Driving With a Suspended License

Driving With a Suspended License

It’s important to note that driving with a suspended or revoked license in California is a misdemeanor traffic offense – not a traffic infraction. It carries a potential jail sentence and substantial fines. Fortunately, there are several legal tactics and defenses that can be employed to prevent or lessen the severity of the penalties that can result from driving on a revoked or suspended driver’s license. Generally, first time offenders in Los Angeles are not facing jail time but rather major fines, two points on their DMV records, a longer suspension on their driver’s license, and a criminal record.

In Los Angeles if you are stopped for driving with a suspended license you may be arrested and your car will be impounded. If you have been arrested or charged with driving with a suspended license, you should contact Damian Siwek, an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, at DCS Defense to schedule a no-cost confidential consultation to discuss your legal options.

California Law: Driving on a Suspended License

California Vehicle Code sections §14601- §14601.5 prohibit, “knowingly driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license”:

  • §14601(a) -This section makes it unlawful for you to drive on a revoked or suspended license due to alcohol or drug abuse, reckless driving, mental or physical liability, or being declared a negligent or incompetent driver.

Penalty For First Time Offense Under §14601(a): 5 days to 6 months in county jail, probation and a fine of $300 to $1000 plus penalty assessments. A second offense is 10 days to 1 year in county jail and a $500 to $2000 fine plus penalty assessments.

  • §14601.1(a) -This section makes it unlawful for you to drive on a suspended or revoked license when you know the DMV has suspended or revoked your license for any reason that was not mentioned above under Vehicle Code 14601(a) or below under sections 14601.2 or 14601.5 of the Vehicle Code.

Penalty For First Time Offense Under §14601.1(a): 180 days maximum in county jail, probation, and a $300 to $1000 fine plus penalty assessments. A second offense within 5 years is 5 days to 1 year in county jail plus a fine of $500 to $2000 plus penalty assessments.

  • §14601.2(a) – This section prohibits you from driving on a suspended or revoked license because of a DUI (Driving Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs) conviction (Vehicle Code Section 23152 or 23153). You must have knowledge of the suspension or revocation.

Penalty For First Time Offense Under §14601.2(a): 10 days to 6 months in county jail, probation, and a fine of $300 to $1000 plus penalty assessments. A second offense is 30 days to 1 year in county jail, probation, plus a $500 to $2000 fine plus penalty assessments.

  • §14601.3(a) – This section makes it unlawful for you to accumulate a “driving record history” while your license is suspended or revoked. You will be designated an “Habitual Traffic Offender” if: your California driver’s license was suspended or revoked during a 12 month period and you were convicted of or involved in any combination of the following offenses: two or more serious driving-related crimes, or three or more general moving violations (e.g., speeding), or three or more accidents when someone was injured and property damage totaled at least $750.

Penalty For First Time Offense Under §14601.3(a): 30 days in county jail and a fine of $1000 plus penalty assessments. A second or subsequent offense adds 180 days in county jail and a fine of $2000 plus penalty assessments. There is also a three-year license revocation for “Habitual Traffic Offenders.”

  • §14601.4(a) – This section prohibits driving on a suspended or revoked license pursuant to 14601.2 (suspension due to a DUI conviction) and causing injury to a person other than the driver.

Penalty For First Time Offense Under §14601.4(a): 10 to 180 days in county jail plus the installation of an IID (ignition interlocking device) in your vehicle.

  • §14601.5(a) -This section prohibits driving on a suspended or revoked license based on BAC levels too high or refusing sobriety tests.

Penalty For First Time Offense Under §14601.5(a): a maximum of 180 days in county jail, probation, plus a $300 to $1000 fine plus penalty assessments. A second offense within 5 years of a prior is 10 to 180 days in county jail with a fine of $500 to $2000 plus penalty assessments.

We Can Help

If you are arrested for or given a citation for driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license we can help. There are several defenses and legal strategies available for suspended or revoked license cases. There are also favorable plea scenarios, reduction of charges and complete dismissals available. Avoid the harsh penalties associated with suspended license convictions and get your driving privileges reinstated.

For aggressive and effective representation against driving with a suspended license charges, including a free confidential consultation, contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Damian Siwek at DCS Defense.