Driving is a privilege in California, not a right. This means that the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can revoke or suspend your driving privileges for a variety of different reasons, such as reckless driving, driving under the influence of controlled substances, and getting too many points on your driving record.
If your driver’s license gets suspended or revoked for any reason, it is illegal to continue operating your vehicle. If you choose to drive with a suspended or revoked license, California law enforcement may arrest you.
California Law Regarding Driving On a Suspended License
Under Vehicle Code Section 14601, driving on a suspended license is defined as operating or driving a motor vehicle “at any when that person’s driving privilege is suspended or revoked…, if the person so driving has knowledge of the suspension or revocation.”
In order to be convicted on the charge, the state prosecutor will need to prove the following facts or elements:
- You were driving a motor vehicle at a time when you driver’s license was suspended or revoked;
- At the time you were driving, you knew that your driver’s license was suspended or revoked.
There are different ways the prosecutor can prove you had knowledge of your driving privileges being suspended or revoked, including:
- The DMV mailed you a notice informing you that your driving privileges have been suspended or revoked;
- The notice was sent to the most recent address reported to the DMV or any more recent address reported by you, a court or law enforcement agency;
- The notice was not returned to the DMV as undeliverable or unclaimed;
- You were personally given notice by the DMV, a court of law, or law enforcement personnel pursuant to Vehicle Code Section 13388 or 13882.
Penalties and Punishment of Driving With a Suspended or Revoked Driver’s License in California
If you knowingly operate a motor vehicle with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, you may face the following penalties:
As a first time offender:
- Face jail time not less than 5 days or more than 6 months
- Pay monetary fine of not less than $300 or more than $1,000
As a multiple offender:
- If you were convicted of the same offense within the past five years, you will face jail time for not less than 10 days or more than one year and be fined not less than $500 or more than $2,000.
- If you were convicted of the same offense within the past five years and were granted probation, the court shall impose as a condition of probation that you be confined to county jail for at least 10 days.
Call an Experienced Suspended Drivers License Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one is facing a charge of driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, it is important to seek immediate legal assistance. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with suspended driver’s license defense attorney Gurjit Srai, please call us at (209) 323‐5558 or (559) 449‐ 1447, or complete our online form.