges

If you have previously had your license suspended because of a DUI, and you have been accused of a DUI again, then you could be facing charges of second DUI offense, as well as driving on a suspended license.

The penalties for DC DUI without a license charges increase to 180-day license suspension for the first-offense and up to possible one-year license suspension for the second offense and the minimum penalty for the second offense DUI increases from zero days in jail for a first time offense up to a minimum of 10 days in jail for a second offense. A judge will hand down a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 days in jail if a person is convicted of a second DUI offense. With so much at stake, it is imperative that you contact an experienced DC DUI lawyer right away if you are facing these types of charges.

DUI While Driving Without a License

In Washington DC, driving without a license is considered to be a separate criminal offense with its own criminal penalties. These offenses come up often in two different situations. The first is a no permit charge where the person who is arrested is accused of not having any driving privileges. There is a separate offense, Operating Vehicle After Revocation, where the accusation is that the person’s driving privileges were suspended or revoked because of penalties imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles. A person could have their license suspended or revoked because of unpaid traffic tickets, unpaid child support, or a suspension due to a previous criminal offense, such as a hit and run or reckless driving.

Any of these DC DUI without a license charges can result in the possibility of a person having their license suspended or revoked. Either way, no permit and operating after suspended are criminal charges with possible criminal penalties mean jail time or fines. They are not simple traffic matters that result in civil traffic penalties. A person can be arrested and be required to appear before a criminal judge charged with no permit or operating after suspension or revocation.

If a person is accused of driving under the influence, does not have a seat belt on at the time, or their license is suspended or revoked, they face those as separate criminal charges although the charges are most likely filed as part of the same case. In that situation, a person has a single criminal case or faces individual charges of driving under the influence and operating after suspended or revoked or no permit. A person could face separate penalties for each of the charges that could be imposed back to back in addition to the penalties for the other offenses.

How Can This Be Aggravated By a License That’s Suspended Because of a DUI?

A license could be suspended for any number of reasons. A person may have a suspended license if they were previously convicted of driving under the influence and had their license suspended because of that DUI conviction. If a person is convicted of a DUI and has their license revoked and is accused of committing another DUI while their license is revoked because of the original DUI, that person faces enhanced penalties for the second offense DUI. In addition, there are possible penalties for driving on a suspended license. The more serious penalties in that situation are the enhanced penalties which are mandatory minimum levels of jail time for being charged with a second or subsequent DUI. If convicted on DC DUI without a license charges,  a person may be required by law to face a certain amount of mandatory jail time because of the prior DUI.

Suspended License v.s. Unlicensed Driver Cases

When a person is accused of driving without a license, it is referred to as a no permit charge. This is treated as a less severe offense compared to a person who is accused of driving on a suspended license. The person who is accused of driving on a suspended license did something or failed to do something that resulted in the suspension of their license including:

  • Having s significant number of tickets
  • Failing to pay tickets that already existed
  • Failing to pay child support
  • Committing other offenses that result in a person’s license being suspended or revoked.

Having no permit does not involve other infractions. In many situations, the person does not have a driver’s license because they are not eligible to have one. A person in that situation did not do anything wrong that resulted in them not having a driver’s license. That is why a no permit case can be considered a less serious offense than a driving on a suspended license case. The maximum penalties for no permit are lower than the maximum penalties for driving on a suspended or revoked license.


The maximum penalties for no permit offenses are lower than the maximum penalties for driving on a suspended or revoked license. A person accused of driving under the influence without a license or on a revoked license still faces those separate penalties aside from the penalties the person faces if convicted of the “no permit” or “operating after revocation.” A person accused of operating after revocation has the benefit of a trial before a jury in their case because operating after revocation carries a maximum possible penalty of up to one year of jail time.

Any criminal case where a person faces a maximum possible penalty more than 180 days is entitled to a trial by jury. Even though a person faces higher penalties for operating on a suspended license compared to no permit, the higher penalty entitles them to a trial by jury as opposed to a trial by a judge. If you face DC DUI without a license charges, get in touch with a seasoned DUI attorney who can build a solid case for you.