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Is it a Crime to Drive with a Suspended License?

California Vehicle Code section 14601 states that it is a misdemeanor crime to driven when YOU KNOW that your driver’s license is suspended. You can be arrested, put in jail, and have your vehicle impounded. It is assumed that you knew of the suspension if the DMV sent you a letter to inform you of the suspension.

Your driver’s license can be suspended by the DMV for the following reasons: DUI conviction, refusal to submit to DUI chemical, blood or urine test after a DUI stop, outstanding warrant/Failure to Appear in court, medical or physical disorder that impedes your driving ability, too many points due to driving related violations or accidents, reckless driving, failure to file a collision report with the DMV after an accident, failure to pay a fine for traffic citations, failure to pay a civil judgment related to an auto accident, failure to maintain car insurance, failure to pay court-ordered child support.

Driving with a suspended or revoked license is a misdemeanor and can result in 3 years of informal probation, court-imposed fines, and county jail for 5-180 days. If you are convicted, the DMV can add 2 points to your driving record. If you continue to drive with a suspended license, then it will add more serious penalties. For example, a second offense within 5 years mandates a minimum of 5 days and up to 1 year in jail, in addition to probation, fees, assessments, and other penalties.

If you are facing criminal charges, then it is pertinent that you contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options. We can help you fight the charges because you did not know that your license was suspended or revoked or if the original suspension was invalid. Maybe the DMV didn’t send you a notice to your most recent address. We understand that these charges can arise from a simple mistake, lack of judgment, or even a complete misunderstanding. Contact The Nieves Law Firm today for a free consultation!

Author Bio

Jo-Anna Nieves is the Founder and Managing Attorney of The Nieves Law Firm, an Oakland criminal defense law firm she created in 2012. With more than 11 years of experience in criminal defense, she has zealously represented clients in a wide range of legal matters, including DUIs, domestic violence, expungement, federal crimes, juvenile law, motions to vacate, sex crimes, violent crimes, and other criminal charges.

Jo-Anna received her Juris Doctor from the Florida State University College of Law and is a member of the State Bar of California. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named a Super Lawyer Rising Star the past 8 years, the #12 Fastest Growing Law Firm in the U.S. by Law Firm 500 in 2019, and one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. by Inc 5000 in 2023.

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