Penalty for minor driving with no liscence in CA?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by applefan1997, May 12, 2008.

  1. applefan1997 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    OK, Yes I'm talking about me. Please dont bash, I'm dealing with a lot now.
    Our car was hit and this is something else. I got a citation for driving without a licence and I have to appear in court. My question is what is the fine and punishment for this? Any help os really appreciated!

    Oh yes, about the other driver, It was a 1994 Honda Accord. The damage was to the front passenger corner (parking lamp, scraped bumper, and 5-inch area of the fender was bent. What approximately does it cost to fix it?
     
  2. Gray-Wolf macrumors 68030

    Gray-Wolf

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    #2
    Minor questions being, Are you a legal driver, ie do you have a license and just didn't have it with you? Is it suspended? Revoked?

    It can cost you as simple as a $100 fine on up. Sometimes, if you bring it and provide evidence, they can reduce the fine. Depends on the court and the cops.
     
  3. applefan1997 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    No, I do not have a liscence at all, that's the problem. Does age matter? I am 15, going on 16 this week.
     
  4. Gray-Wolf macrumors 68030

    Gray-Wolf

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    #4
    That, sounds like ouch time. Best defense, is to cooperate fully, admit your wrong and take the rap as it were on the knuckles. Depends again, on the judge and circumstances, but you could look at a good size fine, or leniency. Remember to be respectful to the judge.

    Oh, and your parents may have to pick up the tab for the insurance to pay any damages to the other car/people.
     
  5. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    From what I've heard they may suspend your license privileges until you are 18. Had it happen to a kid back in high school, really sucked for him, mommy got to drive him around.

    You may think about getting an attorney. It'll cost a good bit, but they might be able to help you be able to keep your license privileges.

    You/your parents may have to pick up any damage done to the other car or any medical problems the the occupants have or decide to have stemming from the accident. So you really might want to get an attorney for that. You really got yourself in a good one. Driving without a license isn't a joke and really could end up costing your parents their house and everything else they own. If you'd hit me you better believe I'd be going after you, you better hope these people are somewhat nicer.
     
  6. applefan1997 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I'm not worried about privileges now, just mainly at what we'll need to pay the court, at least for the charge of no liscence and no insurance.
     
  7. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

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  8. jonbravo77 macrumors 6502a

    jonbravo77

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    #8
    Sorry to say this but the fines will probably be a decent amount, at least a couple hundred dollars, not to mention the cost to fix the other car.

    Getting a lawyer is an option but only an option not a necessity seeings how you don't have much of a leg to stand on. Go with the advice of Final, be respectful, understand fully that you had no business being behind the wheel of a car without a license and take the punishment. Work hard to gain the trust of your parents back and to pay them back financially as well.

    California has some of the toughest laws when it comes to driving so expect to pay a good amount and to not be able to get a license until you are 18

    Peace:cool:
     
  9. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #9
    I am so very not a lawyer, but I'm bored and was able to do a little reading, the results of which you should absolutely not take as any kind of legal advice:

    You can find the California Vehicle Code here. As the law reads, California takes unlicensed driving very seriously.

    All the assorted insurance-related violations are infractions, but your unlicensed driving violation is probably of section 12500(a), which is a misdemeanor. Unless there is another specific section I have not found, the General Misdemeanors section specifies "a fine of not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by imprisonment in the county jail for not exceeding six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment."

    Since you are a juvenile, those penalties should not apply to you. It looks like you would face a juvenile hearing, which gives the judge a few options, which may be a wag of the finger, or may include restricting your ability to get a license, community service or paying up to the full fine for the adult charge. Restitution for the damage done may be ordered in place of the fine.

    If one or both of your parents knew you were driving the car illegally, they may face legal liability as well.

    One important thing to note is that if you do it again, the vehicle could be subject to forfeiture, meaning the cops just take the car away forever. In that case you will be legally liable for the value of that car to its owner. The court will notify you if this offense counts towards possible forfeiture.

    When you say "no insurance" do you mean the car was actually uninsured or you personally did not have proof of insurance? Generally car insurance covers a car, not a person, so if the car was actually insured, the damages might be covered, but I really have no idea how that might play out. You might well end up in civil court with the other driver over the damages.

    As far as the cost, hitting a car on a corner is going to be more expensive, because it damages lights and two different body areas. Both the bumper and the fender body panels will have to be attended to. The bumper might have to be replaced, but the body shop will need to inspect it first. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see that damage hit $2000 or more. For a '94 Accord, there's a slim chance you totaled it, just because of the low value of the car.
     
  10. feelthefire macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    While car insurance typically covers a car, in actuality it covers the pairing of vehicle and operator. If the car is being driven by someone not named on the policy as a known operator of the vehicle, depending on the state, the entire insurance policy may be null and void.

    Since the kid had no license, he can't be named as an operator on the policy, so even if the car was insured, he wasn't insured to be driving it.

    This whole thing begs the question: what were you doing driving a car without a license?
     
  11. Hummer macrumors 65816

    Hummer

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    #11
    This is the flood gates.

    The OPs answer to this is the floodgates being opened and the thread gets derailed as I've seen previously in my study.

    But yea I think at most its just a fine of as much as 1k.
     
  12. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #12
    Here's how it works in California: "An owner's policy of motor vehicle liability insurance shall insure the named insured and any other person using any motor vehicle registered to the named insured with the express or implied permission of the named insured, against loss from the liability imposed by law for damages (...)" It looks as if policies written in California must cover people who borrow your car.

    Regardless, if he was driving it without the owner's permission, then damages to the vehicle he was driving should be covered by the owner's policy just like if the vehicle was stolen. Liability for damages to the other car would legally belong to the unauthorized driver, which would thus fall back on his parents, who insure the car. I think the insurance company would have a totally solid case not to pay that liability, but I'm not completely sure, and for that matter they might even try to get out of paying for damages to the insured vehicle by saying the parents should have taken better precautions to make sure their child didn't drive the car. That is why I said I don't know how it will play out.
     
  13. feelthefire macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    I think you're misunderstanding that...if he DIDN'T have permission to drive the car, e.g. the car was stolen, the car is NOT insured. He'd have to prove that he had permission to drive the car (this is usually done by carrying a letter from the car's owner in the glove box) in order for the policy to be effective. This applies even to children borrowing their parent's cars...if they're not on the policy, and the parents didn't either underwrite them or give them permission that can be proven, the company can refuse a claim, no problem.

    Fine is probably a max of $1k, but you might have to enter a diversion program that will likely prohibit you from getting a license until you're 18 and that will probably impact your future insurance such that you might have trouble getting an insurer to underwrite you when you CAN legally drive.
     
  14. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    CT
    #14
    Did you take any driving lessons or were you just out joy riding not knowing how to drive a car at all? Stupidity at its worst. Could have easily killed someone. And kids wonder why they get bad raps when they drive.
     
  15. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #15
    The law says "express or implied." Implied permission cannot take the form of a letter by definition. The restrictions you think apply simply are not the case in this state. That is, however, why typically you'd keep a copy of proof of insurance in the car along with the registration.

    As far as coverage for someone who does not have permission, in the trivial case if someone steals your car and crashes it, your insurance company pays. It would be ridiculous if it didn't. This case may be legally different, but you'd have to show how it's different, which is why I'm just saying "I don't know for sure."

    Edit: Of course, your insurance company may try to recover that payout from the party responsible for stealing and crashing the car if possible, which would be the OP and would revert to his parents, who are the insured. That's where this gets confusing.
     
  16. feelthefire macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    The theft would be covered, but the DAMAGE wouldn't. For example:

    Situation A: my car is stolen. 3 days later it is recovered, stripped, such that it is considered a total loss. The insurance company totals the car and gives me money.

    Situation B: My car is stolen and never recovered. Ins. company pays me value of the car.

    Situation C: My car is stolen by a teenager on a joyride, who is caught by cops after he hits another driver. Any damage to the other car or driver is not covered under my collision policy because it was inflicted by someone not insured on my car. Any damage to my own vehicle would likely be covered under comprehensive coverage, same as it would be if the car was stolen and stripped.

    In the case of theft (which is the car being driven by someone not given permission) the insurance company is only responsible for MY car, not the other driver's. All bets are off as far as liability coverage, etc at that point.
     
  17. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #17
    That's pretty much exactly what I said in the first place.
     
  18. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #18
    :rolleyes:
    "study"
    I'd listen or read what this guy is posting. At least in his quest to give you some insight into your legal issues here at LegalRumors.com, he's done a fair amount of homework through Google that reads rather accurate.

    My recommendation, shut the computer off and go find yourself a parent and legal representation.

    I'd like to say sorry you're in this mess but you could have hurt someone and yourself. Anything short of that means you're extremely blessed.
     
  19. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    CT
    #19
    This will sound harsh but if you were driving underage without a license or insurance and you hit my car I would go after you hard to pay for all the damages. Expect a trip to small claims court at some point.

    We still don't know why the OP was driving in the first place.
     
  20. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #20
    Just be d***ed glad there were no injuries. An injury claim could cost your parents their house.

    In general, insurance companies have underinsured motorist protection -- where the other party's insurance will cover their damage. But then that insurance company comes after the car owner for restitution. Policies will vary of course.

    The other general principle is that if the car is being operated illegally (whether by an unlicensed driver or a drunk driver) then the policy holder loses their insurance protection, and their insurance company will come at them for the costs.
     
  21. applefan1997 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Koreatown, Los Angeles, California
    #21
    Thank you gelfin for your research!
    OK to answer a few questions.
    The car was uninsured, so as to say it had no form of it.
    I don't want to get into why I was there (thread will go way off topic), however I had taken it to school yesterday to give an idea.
    I did have a very clear understanding of the traffic laws at the time, I didn't just go joyriding.

    I heard that you can do community service instead of fines, how does that go?

    As to what happened, here goes:

    I was on a residential street, and signaled to make a u-turn, and turned into a driveway on the opposite side. I barely entered it when the other car (prev. traveling behind me) slammed into the rear driver door. All legal issues aside, whose fault is it? They had to be on the wrong side to hit my side or they would have hit the rear if anything.
     
  22. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #22
    Yes, insurance policies don't cover reckless use, if you are driving drunk and hit a tree that is considered a liability and they will pull the coverage.

    No matter what it is your fault for not having insurance or a license. And that is considered a joy ride. If you knew the driving laws you would know how to do a proper U-Turn.;)

    Back to having a car at school, who gave you permission to take the car?
     
  23. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #23
    California is a bit twisted, there is the chance that they may revoke you until you are 18 -- and require you to be insured 1 year before getting the license revocation lifted.

    ---

    As far as the cost, look up the recycled auto parts ... chance you can get parts in matching colors.

    But I wouldn't be surprised to see a $800-1000 bill, since most body shops seem to like that as a minimum for doing any work.
     
  24. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #24
    This raises more questions. Was the car registered, was it a 2 lane road, did you slow down to make a turn or just take a sharp left. Were there any other witnesses?
     
  25. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    Denver, CO
    #25
    Generally if somebody behind you hits you it's their fault, but the U-turn is a problem for your story:

    If you pulled wide to the right side of the road (as one usually does for a U-turn) before going left, even if your signal was on the driver behind you would reasonably have expected you were letting him pass so you could make your U-turn legally. That's a really common event. When you unexpectedly swerved left, so did he in an attempt to avoid you, and his front corner hit your rear door. The law above exists to avoid exactly this kind of confusion about intentions.

    California does proportional fault where appropriate, so the actual split depends a lot on what the other driver's story is. Thing is, if the other driver has half a brain in his head and there were no other witnesses, he's going to say you pulled over to the right and never signaled at all. It'll be his word against yours, and you're an unlicensed fifteen year old who took his parents' car without permission.

    Can't be sure, but just to be on the safe side I'd clench up for a lot of this to fall on you.
     

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