Iowa City, IA – There are many drivers around the state of Iowa and the entire U.S. who drive even if they are not licensed to do so. This can be because of unpaid fines, suspensions, or the person may have never had a valid license. Getting into an accident with an unlicensed driver will have consequences, mostly for the person who is driving illegally. Personal injury attorneys offer more specific advice to clients regarding how to handle this situation.
Accidents involving unlicensed drivers
After any car accident, the first step that is required by law is to make contact with the other driver or drivers involved before leaving the scene. All drivers are required to exchange their information after a crash, but it is possible that one of the people involved may not be driving legally and may not possess a valid license. When law enforcement arrives on the scene, they may fine or arrest the unlicensed driver.
Iowa’s laws regulating unlicensed drivers
There are a number of different categories related to offenses for driving without a license in the state’s statute. A person who is licensed, but does not have their identification with them at the time of an accident may receive a fine and a citation. Someone who does not have a valid license at all can be charged with a misdemeanor and spend as many as thirty days in jail. The fines are also increased.
People who have had their driving privileges revoked by the state are subject to more severe punishment. Someone who is driving while their license has been suspended will be fined, sentenced to up to thirty days of jail time, and their license suspension will likely be extended for an even longer duration. A person who had their license revoked because of a DUI will face similar penalties, but they can be enhanced. A habitual offender who has had their license revoked for several years may face serious criminal penalties if they are caught driving for any reason. The habitual designation is reserved for those who have a history of traffic violations and are a danger to others.
Lawsuits against an someone who was unlicensed at the time of an accident
If there is a civil accident case where an unlicensed driver is sued, the violation of these traffic laws can be used by the plaintiff as evidence of negligence. In some cases, the jury may be instructed to presume the unlicensed driver was at fault because they should not have been driving at all.
Consulting with a lawyer after an accident
Individuals who were recently in a car accident involving an unlicensed driver should seek out legal help to determine the best course of action. Eells and Tronvold provide professional advice and litigation strategy to clients in the Iowa City area and nearby parts of the state.
Firm contact info:
1921 51st Street NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-2400