What you should know about Driving on a Suspended License in California:
Driving on a suspended license in California can have you wind up in jail. The DMV and the California court system are aggressive in punishing DUI drivers and have some tough rules about suspended licenses following a DUI arrest. If you are caught driving on suspended license, jail time is not only a real possibility, in many cases its mandatory.
How Driving on a suspended license can have you end up in jail:
California Vehicle Code 14601 has a number of subsections that describe different scenarios with different punishments for people driving on a suspended license. The most common 14601 case involves someone who has a DUI arrest that leads to a driver’s license suspension. Other reasons for license suspension include:
-Failing to appear at a court proceeding,
-Getting a DMV hold on your license for non payment of court judgements,
-Being convicted of a certain number of vehicle code violations resulting in too many points on your driving record or
-Refusing to submit a chemical (blood or breath) test in a DUI arrest.
How much jail time am I looking at?
The amount of jail time depends on which subsection of 14601 you are charged with violating. While the maximum can be 6 months, there is a minimum that a judge cannot go below of 10 days in jail per offense. The judge has no discretion and cannot assign a lower amount of jail if you are convicted of violating 14601.
Why is jail time given for something so minor?
Jail time is a harsh punishment for someone driving on a supsended license. The DMV and the California legislature have said they enacted these tough laws because of the dangers and evils of drunk driving and dangerous driving in general. The punishment is harsh so it will deter people from driving on a suspended license.
How can I avoid going to jail?
Because jail time is often mandatory in 14601 cases, they present difficult situation for someone arrested for driving on suspended license. Often the best way to avoid jail time in 14601 cases is to have the charges reduced to a vehicle code section that doesn’t have mandatory jail time.
What a lawyer can do to help you avoid jail in a driving on a suspended license case:
How can a lawyer help me avoid jail?
A DUI lawyer who understands the different charges that can be used in driving on suspended license cases will know what defenses can be argued. The lawyer should also know what court procedures are needed to get the lowered charges brought in your case. Your lawyer should be able to raise these defenses and use court procedures (such as filing the proper motions and objections) to get the charges lowered to a violation that doesn’t involve jail time.
Do I really need a lawyer to help me?
Speaking with a lawyer is a good idea because they understand the law and will know if you have defenses you can argue to minimize jail time or the possibility of jail time.
What should I do if I was caught driving on a suspended license?
If you were caught driving on a suspended license you should do the following:
1st, do not talk to police or prosecutors.
2nd, speak with an attorney who knows DUI law and DMV law about your case. The lawyer will be able to show you how you can avoid jail if possible.
To speak with a DUI lawyer who understands DUI law, DMV law and the defenses that work in driving on suspended license cases, call 213-400-0358.