DUI While Driving On A Suspended License

DUI While Driving On A Suspended License

Although getting a DUI and driving on a suspended license are two different vehicle code violations it is not unusual for a person to be in violation of both crimes out of one set of facts. Under this set facts it is not uncommon for the prosecution to charge a driver as a Habitual Traffic Offender.

Habitual Traffic Offender

To establish that a defendant is in violation of being a habitual traffic offender the prosecution must prove the following:

  1. The defendant was driving a vehicle
  2. The defendant’s license was suspended previous to the new offense.
  3. The defendant knew that their driving privilege was suspended or revoked; AND
  4. During this period of suspension or revocation, the defendant suffered at least two vehicle code violations within a 12 month period while having their license suspended.
Example

A Los Angeles driver is convicted of a DUI and as part of their sentence they have their driving privileges suspended for a year. During that year the driver continues to drive on their suspended license and is pulled over by police during that 12 month period. If the driver is ultimately arrested for a subsequent DUI and for driving on a suspended license, the driver can now be charged as a habitual traffic offender.

Mandatory Penalties

Should the defendant be designated a habitual traffic offender, a conviction will result in a mandatory jail sentence of 30 days in addition to fines and fees that will be imposed. A future violation of the habitual traffic offender law, would require a mandatory jail sentence of 180 days in addition to costly fines and fees that will be imposed.

Habitual Traffic Offender and Immigration Consequences

Although neither DUI nor driving on a suspended license alone will bar an immigrant from potential immigration relief because neither are not considered aggravated felonies or crimes of moral turpitude, severe immigration consequences can result out of the same set of facts. One single offense that contains all the elements of both a DUI and driving on a suspended license has been held as grounds for denial of any form of immigration relief.

This means that a conviction for being a habitual traffic offender under California law, which can establish all the requisite elements of both crimes, can lead to denial of any and all forms of immigration relief and ultimately to deportation. Because of the serious immigration consequences that can likely result from a single conviction of being a habitual traffic offender it is extremely important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Additionally, because a first time conviction as a habitual traffic offender requires a mandatory sentence of 30 days in jail it is possible that those with immigration problems may have an ICE hold put on them. This means that upon completion of the 30 day state sentence the driver can have deportation proceedings begin immediately.

What to do if charged as a Habitual Traffic Offender of with DUI on a suspended license

If you or a loved one have been designated as a habitual traffic offender and are facing a new driving offense, or a new DUI, it is imperative that you contact a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Michael Kraut understands the mandatory jail time involved and works hard to ensure his clients receive the absolute best representation possible.

For more information about habitual traffic offender, and to schedule your free consultation, contact 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.

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