License suspension is the temporary loss of driving privileges for a certain period of time. In contrast, a motorist with a revoked license permanently losses such privileges.
There are various reasons why a driver’s license could be suspended or revoked. This may include: being charged with a violation of traffic safety, a refusal to pay fines for a traffic ticket (or speeding ticket), driving while intoxicated (drunk-driving), driving under the influence of any controlled substance (DUI), and being a habitual offender of traffic law.
Under the California vehicle code, an offender is considered guilty of driving while suspended if he or she knowingly drove while his or her license is suspended.
The prosecution must establish that the defendant is fully aware that his or her license has been suspended (or revoked). As such, the Department of Motor Vehicles should have sent certified mail informing you of the license suspension (or revocation). They must provide proof that the suspension notice from the DMV office was delivered to your residence and the mail was not returned as undelivered or unclaimed. Furthermore, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant was driving a vehicle while on suspended license. The accused may look into either defense strategy that he or she may use. Discuss these with an experienced defense attorney, who will help you dismiss the criminal charges against you (and eventually process the reinstatement of your driver’s license, if applicable).
Driving after your license has been suspended or revoked is a criminal offense that may lead to a misdemeanor or even a felony.
The sanction and punishment for driving with a suspended license will be based on why it was previously suspended (or revoked). If, for example, the suspension was due to negligent or reckless driving, penalties may include fines, probation, and even jail time. If found guilty of driving after being suspended for a DUI, you may be sentenced with probation, imprisonment, and the installation of an ignition interlock device.
It is unlawful for you to drive your vehicle without a valid license. It is not mandatory that the said license is from California for as long as it is valid for the vehicle type being driven and was issued by the driver’s state of residence.
Do not drive without a license and never allow someone to use your driver’s license illegally. Possessing a canceled driver’s license or lending a license to another is strictly prohibited. Refusing to surrender a restricted license and altering a driver’s license is likewise punishable by driving law.
While difficult, license reinstatement is possible under relevant traffic laws. Seek legal help from a criminal defense lawyer and keep your criminal record clean. Contact us at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman for a free consultation.