Los Angeles Driving On A Suspended License Attorney
Were you recently arrested for driving on a suspended license in Los Angeles, CA? You could be facing criminal charges–regardless of why you got behind the wheel. The best way to fight the charges is to call an experienced Los Angeles driving on a suspended license attorney at The Rodriguez Law Group for help immediately.
Our attorneys have decades of criminal law experience. We know what you’re up against–and we know how to fight back.
How The Rodriguez Law Group Can Help if You Were Arrested for Driving on a Suspended License in Los Angeles
When you hire the criminal defense lawyers at The Rodriguez Law Group to defend your rights, you’ll benefit from experience, knowledge, and resources. Our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers have more than 20 years of experience fighting for clients like you.
Enlisting the help of our team means that you’ll have an attorney who will work tirelessly to secure the best possible outcome in your case.
You can count on our attorneys in Los Angeles to:
- Locate all relevant evidence to support your defense
- Provide you with sound legal advice so you can make smart choices throughout the legal process
- Negotiate with prosecutors to have your charges reduced or dismissed where possible
- Fight to ensure that prosecutors and police respect your constitutional rights
If you’ve been charged with driving on a suspended license, reach out to our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys today. We’re always available to review your case–and your initial consultation is entirely free of charge.
Driving on a Suspended License Laws in California
People often make the mistake of thinking that driving without a license is a minor traffic violation–much like a speeding ticket or running a red light.
In reality, California Vehicle Code Section 14601 makes it a crime to operate a motor vehicle if you know that your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked.
It’s a misdemeanor offense to drive if your license has been suspended or revoked because of:
- Refusal to submit to a breath test or chemical test under California’s implied consent law
- Conviction for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Conviction for negligent or reckless driving
- Conviction of an offense involving the transportation of a controlled substance
You can lose your license for any number of reasons–and some of those reasons have nothing to do with your past criminal or driving history.
It’s also illegal to get behind the wheel under California law if you lost your driving privileges because of:
- A drug or alcohol addiction
- A physical impairment that makes it unsafe for you to operate a motor vehicle
- A mental disorder that makes it unsafe to drive
Note that criminal charges apply regardless of whether your license was suspended or revoked–despite the difference between a suspension and outright revocation.
If your license was suspended, there’s a presumption that your driving privileges will be reinstated after the suspension period has passed. If your license was revoked, you’ll have to apply for a new California driver’s license before you are allowed to drive again.
What Does the Prosecution Have to Prove to Convict for Driving on a Suspended License?
Los Angeles prosecutors must prove all elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
In driving on a suspended license cases, the prosecution has to prove that:
- You knew your license had been suspended or revoked
- You operated a motor vehicle while your license was suspended or revoked
Law enforcement can look up your license information in minutes to establish that you were driving on a suspended license. However, the prosecution must also prove that you knew about it.
Prosecutors can do this by showing:
- The California DMV mailed a notice of the suspension or revocation of your driving privileges to your most recent address, and the notice was not returned as undeliverable
- The police confiscated your physical driver’s license and informed you that your driving privileges were suspended
- The judge informed you that your license would be suspended during sentencing
Under California law, you’re presumed to know that your license was suspended or revoked if the notice was mailed to your address. If the DMV mailed the notice, the burden of proof shifts to you to prove that you never received that notice. That can be a tough burden to overcome.
At The Rodriguez Law Group, our Los Angeles driving on a suspended license lawyers have been helping clients like you for years. We know what you’re up against and how to fight back.
Were you arrested for driving on a suspended license in Los Angeles? Call our law offices right away to schedule a free case review and learn more about how we’ll fight to protect your legal rights.
What Are the Penalties for Driving on a Suspended License in Los Angeles, California?
Driving on a suspended license is always a misdemeanor crime in California.
The exact penalties and jail time will depend upon the facts and circumstances of your case, including:
- Why your license was suspended or revoked in the first place
- Your prior driving record
If your driver’s license was suspended for reckless driving, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, or drug/alcohol addiction, you’ll be sentenced under California Vehicle Code Section 14601.
You will face the following penalties:
- Between five days and six months in jail and a financial penalty of between $300 and $1,000 if you were a first offender
- Between ten days and one year in jail and a financial penalty of between $500 and $2,000 for a second or subsequent offense that occurred within five years of your first offense
If your license was suspended for some other reason other than those stated above, you’ll be sentenced under California Vehicle Code Section 14601.1.
You may face the following consequences:
- Up to six months in jail and/or a financial penalty of between $300 and $1,000 if you were a first offender
- Between five days and one year in jail and/or a financial penalty of between $500 and $2,000 for repeat offenses within five years of your first offense
Suppose your license was suspended or revoked because of a DUI-related offense. In that case, you’ll face a minimum of ten days and a maximum of six months in jail under California Vehicle Code Section 14601.2. For a second offense, you can face up to one year in jail–and a minimum of 30 days in county jail.
Habitual traffic offenders can face even steeper penalties. You can be labeled as a habitual offender under California Vehicle Code Section 14601.3 if you accumulate additional traffic offenses while driving on a suspended license. In these instances, you can face a mandatory minimum 30-day jail sentence, points on your record, and additional penalties based on the new traffic offenses.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of Driving on a Suspended License?
You won’t automatically be subject to the penalties for driving on a suspended license. However, to avoid the consequences of a conviction, you’ll have to fight back with a strong defense.
At The Rodriguez Law Group, our attorneys are here to help you build the strongest defense possible. We might be able to fight the charges by employing a number of valid defense strategies, which may include:
Lack of Knowledge
Prosecutors have to prove that you knew that your license was suspended.
Depending on the facts, we may be able to argue that you lacked the requisite knowledge because:
- The DMV mailed the notice to the wrong address
- The notice was insufficient
- The notice was improper
These cases can be incredibly fact-intensive. You’ll need a strong lawyer in your corner to investigate and present the proof needed to defend your rights.
You Were Driving on a Restricted License
Your court order may allow restricted driving privileges even if your license has been suspended. For example, you may be able to drive legally to medical appointments, work, or school.
If you were driving for a valid purpose, you can’t be convicted for driving on a suspended license.
Invalid Suspension or Revocation
In some cases, the license suspension or revoked license itself may have been invalid. Our lawyers may be able to challenge the underlying offense to have your driving privileges reinstated–and your case dismissed.
Police and prosecutors are required to respect your constitutional rights regardless of the crime alleged. If the police lacked probable cause for your traffic stop or violated your Miranda rights, we may be able to have the prosecution’s evidence thrown out.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Los Angeles Driving on a Suspended License Attorney
Were you arrested for driving a vehicle without valid driving privileges? Contact an experienced Los Angeles driving on a suspended license attorney at The Rodriguez Law Group for a free consultation today.
Our Los Angeles criminal defense law firm also provides:
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