Monday, April 23, 2012

Driving Without a Valid MN License (Explained)


Driving After Revocation (DAR), Driving After Suspension (DAS),Driving After Cancellation (DAC),  and Driving After Cancellation as Inimical to Public Safety (DAC-IPS)  are common additional charges that individuals can end up facing, if their driver’s licenses have been invalidated for a period of time due to a recent Minnesota DWI conviction.

Generally speaking, these offenses are governed by Minnesota Statute 171.24, which reads in relevant part that:


[A] person is guilty of a misdemeanor if: (1) the person’s driver’s license or driving privilege has been suspended; (2) the person has been given notice of or reasonably should know of the suspension; and (3) the person disobeys the order by operating in this state any motor vehicle, the operation of which requires a driver’s license,” while the person’s license or privilege is suspended, revoked, or canceled.


Also, if a person is operating a commercial vehicle and has been disqualified from holding a commercial driver’s license in Minnesota, that person is guilty of a misdemeanor.

The statute continues to state that a person has committed a Gross Misdemeanor if that:

person’s driver’s license or driving privilege has been canceled or denied” because “the commissioner has good cause to believe that the operation of a motor vehicle on the highways by the person would be inimical to public safety or welfare,” and “the person has been given notice of or reasonably should know of the cancellation or denial; and… the person disobeys the order by operating in this state any motor vehicle, the operation of which requires a driver’s license, while the person’s license or privilege is canceled or denied.
If an individual already has a conviction for one of the charges involving driving without a valid license, the penalty for a second offense is much greater. Minnesota Statute 168.041 subd. 2 asserts that:
if a person is convicted of violating a law or municipal ordinance, except a parking law or ordinance, regulating the operation of motor vehicles on the streets or highways, and the record of the person so convicted shows a previous conviction for driving after suspension or revocation of the person’s driver’s license or driving privileges, the court may direct the commissioner of public safety to suspend the driver’s license of the person for a period not exceeding one year. The court may also require the registration plates of any self-propelled motor vehicle owned by the violator or registered in the violator’s name to be surrendered to the court.

 Driving without a valid driver’s license can put not only an individual’s future driving privilege in jeopardy, but can also potentially lead to license plate impoundment for the vehicle, even if the vehicle belongs to someone else. 


What Should You Do

Believe it or not, most prosecutors and judges believe that a person should have a valid license to drive. So if you find yourself facing a charge such as this, my suggestion to you is to get an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney on-board ASAP.  Deals can be made - and the consequences you face do not have to be the most dire.  Don't believe me, call the Rolloff Law Office at (612) 234-1165 and learn how you can preserve your license - even when all fees lost.

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