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Driving With A Suspended License Law & Defense

California Vehicle Code 14601.1(a), & 14601.2

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 crimes that cover driving with a suspended license depending on the facts of the case, 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).

The law of VC 14601.1(a) & 14601.2

Vehicle Code 14601.1(a) driving while license suspended:  

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.

For VC 14601.2, there is an added elements that requires the district attorney to prove that the defendant's license was suspended or revoked due to a prior DUI conviction.

Note: a motor vehicle under VC 14601(a) and 14601.1(a) may include a car, truck, commercial vehicle, motor cycle, scooter, bus, tractor, or motor home.

Defense to VC 14601.1(a) & 14601.2

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 notice was not returned to the DMV for wrong address.

If the defendant can show that he or she changed his or her address, but that the DMV notice was sent to the defendant's prior address, it may be a defense to VC 14601(a) or 14601.2(a).

Other defenses to VC 14601.1(a) and 14601.2 include: insufficient evidence to prove driving or knowledge by the defendant that he or she knew that his or her driving privilege was suspended or revoked, statute of limitations, mistake of fact, necessity, duress, jury nullification, and more.

Penalty & Sentence for VC 14601.1(a) & 14601.2

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:

  • 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 privilegs 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.

Actual jail time is unusual, even for repeat offenders of VC 14601(a) or 14601.2(a) convictions; however, for convictions of driving while license is suspended, whether by plea agreement or by jury, it is very common to be sentenced to work release or electronic monitoring. This is in addition to fines and harsh probation terms that the defendant may suffer for any VC 14601 conviction.

In addition to any jail, work release, or electronic monitoring, if convicted of driving with a suspended license under VC 14601(a) or VC 14601.2(a), the defendant may suffer U.S. immigration consequences (for immigrants), loss or revocation of professional license, increased insurance rates, probation terms, and increase in punishment for future violations.

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

Our traffic and criminal defense attorneys have successfully defended VC 14601(a), 14601.1(a), and 14601.2(a) charges. There is no charge to speak with one our qualified criminal defense attorneys and our criminal defense lawyers dedicate 100% of their practice to criminal defense. Call today!! 

909.913.3138

Closely related crimes to driving on suspended license:

  • VC 14601 Driving on a suspended license w/injury
  • VC 14500 Driving without a license
  • VC 14601.3(e) Habitual traffic offender
  • VC 14601(a) Driving with a suspended license
  • VC 14601.1(a) Driving with a suspended license
  • VC 14601.2(a) Drviing with a suspended license for a DUI conviction
  • VC 14601.2(b) Driving with a suspended license for multiple DUI convictions

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VC 14601: Driving with a suspended license

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VC 14601, 14601.1(a), 14601.2(a) & 14601.2(b):

Driving with a suspended license

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California Driving While License is Suspended Law & Defense VC 14601(a), 14601.1(a) & 14601.2

 
 
 
 
 
 

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