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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
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what is the penalty for driving while unlicensed, Atlanta,

Customer Question

what is the penalty for driving while unlicensed, Atlanta, 40-5-20? I moved from Florida to GA in 2007, and I got a GA drivers license... but I had an outstanding ticket in Florida, and that license was suspended in April 2008, which canceled my drivers license in GA as well. I was pulled over 10/31/08 and given 2 traffic citations, one for expired tag and the other for driving while unlicensed. Can you please help me out with this? My court date is today at 3 pm.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  socrateaser replied 6 years ago.
§ 40-5-121. Driving while license suspended or revoked


(a) Except when a license has been revoked under Code Section 40-5-58 as a habitual violator, any person who drives a motor vehicle on any public highway of this state without being licensed as required by subsection (a) of Code Section 40-5-20 or at a time when his or her privilege to so drive is suspended, disqualified, or revoked shall be guilty of a misdemeanor for a first conviction thereof and, upon a first conviction thereof or plea of nolo contendere within five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained or a plea of nolo contendere is accepted, shall be fingerprinted and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than two days nor more than 12 months, and there may be imposed in addition thereto a fine of not less than $500.00 nor more than $1,000.00; provided, however, that at the time of the hearing such person shall not be guilty of such offense if he or she presents the court with proof of a valid driver's license issued by this state. Such fingerprints, taken upon conviction, shall be forwarded to the Georgia Crime Information Center where an identification number shall be assigned to the individual for the purpose of tracking any future violations by the same offender. For the second and third conviction within five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained or pleas of nolo contendere were accepted to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained or a plea of nolo contendere is accepted, such person shall be guilty of a high and aggravated misdemeanor and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten days nor more than 12 months, and there may be imposed in addition thereto a fine of not less than $1,000.00 nor more than $2,500.00. For the fourth or subsequent conviction within five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained or pleas of nolo contendere were accepted to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained or a plea of nolo contendere is accepted, such person shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than five years, and there may be imposed in addition thereto a fine of not less than $2,500.00 nor more than $5,000.00.

(b) The department, upon receiving a record of the conviction of any person under this Code section upon a charge of driving a vehicle while the license of such person was suspended, disqualified, or revoked, including suspensions under subsection (f) of Code Section 40-5-75, shall extend the period of suspension or disqualification for six months. The court shall be required to confiscate the license, if applicable, and attach it to the uniform citation and forward it to the department within ten days of conviction. The period of suspension or disqualification provided for in this Code section shall begin on the date the person is convicted of violating this Code section.

(c) For purposes of pleading nolo contendere, only one nolo contendere plea will be accepted to a charge of driving without being licensed or with a suspended or disqualified license within a five-year period as measured from date of arrest to date of arrest. All other nolo contendere pleas in this period will be considered convictions. For the purpose of imposing a sentence under this subsection, a plea of nolo contendere shall constitute a conviction. There shall be no limited driving permit available for a suspension or disqualification under this Code section.

(d) Notwithstanding the limits set forth in Code Section 40-5-124 and in any municipal charter, any municipal court of any municipality shall be authorized to impose the punishment for a misdemeanor or misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature as applicable and provided for in this Code section upon a conviction of a nonfelony charge of violating this Code section or upon conviction of violating any ordinance adopting the provisions of this Code section.

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