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Los Angeles Driving on a Suspended License Attorney

California Vehicle Code section 14601 prohibits driving on a suspended license. Violating this law is a misdemeanor and automatically adds two points to your DMV driving record. There are different subsections of this law and each subsection corresponds to a different reason as to why your license was suspended. The penalties for driving on a suspended license depend on the section and whether you have prior suspended license convictions within the past five years. A first offense for violation of driving on a suspended license always carries a maximum penalty of 6 months jail and a second offense for driving on a suspended license always carries a maximum of one year jail. The description of each type of driving on a suspended license and the minimum penalties for each section of driving on a suspended license are shown below:

California Vehicle Code section 14601(a) applies when a person’s driver’s license is suspended for reckless driving or being a negligent operator (too many points on their driving record).
First offense – 5 days jail minimum
Second offense — 10 days jail minimum

California Vehicle Code section 14601.1 applies when a person’s driver’s license is suspended because of unpaid parking tickets, failing to appear for traffic court or nonpayment of child support.
First offense — no minimum
Second offense — 5 days jail minimum

California Vehicle Code section 14601.2 applies when a person’s driver’s license is suspended because of a DUI conviction.
First offense — 10 days jail minimum
Second offense — 30 days jail minimum

California Vehicle Code section 14601.5 applies when a person’s driver’s license is suspended because of a DUI arrest, chemical test refusal or under-21 DUI.
First offense – no minimum, but many prosecutors will recommend at least 5 days jail
Second offense — 10 days jail minimum

Driving without a Valid License

California Vehicle Code section 12500(a) prohibits driving without a valid license.  This charge is different from driving on a suspended license.  It applies to people who either have a license, but didn’t have it with them while driving, or to people who have an out-of-state driver’s license, or people who never got a driver’s license in the first place.  Vehicle Code section 12500(a) is always a misdemeanor and it doesn’t involve any DMV points.  It is possible to get a driving on a suspended license reduced to a 12500(a), but it depends on the circumstances.  Most prosecutors will only allow a 14601.1 to be reduced to a 12500(a), and only then if the defendant has removed the suspension on his license, there are no prior convictions for driving on a suspended license and the defendant has a relatively good driving history.

Other Consequences

Driving on a suspended license probably won’t have a drastic impact on employment, professional licensing or immigration consequences, but it can have an indirect impact on employment.  If you are caught driving on a suspended license, then not only will there be an additional two points on your driving record, but your original driver’s license suspension may be extended.  Since most people in Southern California have to drive for work, and there are no reasonable forms of public transportation, a suspended driver’s license can have an enormous impact on a person’s ability to work.

The Right Lawyer

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer will be the most important decision someone can make when facing driving on a suspended license charges.  Many people who face the charge of driving on a suspended license are good people who made a mistake or exercised poor judgment.  There are also some people who have been wrongfully accused of driving on a suspended license, based on a misunderstanding or false evidence.  You need an attorney who will listen to your side of the story carefully, who will evaluate the evidence thoroughly, who will negotiate with the judge and the District Attorney’s office skillfully, and who will fight in trial aggressively.  You need an attorney like Fred Thiagarajah.

As a former Deputy District Attorney, Fred Thiagarajah has the negotiating skills and trial experience necessary to get the best results for his clients, for criminal cases and immigration consequences.   Fred Thiagarajah has helped clients with charges of driving on a suspended license in the past.  For an example of his work, please see his case results and read his client testimonials.  With offices in Newport Beach, Beverly Hills and Riverside, Fred Thiagarajah has criminal defense experience in Orange, Los Angeles and Riverside Counties.

Fred Thiagarajah – The Right Lawyer.  The Right Result.  The Right Choice.

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