California Vehicle Code 14601.1(a) VC is the stature that makes it legally wrong for an individual to purposely drive with a revoked or suspended California driver’s license. It is a misdemeanor offense that is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $1000 fine and court fees.
If you or someone you know has been arrested with charges of driving with a suspended driver’s license in California, then you should seek legal help to avoid conviction.
Here at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman, we have experienced Upland personal injury attorneys who can help you if you’re charged with driving with a license that has been suspended.
Driving with a Suspended License Defined
Vehicle Code 14601 indicates numerous traffic violations for which your license could be suspended for a certain period. Traffic law violations such as driving under the influence (DUI), refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test, reckless driving, and physical or mental disabilities could lead to a suspension of license.
A violation of driving with a suspended license is a misdemeanor. This offense can be punished by custody in a county jail or substantial fines. For first-time offenders, this could bring a fine of $300 to $1000 and a jail time of 5 days up to 6 months. For second-time offenders, penalties can include a fine of $500 to $2000 and a jail time of 10 days up to a year. If your license was suspended because you were driving under the influence (DUI), a jail sentence with a minimum of 30 days and a compulsory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) is included in either of the sentences above.
How Is Someone Convicted of This Offense?
For a prosecutor to convict someone, they must prove that an offender is guilty of the following:
- The defendant drove a vehicle while their California driver’s license was revoked or suspended;
- The defendant knew that their driving privileges were revoked or suspended when they drove the vehicle
Note that for a defendant to be guilty under this statute in California, they must know that their state license was suspended. This can only be presumed if the following are proven to be true:
- The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) sent a notice for an Order of Suspension/Revocation to the defendant informing them that their driving privilege has been temporarily revoked or suspended
- The suspension notice was sent to the offender’s most recent address
- The notice wasn’t returned as unclaimed or undelivered to the DMV
Other Related Offenses
Other traffic offenses are similar to or are often charged together with driving using a suspended license in California:
- Driving without your driver’s license: is only an infraction and carries only the possibility of a fine but no jail time. It only requires you to prove that you had a valid driver’s license at the time that you were driving the vehicle
- Driving under the influence: those who fail the blood alcohol (BAC) test done by a law enforcement officer will mostly get their license suspended. They’ll be issued a temporary license valid for 30 days and must immediately request a hearing in DMV within 10 days. If proven guilty, a first-time DUI offense is punishable by a fine of $1000, an ignition interlock device (IID) will be installed in the vehicle and a completion of a DUI class that is state-approved is required.
- Reckless driving: different from negligent driving, reckless driving is driving a vehicle without any reasonable caution and regard for the safety of others. It is punishable by a maximum of 3 months in hail, 1-month suspension of your driver’s license, and a vehicle impounding. For a second offense, it is punishable by 6 months in jail and the suspension of your license for one year.
How an Upland Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
If you or your loved one is charged with Vehicle Code 14601 driving on a suspended license, and you want to hire an experienced defense attorney for representation, contact us at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman.
We are experienced in dealing with license suspension, license revocation, and other criminal offenses related to driving. We can also help you process your license reinstatement after suspension. Contact us today for a free consultation.