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Driving on a Suspended License

VC 14601 Crimes

The law on the crime of driving while license is suspended, or driving with a suspended license, is found at California Vehicle Code sections 14601-14601.5.

There are many different charges that cover the general crime of driving with a suspended license depending, but by far, the two most common driving with a suspended license crimes are found at VC 14601.1(a), and VC 14601.2(a).

14601 & 14602 Laws

VC 14601(a) & 14601.1(a) are virtually the same criminal charge. It is charged where the district attorney can prove that the defendant drove a motor vehicle while his or her driving privilege was suspended or revoked, and, when the defendant drove a vehicle he or she knew that their driving privilege was suspended or revoked (Abbrev.).

VC 14601.2: For VC 14601.2, the law is the same as 14601.1 above, but there is an additional element that must be proved by the district attorney. To prove that the defendant is guilty of VC 14601.2, the district attorney needs to prove that the defendant drove with a suspended, the defendant knew his or her license was suspended when he or she was driving, and  and that the defendant's license was suspended or revoked due to a prior DUI conviction (Abbrev.).

Note: A motor vehicle, per VC 14601(a) and 14601.1(a), includes a car, truck, commercial vehicle, motor cycle, scooter, bus, tractor, or motor home.

Penalty & Sentence

Driving with a suspended license (VC 14601(a) or 14601.2(a)) is charged as a misdemeanor. There are different sentences depending on the exact charge that is filed against the defendant. Considere the following:

  • VC 14601(a): Driving while privilege is suspended carries a sentence of up to 180 days in the county jail.

  • VC 14601(a): Driving while privileges is suspended with a prior conviction for VC 14601(a) carries a sentence of up to 1 year in the county jail.

  • VC 14601.1(a): Driving while privilege is suspended carries a sentence of up to 180 days in the county jail.

  • VC 14601.1(a): Driving while privilege is suspended with a prior conviction carries a sentence of up to a 1 year in the county jail.

  • VC 14601.2(a): Driving while privilege is suspended for a DUI carries a sentence of up to 180 days in the county jail.

  • VC 14602.2(a): Driving while privilege is suspended for a DUI, with a prior VC 14601 conviction carries a sentence of up to 1 year in the county jail.

 

Probation Sentence: A probation sentence is a period of supervision instead of jail. Probation sentences are allowed in driving with a suspended license crimes, but not guaranteed. Whether or not a defendant will be granted a probation sentence after a conviction for in a driving with a suspended license case depends largely on the defendant's criminal history and other factors.

Work Release: Work release, which is a manual labor sentence that usually involves picking up trash at a local jail or on highways, and which is intended to serve as an alternate to a jail sentence, is a more likely punishment than actual jail in a VC 14601.1 or 1460 case. However, in a VC 14601.2 case, the defendant must serve at least ten days as part of any probation sentence.

In addition to any jail sentence, if found guilty of any 14061 or 14602 crime, the defendant could also suffer the following punishments: fines and fees, further driving restrictions, immigration or professional license issues, denial of enry into the armed forces, and more.

14601.1 & 14601.2 Defense

 

Lack of Notice: The prosecutor must prove that the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) mailed a notice to the defendant informing him or her that his or her driving privilege was suspended or revoked, and that the notice was not returned to the DMV for wrong address. It is a defense to a VC 14601.1 and 14601.2 when the defendant changed his or her address and the DMV's notice of suspension or revocation of license was sent to the defendant's prior address (unless the DA can show the defendant had notice of the suspension or revocation otherwise).

Other defenses to VC 14601.1(a) and 14601.2 include: insufficient evidence to prove driving, statute of limitations, mistake of fact, necessity, duress, jury nullification, illegal search and seizure, and more.

If you or a loved one has been cited or charged with driving while license is suspended or revoked, or driving with a suspended license, under VC 14601.1(a) or 14601.2(a), contact our criminal defense attorneys today for free consultation. Call today!

 

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