California Vehicle Code 14601 VC │ Driving on a Suspended Driver’s License

April 22, 2015

In California, driving on a suspended license is governed by Vehicle Code § 14601.  Contrary to popular belief, driving on a suspended license is prosecuted harshly by Los Angeles prosecutors. In fact, you could face jail time and a substantial amount in fines if convicted. Additionally, the consequences of a conviction can depend on the reason your driver’s license was suspended in the first place. For instance, driving while your license was suspended for a prior DUI, driving on a suspended license after failing to appear in court. Just because you were arrested or cited by a police officer for driving on a suspended license does not mean you’re guilty. Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney John Rogers has extensive experience representing client’s accused of driving offenses. Call (949) 625-4487 for discuss your matter and how Mr. Rogers can substantially reduce this charge, avoid jail time, or dismiss the case completely.

1. Elements of the Crime

According to CALCRIM 2220, in order for someone to be found guilty of driving on a suspended driver’s license under VC 14601, the prosecutor must prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. Defendant drove a motor vehicle when their license was revoked or suspended
  2. Defendant knew his or her license had been revoked or suspended

2. Legal Defenses to Driving on a Suspended Driver’s License

  • There was no movement of the vehicle. This crime requires the vehicle move however slight. If your vehicle was merely idling or parked, then you are not guilty under this statute.
  • You did not have knowledge that you driver’s license had been suspended or revoked. The prosecutor must prove that you had the requisite knowledge. For instance, the DMV mailed you a letter informing you of your license suspension and the notice was never returned undelivered or unclaimed.

3. What is the Punishment for Driving on a Suspended License?

Driving on a suspended driver’s license carries consequences more than you would think. However, a skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to reduce the charge to VC § 12500 which would lower the fine and avoid any mandatory jail time. The consequences if convicted of driving on a suspended license are as follows:

  • Up to 6 Months in the County Jail
  • A Fine up to $1,000
  • 3 Years of Probation

4. Los Angeles Expungement Lawyer

Driving on a suspended license is an eligible offense for expungement pursuant to P.C. § 1203.4. However, certain requirements must be met before a court will order your conviction to be expunged. For more information, contact John Rogers today to discuss the requirements and eligibility to expunge your criminal conviction.

5. What is an example of driving on a suspended license in California?

Dan was driving his car on a Los Angeles highway. He was pulled over for speeding. The police officer asked Dan for his driver’s license, proof of insurance, and vehicle registration. The police then went back to his patrol vehicle and ran a license check on Dan. The police officer’s search revealed that Dan’s license had been suspended for failure to pay a $25 fine for a fix-it ticket 3 years ago. Little did Dan know, the $25 payment he mailed to the court was never delivered and lost in the mail. The police officer cited Dan for driving while his license was suspended or revoked. In this case, Dan would not be guilty of driving on a suspended license because he had no actual knowledge his license was suspended. He believed the case was finalized when he submitted the $25 correctable fee.

6. Related Offense

  • Driving without a Driver’s License

7. Contact Us for a Free Consultation

If you have been arrested or cited for driving on a suspended driver’s license, contact Newport Beach Criminal Defense Attorney John Rogers at the Law Offices of John D. Rogers. Call (949) 625-4487 for a free confidential consultation concerning your rights and defenses.

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