Driving with a Suspended License

There are a variety of different Vehicle Code Sections in California that deal with driving on a suspended or revoked license case. There are minor differences in the treatment of persons charged with this offense depending on the reasons behind your suspension or revocation. Generally, driving on a suspended license is a MISDEMEANOR charge with a maximum of 1 year in county jail as punishment.

 

California Vehicle Code Section 14601(a) states - No person shall drive a motor vehicle at any time when that person's driving privilege is suspended or revoked for reckless driving in violation of Section 23103, 23104, or 23105, any reason listed in subdivision (a) or (c) of Section 12806 authorizing the department to refuse to issue a license, negligent or incompetent operation of a motor vehicle as prescribed in subdivision (e) of Section 12809, or negligent operation as prescribed in Section 12810.5, if the person so driving has knowledge of the suspension or revocation. Knowledge shall be conclusively presumed if mailed notice has been given by the department to the person pursuant to Section13106.

 

Upon a first conviction for this charge, you will be required to serve a mandatory minimum sentence of not less than 5 days in county jail and a fine of not less than $300. If this offense occurred within 5 years of a prior conviction for Vehicle Code Sections 14601.1, 14601.2 or 14601.5, the mandatory minimum sentence will be minimum of 10 days in county jail and a fine of not less than $500, even if probation is granted.

 

California Vehicle Code Section 14601.1(a) states - No person shall drive a motor vehicle when his or her driving privilege is suspended or revoked for any reason other than those listed in Section 14601, 14601.2, or 14601.5, if the person so driving has knowledge of the suspension or revocation. 

 

Any person convicted under this section shall be punished upon a first conviction, by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six months or by a fine of not less than three hundred dollars ($300) or more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.

 

If the offense occurred within five years of a prior offense which resulted in a conviction of a violation of this section or Section 14601, 14601.2, or 14601.5, by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 5 days or more than one year and by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) or more than two thousand dollars ($2,000).

 

Notice there is no Mandatory Minimum Sentence required for a first time conviction of this charge. But a second time conviction carries a minimum of 5 days jail. An experienced driving on a suspended license attorney can sometimes convince the District Attorney to change your charges to avoid a mandatory jail sentence. If you are charged with driving on a suspended license in California, contact our office to consult with an attorney immediately.

 

California Vehicle Code Section 14601.2(a) states - A person shall not drive a motor vehicle at any time when that person's driving privilege is suspended or revoked for a conviction of a violation of Section 23152 or 23153 (DUI) if the person so driving has knowledge of the suspension or revocation. (b) Except in full compliance with the restriction, a person shall not drive a motor vehicle at any time when that person's driving privilege is restricted if the person so driving has knowledge of the restriction.

 

Knowledge of the suspension or revocation of the driving privilege is presumed if mailed notice has been given by the DMV or the court. A person convicted of a violation of this section can be punished for a first conviction for a mandatory minimum of 10 days in county jail and a minimum fine of $300.

 

A second offense within five hears of a prior conviction for a violation of Vehicle Code Sections 14601, 14601.1, or 14601.5, has a mandatory minimum sentence of not less than 30 days in county jail and a minimum fine of $500. Even if you are granted probation, the court must sentence you to 10 days county jail if convicted upon these grounds. Additionally, if you have been designated a habitual traffic offender, then your sentence can be even worse. You need the assistance of an experienced driving on a suspended license attorney who can make a difference in YOUR case. 

 

California Vehicle Code Section 14601.3(a) states- It is unlawful for a person whose driving privilege has been suspended or revoked to accumulate a driving record history which results from driving during the period of suspension or revocation.  A person who violates this subdivision is designated an habitual traffic offender.

 

A driving record history is defined as the accumulation of 2 or more points within a 12-month period during the suspension or revocation period when the points result from actions that carry a 2-point violation such as a DUI. Or, accumulation of 3 points within a 12-month period during the suspension or revocation when the points result from convictions for violations that carry a 1 point against your record such as a speeding infraction.

 

Having 3 or more accidents within 12-months can also render a person a “habitual traffic offender” for purposes of enhanced sentencing. Also, getting 3 points or more on your record within a 12-month period of time which results from a combination of different types of violations can render a person a habitual traffic offender if those points are received during a suspension or revocation period.

 

Driving Without a License Charges in Southern California

 

California Vehicle Code Section 12500 - A person may not drive a motor vehicle upon a highway, unless the person then holds a valid driver's license issued under this code, except those persons who are expressly exempted under this code.

 

This charge is generally a MISDEMEANOR and the consequences of a plea of guilty to VC12500 as opposed to a plea of guilty to VC14601 are very different and more beneficial for the person charged with driving on a suspended license for purposes of their DMV license suspension, DMV points on their driving record and for purposes of keeping their criminal record cleaner. An experienced driving on a suspended license attorney can sometimes negotiate a resolution to change the charges alleged from VC 14601 to VC 12500.

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