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LawTalk
LawTalk, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 35354
Experience:  30 years legal experience
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My Daughter was driving on a suspended license (she didn't

Customer Question

My Daughter was driving on a suspended license (she didn't know, she failed to pay or show for a speeding ticket). She was in an accident, and therefore in trouble for driving without a license. The original court she pled no guilty so we could buy more time as to what to do. She had her license back a week from the accident/driving without it, she paid ticket, etc. Her preliminary hearing is this coming Tuesday, what should we do?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 months ago.

Good afternoon,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your daughter's situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

This seems like a very crucial matter for you, and your questions and issues suggest that an in-depth conversation might best suit your needs. If you are interested, for a very nominal charge I can offer you a private phone conference as opposed to continuing in this question and answer thread which is searchable and viewable by the public.

Let me know if you don't want a call and I will be happy continue here with an answer for you.

Either way, whether I call you or not, in order to give you a clear and concise answer, I will need some additional information about the circumstances, please.

1. Are you saying that your daughter already took care of the failure to appear and the speeding ticket?

2. What state is she in?

3. When you say original court are you referring to the speeding citation, or the arraignment hearing in the driving without a license matter?

4. Tuesday is her preliminary Hearing for the driving without a license? Has she already been to court once on this citation?

Thanks in advance,

Doug

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi Doug,Thank you so much for helping.1. Yes, after the accident, after she got out of the hospital, she paid the ticket and reinstated her license. A new license was sent right away.2. We live in AZ.3. Driving without a license. So, we have been once to court where the judge batches like crimes/issues, and you plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. She pled not guilty thinking that buys us some time to figure out our options. I'm hoping that move didn't increase penalty.4. She has just been the one time, item 3 above. Tuesday is now the preliminary hearing.I hope this information helps! Thank you so much for the help!!The suspension notice was sent 3/29 and her wreck was 3/8.She's 22, graduated from college May 2015 (a year early), has a good head, except for this... She just simply spaced the speeding ticket. :(. It's been a really rough two months, she was really hurt in the wreck (between Phoenix and LA).Thank you!
Susan
Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 months ago.

Good morning Susan,

I apologize for the delay. By the time you had provided your information, I had left the office for the weekend. Thanks for clarifying those things for me.

The preliminary hearing is essentially a previews of what your daughter faces at trial. The purpose of the Preliminary Hearing is to force the prosecutor to present to the court sufficient evidence to convince the judge that there is probable cause to hold your daughter for trial on the charge. And while the prosecutor may have witnesses testify, they may also introduce evidence, such as proof from the state that he license was suspended.

If any witnesses are put on the stand to testify, she will have the right to cross examine them to learn more of what they know. However, unlike a trial, she does not put on a defense. The Preliminary Hearing is all about the judge determining whether the prosecutor has enough evidence to warrant a trial on the charge.

Presuming that the prosecutor succeeds in showing that your daughter's license was in fact suspended at the time of the accident, the judge will order a trial and perhaps set a trial date.

Between now and the trial, I would suggest that your daughter retain a local criminal defense attorney to represent her so that she can have the best chance at negotiating a plea deal.

The charge is a misdemeanor and while there is no mandatory fine or jail time, both are possible---though jail for a first offense is extremely rare. A plea deal might involve a deferred sentence in which she might pay a fine, have a period of probation and if she doesn't violate the law during that time, at the end of the period the charges are dismissed and she will not have a misdemeanor conviction on her record. Her attorney will negotiate with the prosecutor to get her into one of these deferment programs and to avoid the necessity of a criminal record.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please remember to rate my service to you so that I can be compensated for helping you. Thank you in advance.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,

Doug