Driving on a Suspended License
Driving on a Suspended License The Law
People are often charged with Vehicle Code section VC 14601, driving on a suspended license, or in some cases Vehicle Code section 12500, which is not having a license on your possession.
California Vehicle Code 14601 VC states as follows:
“Driving when privileges suspended or revoked [Driving on a suspended license for certain offenses] for certain offenses; knowledge; punishment; driving on private property; requiring installation of ignition interlock device. (“(a) No person shall drive a motor vehicle at any time when that person’s driving privilege is suspended or revoked for reckless driving in violation of Section 23103, 23104, or 23105, any reason listed in subdivision (a) or (c) of Section 12806 authorizing the department to refuse to issue a license, negligent or incompetent operation of a motor vehicle as prescribed in subdivision (e) of Section 12809, or negligent operation as prescribed in Section 12810.5, if the person so driving has knowledge of the suspension or revocation. Knowledge shall be conclusively presumed if mailed notice has been given by the department to the person pursuant to Section 13106. The presumption established by this subdivision is a presumption affecting the burden of proof.”
CVC 14601.2 assumes a prior conviction for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) while your license is suspended for that reason, and carries mandatory jail time.
Driving on a Suspended License Defenses
As you can see from the law above, knowledge of the suspension or revocation is a mandatory element of the crime that must be proven. In cases where the driver didn’t know that their license was suspended, that can operate as a defense.
In Driving on a Suspended Cases in Orange County, the Orange County DA’s office has a policy where for first time offenders who are able to get a license (which may require separately taking care of traffic or other warrants, paying child support, or otherwise cleaning up points or holds or suspensions with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
If the defendant is able to get a license in a “reasonable time”, usually around 90 days or so, then the driving on a suspended license case is dismissed, and a plea to Vehicle Code section 12500 is entered, as an infraction, avoiding a misdemeanor on the defendant’s record.
California Vehicle 12500 VC states as follows-
“Driving without a license [lesser offense than driving under a suspended license]. (“(a) A person may not drive a motor vehicle upon a highway, unless the person then holds a valid driver’s license issued under this code, except those persons who are expressly exempted under this code.”)”
Driving on a Suspended License Attorneys
Our Orange County DUI defense attorney Robert Miller has considerable expertise in handling Suspended License cases, and in handling California DMV hearings. He has helped guide hundreds of driving on a suspended or revoked license cases, getting many of cases dismissed. Contact the firm today to get help for your Suspended License case.