What is VC 12500 Driving Without a License?

VC 12500 is a CA traffic law that prohibits driving without a license. VC 12500 may be charged as either an infraction (no potential jail time, and a conviction would not go on your criminal record), or as a misdemeanor (in which case there is potential jail time and a conviction would go on your criminal record).

It may be that you were driving on a suspended driver’s license but did not KNOW your license was suspended. If you truly did not know that your license was suspended, an officer will usually cite you for driving without a valid license under VC 12500, because there was no knowledge.

The Difference Between Driving Without a License and Driving With a Suspended License

Often, an officer will cite you with KNOWINGLY driving on a suspended license (VC 14601.1 (a)), even though you truly did not know that your license was suspended. In that case you would have a valid defense to a 14601.1 charge, but not to a VC 12500 charge. In either case, your license is usually suspended in the first place due to a failure to appear in court on a traffic citation.

Defenses to a VC 12500 Driving Without a License Charge

You may have been cited with driving with an out of state driver’s license in California, even though you had a valid out of state license. In many cases, a VC 12500 charge can be dismissed in traffic court as long as there was no requirement, in your specific case, to get a California license. Also, you may have actually had a valid California license, even though the officer believed you did not. This would also be a valid defense in court.

Get Help With Your VC 12500 Driving Without a License Charge

Whether your VC 12500 charge is filed as an infraction or a misdemeanor, it can be a confusing and intimidating process to confront these charges in court on your own. Contact Attorney Paul J. Denni if you have questions about the charges against you, or if you’d like an experienced traffic defense attorney to defend you against these charges against you.