Driving on a Suspended/Revoked License
California Vehicle Code Section 14601 addresses the misdemeanor offense of driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license. The statute is further separated into individual sections depending on the underlying reason for the driver’s license suspension. Thus the law does not treat all driver’s license suspensions and/or revocations the same, and penalties may be harsher depending on the reason for the original suspension. Under Section 14601 of the California Vehicle Code, there are separate section addressing Driving Privileges Suspended/Revoked for Specific Offenses A charge of Vehicle Code Section 14601(a) is the general statute for this offense. On a first time offense it could include jail time. This falls under California Vehicle Code Section 1401.1. If a person is caught driving on a suspended license in California after their license was suspended for a DUI falls under a much more severe section of California Vehicle Code Section 14601.2. The most severe punishment under this the suspended or revoked laws are for the Habitual Traffic Offenders. These are people who are caught and convicted on several occasions for driving on a suspended or revoked license. California Vehicle Code Section 14601.3 is charged when a person has two or more convictions of driving on a suspended or revoked license in one year. This is charged under California Vehicle Code Section 1401.3.
People who are not in California legally cannot get a driver’s license and so these people are often caught and put in jail even though they may done nothing wrong other than simply speeding. When the officer pulls them over ask asks for their license, then the simple infraction is elevated to a misdemeanor and can result in deportation proceedings.
California Vehicle Code § 14601(a) addresses driving on a suspended or revoked license when the individual’s license was suspended or revoked do to prior incidents of reckless driving, alcohol and/or drug abuse, disability or being declared a negligent or incompetent driver. California Vehicle Code § 14601.1 is a catch-all provision that covers license suspensions or revocations not enumerated in 14601(a).
Under Section 14601.2 of the California Vehicle Code, someone may be convicted for knowingly driving with a suspended or revoked license if the underlying suspension was for a California DUI conviction. This offense carries a statutory minimum jail sentence of 10 days in county jail for a first offense and a 30 day jail sentence for the second. It also requires the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device in the offender’s vehicle.
For each section of 14601, the prosecutor must essentially prove two things; that the individual knew that their driving privileges had been suspended or revoked and that the person drove despite this suspension or revocation. The second element is the easier one for the prosecutor to establish. To prove that a person knew they had been revoked or suspended, the court will generally look to see if the California Department of Motor Vehicles sent notice via first class mail, whether an officer of the law gave notice to the offender at an earlier date, or whether a judge ordered the suspension or revocation on the record at an earlier date. An effective defense attorney can challenge the presumption of notice of suspension in fighting an allegation under California Vehicle Code 14601. For example, if someone moved or if a notice was mailed to a wrong address, there would be no requisite knowledge of any suspension.
If you charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license under California Vehicle Code Section 14601, it is imperative that you have a skilled and knowledgeable defense attorney on your side to explore the variety of defenses and options available. As a former Deputy District Attorney, Los Angeles Defense Attorney Michael Kraut has handled cases of this nature from both sides, and is extremely adept at providing the most effective defense possible.
For more information about the various ways to handle a driving on a suspended license charge, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Los Angeles Driving On a Suspended License Attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.