Rhode Island Lessens Penalties for Being Caught Without Driver’s License

July 7, 2016

Getting caught by police in Rhode Island for forgetting to carry a driver’s license will no longer lead to criminal charges the first time it happens.

Legislation signed into law by Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo last month has taken effect.

The law lessens some driving offenses from misdemeanor crimes to civil violations. It also reduces the penalties, taking away the possibility of prison time and decreasing the maximum fines.

First and second offenses for driving on a suspended or expired license or with no license are now civil violations. Drivers caught the first time could be fined $250 to $500. They could be fined $350 to $500 for a second violation.

A third offense would trigger misdemeanor charges.

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