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What Are The Reasons California Will Suspend Or Revoke A Driver’s License?


There’s a whole myriad of reasons to suspend a person driver’s license. One of the most common reasons is having too many points on your record. If you’ve got moving violations, those points will eventually add up and you’ll either be put on some sort of probation, or the Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend your license.

Another reason for a suspension is a DUI. Hit-and-runs causing injuries can cause you to have your driver’s license suspended. In Los Angeles, the courts and the DMV have coordinated their efforts. If someone gets a driving-related offense, like a DUI or a hit-and-run causing injury, it would trigger a suspension. The courts are now set up to send that information directly to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

 Driver's LicenseYour best starting point is with the DMV. You can go to the DMV office and talk about why your license was suspended and what you can do to get it back. If your questions and the reason your license was suspended is more complicated, a lot of times, you will be sent to their Mandatory Action Unit. They’re going to look at your case and make a decision. When I do a DMV hearing and we have a good issue, instead of getting a result back within a day or two, it can take a month or longer.

Different Types Of License Suspensions In Los Angeles County

There are different lengths of suspensions and that will depend on, if the suspension is for points, how many points you have, in what time frame, and what your overall driving record looks like.

California can even pull information from other states in evaluating your ability to drive in California. I’ve seen people who got a DUI in another state and they didn’t have to complete an alcohol program. California sees that and says that they can’t drive here, unless they do an alcohol program.

For a first DUI, you can lose your ability to drive for 30 days and after that, for five months, you will have to install an ignition interlock device in your car in order to drive, on a restricted basis, to and from work or any alcohol programs. If you get your license suspended because you refused to take a breath test or a blood test, after the police believed that you were under the influence of alcohol, you’ll lose your license for a year, with no exceptions or restricted options.

If you get a second, third, or fourth DUI, it is going to dictate a license suspension. Assault with a deadly weapon with a vehicle can trigger a lifetime suspension of your driver’s license. It’s very important to get the information from the DMV and find out why they’re suspending it and what you have to do to get it back. Sometimes, you’ve got to get an attorney involved to try to sort things out with the DMV and make some decisions for you, so you can get your driving privilege back as soon as possible.

Revocation is taking your driver’s license away, either for a period of time or permanently. A suspension is usually not for as long of a period of time. It’s a much shorter duration and you have to do certain things to get it back. If the DMV is talking about revoking someone’s driver’s license, they’ve done something very bad, like assault with a deadly weapon using a vehicle or hit-and-run causing great bodily injury. It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to get a driver’s license back once it’s been revoked by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

How Long Will My Driver’s License Be Suspended In LA County?

The length of your suspension depends on what you did to trigger it. If it’s a refusal on a DUI case in Los Angeles, you’ll lose your driver’s license for one year. If it’s a first time DUI, you can expect to lose your driver’s license for one month and then be placed on five months of a restricted license. You will have to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, which will limit and restrict your driving privileges. A number of points on your record may trigger a suspension.

I’ve seen the court suspend people’s driver’s licenses as a condition of being released on their own recognizance in a criminal case. The courts says they are not allowed to drive during the pendency of their criminal case. If the person drives and violates the court order, they will be taken into custody. Their bail will be set at a high-level and they may not able to get out.

If you are convicted of driving on a suspended license, the DMV will take further action on your license, suspending it for longer or even revoking it. The other thing that will happen is the court system will become involved and you will be arrested and charged with driving on a suspended license.

You’ll be facing jail time. If your license was suspended related to a DUI, you’re looking at mandatory jail time. You’ll also be facing a criminal conviction on your record, fines, further suspension, probation, and community service. The DMV looks at driving as a privilege and not a right. If you can’t comply with the law, they’re going to step in and take it away from you.

How Does Driving On A Suspended License Impact The Original Suspension?

If you are on probation in criminal court on a driving-related offense and you continue to do the same thing that got you there, not only will the DMV further suspend or revoke your license, the court system will get involved, and they have penalties above and beyond the DMV.

They have the ability to prevent you from driving and put you in jail. They have the ability to make you perform Caltrans, which is picking up trash on the freeway in the dead of summer. The court system operates as the guardian of the DMV’s orders. If the DMV orders people not to drive or to install an ignition interlock device, and people don’t comply, the court will step in with penalties. Expect that the court system will treat you harshly, if you continue to drive on a suspended license. If you’re in this scenario and you are trying to get out of it, hire an attorney to figure out a strategy to get you the best possible result.

When it comes to a DMV record, certain things fall off after a period of time. If they suspend your license for 30 days, after the 30 days is up, they are going to tell you that you can have your driver’s license back, and you’re basically done with that. For insurance purposes, your insurance company is able to see any action taken against your license. Then, you’re in a position where the insurance company is charging you a higher premium. There’s no way to seal a DMV record.

The DMV definitely has to give you notice that your driver’s license is suspended. A proper notice is a certified letter, where you must sign for it and acknowledge you got it. That letter tells you your driver’s license has been suspended. It tells you the reason and tells you when the suspension starts. If you get caught driving, you can be prosecuted, but if the DMV did not give you proper notice, you have a valid defense.

What Happens If I Am Pulled Over While Driving On A Restricted License?

If you’re caught driving on a restricted driver’s license and you’re outside your restrictions, that’s the same as driving on a suspended license. You can expect the DMV to take action against you and the court system to file a potential criminal charge against you.

It’s important that you don’t put yourself in that position, especially if you’re on probation. Part of every single DUI probation case is that you have to obey all laws. If you are driving outside of what you’re permitted to do by the DMV, it would be a probation violation and you could be subject to jail time and other punishments. Call the Hedding Law Firm for help.

For more information on Revocation/Suspension Of Driver’s License, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 374-3952 today.

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Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ.

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