Driving without a license is a Class A misdemeanor in Missouri, which is a fairly serious type of violation. A Missouri Class A misdemeanor comes with maximum penalties of up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $1000.
The driving without a license charge will also be placed on your MO motor vehicle record (MVR) and assigned 2 points. If you go on driving without a license and are caught for a second time, 4 more points would be added and for a third offense the state will assess 6 points to your MVR.
Operating without a valid license is a violation of section 302.020 of MO Revised Statutes. This section of MO law notes in subsection 3 that any person convicted a third or subsequent time of violating subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection 1 of this section is guilty of a class D felony. The maximum penalty for a D class felony in Missouri is imprisonment for up to 4 years and fine up to $5000.
We mention this since your license expired in August 2008 and you have continued to drive on it. If you continue to drive without getting your license renewed and are caught multiple times for driving without a license you could end up with very harsh penalties. This is one reason to renew your license as soon as possible. Obtaining a valid driver's license before your court date may help you in court, the clerk of the court should be able to tell you for certain.
The Missouri Department of Revenue says if you do not renew your license within 6 months (or 184 days) after its expiration date, you will have to take the written and driving tests, in addition to the vision and road sign tests.
To find out more about the penalties the court you will need to appear in hands out for driving without a valid license, contact the court directly. Ask if renewing your license now could help you at all when you make your appearance in court.