If you have been charged with driving on a suspended license, you must know this is not a trivial legal matter. You can face long-term license suspension, fines, and even jail time for this offense, and it’s worse if you have one or more DUIs on your record causing the suspension in the first place. That’s why it’s vital to work with a DUI attorney who can advise you about how to handle the case and help you minimize the consequences that can devastate you or your family.
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The specific punishment for driving on a suspended license (also known as a DWLS) depends on your particular situation. The basic penalties (driving on a suspended license, DUI not part of your record) are:
However, if your license suspension was due to a DUI, you may face more severe penalties:
Repeat offenders may be charged even higher fees, and the likelihood of maximum jail time increases.
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This vehicle code section makes driving on a suspended license or revoked license due to a DUI conviction illegal.
It means you are told by the California DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) that you are not permitted to drive a vehicle.
Penalties are stiff for violation of this part of the California Vehicle Code. First offenders may be punished, at minimum, by:
Habitual traffic offenders may face more severe penalties:
There are a few defenses a DUI lawyer can use if a client is charged with violating Vehicle Code 14601.2(a) VC.
To be guilty of violating this code, you have to know your license was suspended in the first place and have driven anyway. However, it is presumed that if the DMV suspends a license by mailing a notice, the recipient has knowledge of the suspension. Therefore, it has to be proven that the DMV never mailed the suspension or it was returned to the DMV without the recipient ever seeing it. If you’re not sure “Is my license suspended?” you may wish to consult a DUI attorney.
To violate the code, a person also needs to be actually driving a vehicle. If it can be proven that they were merely sitting in the driver’s seat without the engine running, it is possible to defend against this charge.
Driving on a suspended license specifically in violation of Vehicle Code 14601.2(a) VC is only a crime if the person in question was indeed convicted of a DUI. Without a prior conviction, you would not be in violation of this specific code, although you could still be guilty of driving on a suspended license in general.
Let’s review some related DUI crimes that may influence your case. Often people driving on a suspended license have more than one charge or conviction simultaneously.
This statute pertains to a variety of scenarios involving driving under the influence. It is illegal to:
Punishment for this offense depends on the particular situation, such as whether or not someone was hurt in the process, if there were minors in the vehicle, if the driver was speeding, and if the driver is a repeat offender. Penalties may include:
This is the vehicle code that forbids driving on a suspended license in general, not related to having been convicted of a DUI. Penalties start with:
Violating this code means you not only drove on a suspended or revoked license but caused bodily injury to someone else in the process. This could include a passenger in your vehicle, another motorist, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian.
The penalty for this is imprisonment and upon release, installation of an ignition interlock device. There may be other charges or penalties involved in this scenario. You could have your license suspended indefinitely in worst-case situations.
There are four common defenses we typically use to defend against driving on a suspended license due to a previous DUI:
It’s always best to work with an attorney to restore your drivers license eligibility because legal professionals know how to approach the case and can use strategies to minimize penalties to you.
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Ezquerro Is a Dedicated San Diego DUI Lawyer Here to Help You If You Are in Need!
If you or a loved one have been charged with driving on a suspended license, you need to take action. If you are in the San Diego area, reach out to Ezquerro, an experienced DUI lawyer, for assistance. In some cases, we are able to get a suspended license reinstatement, and in others, we reduce the severity of the violation. Call our law offices at +1 619-485-8150 today, or set up a consultation online at your convenience.
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