Driving on a Suspended License

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Suspended License -  Byron Roope - Sacramento Criminal Defense Attorney

Driving on a Suspended License – Vehicle Code Section 14601.

Accused of driving on a suspended license?  Call 916-546-8052 for a free consultation to discuss your case.

California Vehicle Code Section 14601 makes it illegal to drive if you know your license is suspended.  These crimes are misdemeanor crimes and subject you to significant fines and jail time.

In order to be convicted of driving on a suspended license in California the District Attorney’s Office must prove that you;

  1. Drove your vehicle,
  2. While your license was suspended, and
  3. You had knowledge of your suspension.

Simply sitting in a vehicle is not enough for the District Attorney to prove you were driving.  There must be evidence that your vehicle moved, no matter how slight.  Additionally, the prosecutor must prove that you had knowledge of your suspension.  That knowledge can come in many ways, including:

  1. A first class letter from the California DMV informing you of your suspension,
  2. “Personal service” from a police officer, meaning the officer told you during your contact that your license was suspended, or
  3. Being informed by a Judge or court clerk that your license is suspended, either in writing or in open court.

It is up to your attorney to challenge the presumption of “knowledge.” If he is able to do so the case may be dismissed or greatly reduced, saving you thousands of dollars in fines and days in jail.

Let’s look at the different suspensions under Vehicle Code 14601.

Vehicle Code 14601(a) – Suspension/Revocation for Specific Offenses

Vehicle Code Section 14601(a) forbids you from driving any vehicle when you know the DMV has suspended your privilege to drive in California due to:

  1. Reckless Driving,
  2. Alcohol/Drug abuse,
  3. Any mental or physical impairment that prevents you from driving safely, or
  4. Being declared a negligent or incompetent driver by the DMV.

If you are notified by the DMV that your license is going to be suspended by the DMV for any mental/physical impairment, or because of a negligent operator suspension (generally because of too many points) we can help.  Call us immediately at 916-546-8052.

Penalties

The possible penalties for a first conviction of a violation of Vehicle Code Section 14601(a) are:

  1. Not less than five days or more than six months in jail,
  2. Not less than $300 or more than $1000 in fines before penalties and assessments,
  3. One to three years of informal probation.

Vehicle Code Section 14601.1(a)

Vehicle Code Section 14601.1(a) is the section most often used to suspend or revote drivers licenses in California.  It is used to suspend for “other” reasons not listed in Vehicle Code Sections 14601(a), 14601.2(a), 14601.5, or 14601.3.

Penalties

The possible penalties for a violation of Vehicle Code Section 14601.1(a) include:

  1. Up to six months in jail,
  2. Not less than $300 or more than $1000 in fines before penalties and assessments,
  3. One to three years of informal probation.

If the offense occurs within five years of a prior offense which resulted in a conviction of Vehicle Code 14601.1(a) or Section 14601, 14601.2, or 14601.5 the penalties include:

  1. Not less than five days or more than one year in jail,
  2. Not less than $500 or more than $2000in fines, plus penalties and assessments,
  3. One to three years informal probation.

California Vehicle Code 14601.2 (a) – Privilege Suspended /Revoked for DUI

California Vehicle Code Section 14601.2(a) is charged when a person is accused of driving when they knew their license was suspended or revoked because of a DUI conviction.

Penalties

The possible penalties for a violation of Vehicle Code Section 14601.2(2) include:

  1. Not less than 10 days or more than six months in jail,
  2. Not less than $300 or more than $1000 in fines,
  3. One to five years informal probation
  4. Installation of an ignition interlock device (“IID”).

California Vehicle Code 14601.3 (a) – Habitual Traffic Offenders

Unlike the other driving on suspended license sections of the California Vehicle Code, Vehicle Code Section 14601.3(a) prohibits you from habitually driving on a suspended or revoked license.  You are declared a habitual traffic offender and a suspension/revocation is given under this section when your license was suspended or revoked during a period of twelve months when you were convicted or involved in any combination of the following offenses or accidents, which include:

  1. Two or more two point serious driving related crimes, such as violations of Vehicle Code 23103 Reckless Driving, Vehicle Code 23152 Driving Under the Influence, Vehicle Code 23109(c) Exhibition of Speed, any Vehicle Code 14601 section, or any other two point vehicle code violation,
  2. Three or more one point convictions (including speeding, running a stop sign, failing to stop at a limit line [running a red light], or any other one point violations),
  3. Three or more accidents where someone was injured or the property damage totaled at least $750.

Penalties

The penalties for a first conviction of driving on a suspended/revoked license due to Vehicle Code Section 14601.3 are:

  1. 30 days in jail,
  2. A fine of $1000, plus penalties and assessments,
  3. Possible probation for one to five years.

If convicted for a second violation of driving on a suspended/revoked license due to Vehicle Code Section 14601.3 are:

  1. 180 days in jail,
  2. A fine of $2000, plus penalties and assessments,
  3. Possible probation of one to five years.

California Vehicle Code 14601.5 (a) vc — Suspensions / Revocations in General

California Vehicle Code Section 14601.5 makes is a crime to drive when you know your license has been suspended for the following reasons:

  1. Refusing to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test in connection with a DUI in California,
  2. Having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .01% or greater while being under 21,
  3. Refusing to submit to a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test while under 21,
  4. Refusing to submit to a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) when suspected of driving under the influence AND on probation for a DUI,
  5. Driving with a BAC of 0.01% or greater while on probation for a DUI in California,
  6. Driving with a BAC of 0.08% or greater after being arrested under Vehicle Code Section 23152(b), or
  7. Driving with a BAC of 0.04% or greater while driving a vehicle that requires a commercial license.

 

Contact Us

If you or your loved one has been cited or arrested for driving on a suspended license, do not hesitate to contact us at 916-546-8052 immediately to discuss your case.  Protect your rights and get the best possible outcome available.  Our firm handles these cases all over California, including in Sacramento, Yolo, Placer, El Dorado, Sutter, San Joaquin, and Nevada Counties.

 

Additional Resources

California DMV – Driving on a Suspended License – 14601

California DMV – Driving on a Suspended License – 14601.1(a) 

California DMV – Driving on a Suspended License DUI Conviction– 14601.2

California DMV – Driving on a Suspended License Habitual Traffic Offender – 14601.3

California DMV – Driving on a Suspended License Refusal or Driving with Excess Blood Alcohol – 14601.5 

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