Driving with a Suspended License in Oakland
Various situations can lead to a license suspension, but if caught driving with a suspended license, you can face misdemeanor criminal charges. The penalties for both first and subsequent offenses can be harsh. As a result, mounting a defense to charges of driving with a suspended license in Oakland can be vital.
Obtaining the advice of a knowledgeable criminal attorney could assist you in fighting back against these charges. By working with skilled legal counsel, you put yourself in a better position for a positive resolution.
Suspended Driving Laws in Oakland
California Vehicle Code § 14601 prohibits people from driving motor vehicles if their driving privileges are suspended or revoked under specific circumstances. These situations include suspensions resulting from reckless driving, drug or alcohol abuse, physical or mental conditions that affect the ability to drive safely, and being labeled as a “negligent” or “competent” operator. To commit suspended license driving in Oakland, a person must know that his or her license is suspended.
However, California Vehicle Code § 14601.1 makes it illegal for people to drive while their licenses are suspended under all circumstances, as opposed to the specific offenses listed in § 14601. Other sections of the Vehicle Code also make it illegal for individuals to drive with suspended licenses due to DUI convictions, designation as habitual traffic offenders, and chemical test refusals.
Both these sections presume that defendants know of their suspensions if the DMV properly provided written notice to them by mail at their last reported address, and the notice was not returned to the DMV as undeliverable or unclaimed. Likewise, if a police officer serves individuals with a notice of suspension upon arrest for an offense that warrants a suspension, such as DUI, the law presumes that the individuals are aware of the suspension. This presumption also exists when a license suspension is issued by a judge.
Penalties for Driving with Suspended Licenses
In Oakland, a first conviction of driving with a suspended license can result in incarceration in a county jail for a period ranging from five days to six months, as well as a fine ranging from $300 to $1,000. Penalties for driving with suspended licenses increase with subsequent violations.
If a second conviction occurs within five years of a prior conviction, the sentence can include imprisonment for a period of ten days to one year, as well as a fine of $500 to $2,000. Furthermore, if someone receives probation as a part of his or her sentence, a condition of his or her probation must include at least ten days of incarceration in the county jail.
Additionally, if someone pleads guilty or nolo contendre to a charge of driving with a suspended license based on a separate charge involving alcohol or drugs, he or she may have to install an ignition interlock device for up to three years. An ignition interlock device functions as an in-vehicle breathalyzer.
Call an Oakland Suspended License Driving Attorney for Advice
If you have been accused of driving with a suspended license in Oakland, you could be facing jail time, high fines, and other unwanted consequences. These sanctions will only add to the burdens that you already face as a result of your license suspension. You can consult experienced legal counsel for advice and help with building a defense against the allegations. Schedule a free case consultation by calling today.