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Common Driver’s License Defenses

By September 27, 2023April 24th, 2024No Comments3 min read

When facing charges related to your driver’s license, it’s important to consider all available defenses. The type of defense you use will depend largely on the specific situation and the charges you’re facing. 

However, there are several common defenses that are often utilized:

  1. Challenging the Traffic Stop: In order for a traffic stop to be legal, the officer must have had reasonable suspicion that a law was being broken. If you can prove that the officer did not have a valid reason for the stop, any evidence gathered during that stop (including evidence of a license violation) could potentially be thrown out.
  2. Factual Defense: This defense revolves around the actual facts of the case. For example, if you’re charged with driving without a valid license, you could use evidence to prove that your license was, in fact, valid at the time of the incident.
  3. Procedural Defense: This is based on challenging the methods used by law enforcement or the court. For example, you might challenge the accuracy of a breathalyzer test or the way in which field sobriety tests were conducted.
  4. Mistake of Fact: This defense could apply if you had a genuine and reasonable belief that your license was valid at the time of the alleged offense. For example, if the Department of Motor Vehicles had mistakenly told you that your license was valid, you may be able to use this as a defense.
  5. Necessity: This defense argues that you had to drive despite knowing your license was suspended or revoked, because of an emergency. You’d need to show that you had no other reasonable alternative and that you only drove as much as was necessary.
  6. Lack of Knowledge: In some jurisdictions, you can argue that you didn’t know your license had been suspended or revoked. However, this can be a difficult defense, as often, the law assumes that you’ve received and read any notices sent to your last known address.

Remember, these defenses are general categories and they may not apply to your case or may be interpreted differently in your jurisdiction. You should always consult with a legal professional to get advice tailored to your situation.

Remember that traffic laws can vary by state, and sometimes even by city or county, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific laws in your area. Failure to adhere to these laws can result in fines, points on your driving record, increased insurance rates, and even loss of your driver’s license in some cases.

If you were cited for speeding, driving on a suspended license, reckless driving or leaving the scene of an accident, you are facing the possibility of costly penalties. You have a right to defend against these allegations. However, depending on the circumstances, there may be legal avenues for reducing or eliminating traffic fines and penalties with the right legal assistance.

The traffic violation defense lawyers of LaCross & Murphy, PLLC, have extensive experience in minimizing the negative consequences of traffic infractions. Contact our office in Port Orchard today to explore your options with a free consultation.