Protect Your Driving Privileges Fight Your Ticket With Bigger & Harman Today

undefinedThe first thing every driver should know about a driving without a license misdemeanor in CA is that it is a “wobbler,” and the difference in penalties between a misdemeanor and an infraction is like night and day. 

Is Driving Without a License a Misdemeanor or an Infraction in California?

A wobbler is a traffic offense that could be charged as a misdemeanor or an infraction. According to CA Vehicle Code (VC) Section 12500Persons Required to Be Licensed, Exemptions, and Age Limit: 

“(a) A person may not drive a motor vehicle upon a highway, unless the person then holds a valid driver’s license issued under this code, except those persons who are expressly exempted under this code.”  

Your best chance of getting a driving without a license misdemeanor reduced to an infraction when the ticketing law enforcement officer (LEO) circled the “M” for misdemeanor on your citation is to invoke your “right to remain silent,” immediately contact a CA traffic attorney. 

“A misdemeanor is a type of offense punishable under criminal law. A misdemeanor is typically a crime punishable by less than 12 months in jail.”Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute (LII).

The attorney should advise you to go to the DMV and get a driver’s license before your trial date. A judge is likely to reduce the charge to an infraction if you have a license and sometimes will completely dismiss the case.

If charged as a misdemeanor, you face a “base” fine of up to $1,000, up to six months in county jail, or both a fine and jail time/probation if convicted. A wise driver will invoke their right to remain silent and have an attorney present before answering any questions. 

The base fine can easily double or triple, depending on the State and County surcharges, penalties, and assessments. 

A knowledgeable and experienced attorney will contact the prosecutor and request the charges be changed to an infraction if they think it’s wise and you agree. You must agree to reduce it to an infraction. Even though the fine for an infraction is only about $237, there are other considerations. 

You could request a trial by jury if you are charged with a misdemeanor and other guaranteed constitutional rights.    

The primary point of consideration is to consult an attorney when charged with driving without a license misdemeanor

A traffic attorney sits through many of the same trials as yours and knows the judges, how they typically rule, court procedures, and when and how to negotiate for a reduced charge or to ask for a dismissal.  

Consult Bigger & Harman About Your Driving Without a License Misdemeanor in Delano, CA

When you have been charged with a driving without a license misdemeanor and are scheduled to appear in Delano Courthouse, call Bigger & Harman, APC, at (661) 349-9300. Or, use our convenient contact form or email us at

Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.


The CA Driver Handbook English y Español.

VC Section 12500Persons Required to Be Licensed, Exemptions, and Age Limit.

Cornell Law School LII WEX Definitions: Misdemeanor.

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