The penalty in California for driving without a license typically includes not only a fine and court fees but the towing and impoundment of the vehicle the unlicensed driver was operating. If you have had a prior conviction for driving as an unlicensed motorist in California, the state may be able to take the vehicle away from you as forfeiture.
If you are licensed, but were driving with a suspended or revoked license, the penalties can include getting the suspension or revocation time lengthened fines and or imprisonment.
California Vehicle Code Sections 14600 - 14611, available to look at on the CA DMV site, discusses the laws regarding licensing in CA. VC 14601 mentions that upon the first conviction of driving with a suspended license there could be county jail time of not less than 5 days or more than 6 months and a fine of not less than $300 or more than $1000.
Being in an accident may cause you to receive these harsh penalties plus if you are at fault in the accident then you will also have that put on your driving record. If you have your auto insurance up to date then it should cover you, even though you were driving without a license at the time of the incident.
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