If you’re caught driving with a suspended license in California, you can face penalties such as paying fines or serving jail time. If it’s not your first offense, you can also receive an additional sentence as a repeat offender. To avoid such complications, you should familiarize yourself with the conditions for suspension as well as your legal defenses against any unconstitutional reinstatement conditions.
The Rationale for License Revocation
Although certain states suspend drivers’ license as a penalty for non-driving offenses (such as missing child support payments), almost all states impose license revocation on motorists with traffic violations and convictions.
A license is suspended to ensure that public roads remain safe from otherwise reckless driving. If a police officer suspects that you are driving without a license, they can only stop your car if there is any reason to believe that you are also breaking another traffic rule, such as going beyond the speed limit or negligent driving.
Reasons Behind Suspended/Revoked Licenses
If a motorist commits any of the following driving-related offenses, he or she may lose driving privileges through the suspension of his or her license.
- driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs
- driving while intoxicated (DWI)
- racing or speeding
- hit-and-run offense
If you want a full list of other traffic violations and need someone to fight for your case, get in touch with California’s hardest-fighting law firm. Certain states use a point system when monitoring commuter traffic violations. For every conviction, the Department of Motor Vehicles places certain bad points on a driver’s record. If you have accumulated a certain number of points, your license will be revoked.
But sometimes, your license can be suspended for medical and family reasons. For instance, when motor vehicle owners suffer an injury that affects their visual capacity or motor function, their license may be suspended. Other grounds for license suspension may also be that the license owner was missing child support obligation or is guilty of letting a minor unlawfully possess alcohol.
Suspension of Driver’s License
The authorities who are granted the power to revoke licenses vary between states. A majority of the issue is handled by the court or state agency.
After the license has been suspended, motorists may apply for a restricted license. This gives them certain driving rights while the suspension still holds. One specific example is the occupational restricted license. This type of license gives you the privilege to drive to certain areas such as your workplace, school, or site for community service. It is still considered restricted since you will only have permission to drive on certain days and hours of each day.
If the reason for your license suspension is alcohol-related, you may opt for an ignition interlock device restricted license or IID. The installed IID will analyze your breath for any evidence of alcohol.
You cannot just apply for a new license when your previous driver’s license has been revoked or suspended. Instead, you will have to wait out your period of revocation and then apply for license reinstatement.
To be eligible for reinstatement, you must show a record of being treated for drug or alcohol addiction and establish proof of financial ability. On top of those, you should be current on your child support arrears and pay the reinstatement fee. The official commencement of the suspension period is usually granted by the court or your regulating agency.
If your license has been revoked, then you may only apply for a new license after your revocation period is over. It is possible for any of the above qualifying conditions to be challenged by the state although in most cases, the statutes are upheld.
If you believe the condition for your reinstatement is unlawful, you have the right to challenge that condition while you are still in suspension. Seek the help of an experienced DUI attorney to handle your traffic crime.
Some drivers make the mistake of resuming driving even without a valid license and as a result, face additional traffic crime charges. If you suffer another criminal charge, you will need to consult with a criminal defense attorney to handle your case.
The Law Offices of Marc Grossman offers a free consultation with one of their DUI attorneys or traffic lawyers if you require legal counsel.