Driving While Disqualified

Driving while disqualified is the act of driving after being legally forbidden from doing so. This can occur for several reasons, including accumulating too many driving record points, being convicted of a serious traffic violation, or failing to meet the requirements of a court-ordered restricted license.

So, if you’re caught driving while disqualified, you were operating a motor vehicle even though you weren’t supposed to be, and now you’re facing severe consequences.

Penalty for Driving While Prohibited

The penalty for driving while prohibited will vary depending on the jurisdiction in which you are caught. Generally, driving while prohibited is considered a misdemeanor offense and can carry penalties including:

  • a fine
  • Incarceration
  • Probation
  • Suspension or cancellation of driver’s license

In some cases, a judge may also order someone convicted of driving while prohibited to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle, which requires the driver to blow into a breathalyzer-type device to start the car.


If you are caught driving while prohibited, you must speak with an experienced legal attorney who can help you understand the specific penalties you may be facing in your state. With that, Richard Fedorowicz can help.

Driving While Disqualified Definition

When a driver is disqualified from driving, they can no longer operate any motor vehicle, including boats and aircraft.

If you’re found guilty of running one of these things while not having your license, you will

  • face a criminal offense
  • be imprisoned for up to 5 years liable
  • be convicted of a punishable offense

Under the law, all drivers must abide by specific rules and regulations to operate a vehicle. If drivers fail to follow these regulations, they may be deemed “disqualified” from driving. This means that the driver’s license may be suspended or revoked, and the driver may be subject to state penalties.

Vehicles Seized for Drive Disqualified

Once caught driving while disqualified, a police officer has every right to take hold of your vehicle for a maximum of 45 days.

The length of time your vehicle is seized will depend on your charges and the severity of what you’ve done. For example, if this is your first offense, you can expect your car seized for 28 days. But, if you’re a repeat offender, then the police officer has the discretion to take your vehicle for up to 45 days.

In cases where the driver wasn’t the automobile’s owner, the vehicle will be released once the owner shows evidence to the arresting officer that the car was either stolen or taken without his consent.

It is important to note that the vehicle owner is liable for any fees, including pound fees and towing, whether or not they are driving at that time.

When an officer declines or cannot release your vehicle, you have the right to apply for a judge’s order. This can be done by making court proceedings requesting the release of your car.

Fighting Driving While Disqualified

If you’ve been caught driving while disqualified, don’t think that you’re automatically guilty of the offense. You have the right to defend yourself in court. Hiring an expert criminal lawyer like Richard to represent you in court is the right thing to do when facing charges like this. He can challenge any evidence collected against you and defend your rights before the court makes the final verdict about the case.

When the crown attorney reviews your case and sees some loopholes in the charges or accusations, resolutions may be made to prevent you from going to jail.

You can be found guilty of driving while disqualified if the prosecutor and arresting officer were able to attest that:  

  • you were prohibited from driving as ordered by the court
  • the vehicle you’re driving falls under any motor vehicle defined in the criminal code
  • you were arrested legally and properly without your rights being violated
  • all documents are correct and legal
  • your trial is done fairly and within a reasonable time

Even when facing criminal charges, it may be possible for an accused person to have their case resolved without going through a full trial. This often involves negotiating resolutions that are less severe than those imposed by law and allows them to avoid the consequences of a conviction on penalty terms if found guilty.

A defense can also involve proving reasonable doubt about one’s guilt to mitigate or eliminate any punishment accordingly.

driving while suspended

Difference Between Driving While Disqualified and Driving While Suspended

A few key differences exist between driving while disqualified and driving while suspended. 

Driving while suspended is a criminal offense, whereas driving while disqualified is only an offense if you are caught driving during your disqualification period.

If you are caught driving while suspended, you could face a prison sentence, and your license may automatically be canceled. In contrast, if you are caught driving while disqualified, you will only face a fine, and your license may only be suspended for some time.

Experienced Legal Defense

If the court says so, you will only be considered guilty of driving while disqualified. But while the trial is ongoing, you have the right to defend yourself and gain access to an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

As an experienced and a professional lawyer, Richard has provided the best criminal defense to those facing charges that could result in jail time or driving disqualification.

At Fedorowicz Law, we work tirelessly on any case to get the best possible outcome.

If you are facing criminal charges, whether driving while disqualified or any other type of charge, you need the best criminal defense lawyer possible. With years of experience, we can provide you with the legal expertise and guidance you need to ensure your rights are protected and you have the best chance of beating the charges against you.

Feel free to call us at 249-266-4222 or email us at richard@fedorowiczlaw.com for your legal concerns. 

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Richard Fedorowicz is a Criminal Lawyer Serving Toronto, Brampton, Newmarket, Hamilton, and Oshawa