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Penalties for Driving On A Suspended License In Los Angeles

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ. | Nov 05, 2018

Vehicle Code Section 14601.1

When it comes to driving on a suspended license, there's all kinds of different penalties that can arise. You may have to deal with the DMV. When you would have gotten your license back, now that amount of time will be extended because you got extra points on your record.

Also, one of the biggest questions when it comes to these driving on a suspended license cases in Los Angeles, has to do with why your license is suspended. It's one thing if your license is suspended because of points.

Driving on a Suspended License Laws

A lot of times, we can get that reduced down to an infraction, even though they might file it as a misdemeanor. But, if your license is suspended because of a DUI and you're driving on a suspended license related to that, then you're looking at mandatory jail time if you're convicted of California Vehicle Code Section 14601, which is the misdemeanor DUI conviction. Then you'll have a misdemeanor on your record.

Under California Vehicle Code Section 14601.2, it's a crime to knowingly drive when your license has been suspended or revoked because of a conviction for driving under the influence drugs or alcohol or other DUI-related offenses.

Also, if somebody is caught driving on a suspended license, a lot of times — especially for an alcohol-related offense — their car will be impounded for thirty days and they won't be able to get it out. A lot of times we have to deal with that when we help the registered owner.

Sometimes the registered owner has nothing to do with the car being impounded and their loved one, whoever it is, maybe they're just a friend, let somebody borrow the car and then the registered owner can try to get that car released by the police and the tow yard that has it.

So, these suspended license cases are serious. Another big issue that comes up in a suspended license case is noticed. Did you know that your license was suspended? Or should you have reasonably known? The notice has to come in a very good form. The presumption that you had knowledge will exist if the DMV, law enforcement officer, or judge followed the appropriate legal guidelines to notify you of the suspension.

For example, if a judge tells you, your license is suspended. Don't drive. If you get caught driving, you're going to be charged with a misdemeanor and you could get jail time. That's good notice. If law enforcement tells you and they're going to testify that they told you face-to-face your license was suspended. That's good service. If you get caught driving, it will be driving on a suspended license case in Los Angeles.

Defenses to Driving on a Suspended License

But what if the DMV just mails you something in the mail saying your license is suspended? That's probably not going to be good enough service because how do we know that you got it? How do we know when you got it in relation to getting pulled over and busted for driving on a suspended license? The prosecutor has to prove you had knowledge of the suspension.

So, the DMV sends it Certified Mail and you sign for it that would be good enough for purposes of notice for a suspended license. The biggest thing is, they have to let you know that your license is suspended. That's why when the police arrest you, they give you a pink slip saying that your license is going to be suspended. You have ten days to contact the DMV when they get somebody for a DUI case.

Another thing that I'm able to do in a lot of these suspended license cases is get them reduced down to misdemeanors and infractions, and even the lesser charge like a 12500 of the Vehicle Code which is just driving with no license, which is usually just a small fine and a lot of times we can convert that even down to an infraction.

The key thing to be able to do that, (1) you can't have any other driving on a suspended license cases; and (2) if you can get your license. The courts are really set up that they want people to have a valid driver's license and valid insurance.

If you get busted for driving on a suspended license with no insurance and you can then correct that by getting insurance and by getting a driver's license and I can walk into court with that driver's license.

I've got a lot of power to resolve and negotiate that case. Even if you have prior convictions, it helps me out tremendously when I walk in there with that valid driver's license because again, that's the goal of the courts – to make sure everybody is driving lawfully, everybody has insurance. That way, if there's an accident or an issue, then the person is covered who is the victim of that particular case.

Los Angeles Driving on a Suspended License Lawyer

So, if you have a driving on a suspended license anywhere in Los Angeles County, I've been handling those cases for twenty-five years now. I have a lot of experience. I know the ins-and-outs of the courts. I know what has to be proved. I know what defenses there are to driving on a suspended license cases, and I know how to mitigate these cases down and get cases reduced, dismissed, infractions. Contact the Hedding Law Firm to review your case.

Every case is different, and the way I do it is I have you come in. We sit down and talk about our game plan and when you leave my office, you leave with a plan in mind of exactly how we're going to attack your suspended license case — what we're going to do, what we're going to get and the result that we're going be driving for.

About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ.

Ronald D. Hedding, Esq., is the founding member of the Hedding Law Firm. Mr. Hedding has an extensive well-rounded legal background in the area of Criminal Law. He has worked for the District Attorney's Office, a Superior Court Judge, and as the guiding force behind the Hedding Law Firm. His multi-faceted experience sets Mr. Hedding apart and puts him in an elite group of the best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Southern California.