California Vehicle Code § 14601.2 VC: Driving With Suspended License For DUI Conviction
1. Definition and Elements of the Crime
Driving on a suspended or revoked license is a criminal offense under California Vehicle Code Section 14601 VC that prosecutors take very seriously. However, when the underlying suspension was caused by a driving under the influence conviction, the penalties for driving in violation of that suspension under California Vehicle Code Section 14602.2 VC can be even more severe, with mandatory jail sentences.
To prove that a defendant violated California Vehicle Code Section 14601.2 VC, a prosecutor must be able to establish the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant drove a motor vehicle.
- The defendant’s driving privileges had been previously suspended or revoked for a conviction under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 VC or California Vehicle Code Section 23153 VC, OR the defendant’s driving privileges had been restricted.
- The defendant was not in full compliance with the restriction (if dealing with a restricted license violation).
- AND the defendant had knowledge that his or her driving privileges had been suspended, revoked or restricted.
2. Related Offenses
Other similar or related offenses include:
- Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol - California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) VC
- Driving With a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.08 Percent or Higher – California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b) VC
- Driving On A Suspended or Revoked License – California Vehicle Code Section 14601 VC
- Driving Without a License – California Vehicle Code Section 12500 VC
A man is convicted in court of driving with a BAC of 0.08 percent of higher in violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b) VC. A few weeks after going to court, the man receives a notice in the mail from the DMV telling him that his driving privileges have been suspended for six months. The man ignores this notice and continues to drive anyways despite having a suspended license. The man could be prosecuted for driving with a suspended license for DUI conviction in violation of California Vehicle Code Section 14601.2 VC.
In another example, a man is convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) VC. The Department of Motor Vehicles issues a license suspension based on the conviction, but fails to mail a notice of the suspension to the man. He continues to drive on his license, believing it is valid until he is stopped by officers one day. This man would not be guilty under California Vehicle Code Section 14601.2 VC because he did not have knowledge that his driving privileges had been suspended, as required by statute.
4. Defenses to Driving with Suspended License for DUI Conviction
As discussed above, if the defendant was not given notice of the suspension or revocation, or did not otherwise know about it, he or she would not be criminally liable for driving on that suspended license. The statute requires that the driver actually know of the license suspension before he or she can be found guilty of this offense.
Driving in violation of a license suspension caused by a DUI conviction is a misdemeanor offense that carries mandatory jail sentences. A person convicted of this offense can be sent to county jail for a minimum of 10 and a maximum of six months on a first conviction. The judge must sentence the defendant to at least 10 days in jail. If the defendant has a prior conviction under California Vehicle Code Section 14601 VC, the defendant must serve a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of a year in jail.
6. Criminal Defense for Driving with Suspended License for DUI Conviction Cases
If you have been charged with driving on a suspended or restricted license, it is very important that you contact a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer right away. Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who knows how to effectively fight these types of charges. Mr. Kraut understands that this is an offense that carries mandatory jail sentences and works hard to make sure his clients receive the best defense possible.
For more information driving with suspended license for DUI conviction, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.