Driving Without A License Attorney
If you have been arrested for driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license, I can help you. I am San Diego suspended license lawyer Peter M. Liss, and I have tried over 100 criminal jury trials and successfully defended many people arrested and charged for criminal traffic offenses in Vista and San Diego, including charges related to driving without a valid license (Vehicle Code 12500 (a) (VC)) or driving on a suspended or revoked license (14601.1 (a) (VC)).
If you need a skilled, experienced attorney with a track record of success fighting motor vehicle-related charges, please call (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free consultation. You will receive top-quality representation for a reasonable fee.
Driving With a Suspended License Charges: 14601.1 (a) (VC)
If you have had your driver’s license suspended or revoked, you might be tempted to drive, hoping your chances of getting pulled over will be slim. Suppose you are stopped by the police though. In that case, you’ll certainly regret the decision, as operating a motor vehicle with a suspended or revoked license, charged under California Vehicle Code 14601.1 (a) (VC), carries grave consequences. If you are being charged with driving after losing your driver’s license, please call Peter M. Liss.
Reasons For DMV License Suspensions
There are many reasons your driving privileges can be revoked or suspended in California. These may include:
- Being charged with a DUI
- Getting convicted of certain drug crimes
- Failing to maintain auto insurance
- Failing to appear in court on a traffic ticket
- Forgetting to file an SR1 traffic collision report after an accident
- Being convicted for many offenses in the juvenile court system
- Having a medical condition that prevents you from driving safely
- Neglecting to pay child support
- Being convicted for vehicular homicide
- Getting too many points on your DMV record
- and more
In some cases, the DMV may permanently prohibit someone from legally driving because that person was convicted of using a motor vehicle as a deadly weapon in an act of road rage or they are a habitual traffic offender caught driving before their license was reinstated.
Penalties for 14601.1(a)(VC)
Violating a driver’s license suspension or revocation is a misdemeanor charge punishable by a fine of up to $1000 and six months in jail. A conviction for 14601.1(a)(VC) will also result in the DMV adding two points to your record, and these points will still be added even if your defense attorneys can plea the case down to an infraction. A driver who gets four points in a year is considered a negligent operator and faces an additional six month DMV suspension.
The consequences may be increased if you have prior criminal driving convictions and, in cases where you received a license suspension after getting a DUI, you may be forced to install an ignition interlock device. If you have been declared a habitual traffic offender after several serious car accidents, moving citations or automobile-related crimes and are then convicted for driving with a suspended license, you could have your driving privileges permanently revoked in California. Your vehicle could also be subject to mandatory vehicle impoundment.
However, alternative sentences may be given in some instances. Because the potential penalties for 14601.1(a)(VC) are severe, you should obtain a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to obtain the best results under the particular facts and law of your case. Your attorney’s knowledge of defenses, sentencing guidelines, and alternative sentencing options will be vital to obtaining the best possible outcome given your specific circumstances.
Call a License Suspension Lawyer Immediately
Whatever the reason for the suspension or revocation of your license, driving without a legal driver’s license is a crime in California under 14601.1(a)(VC), and you can be arrested and taken into custody. This serious charge requires a top criminal defense lawyer. It’s also worth mentioning that the US Supreme Court has held that the simple fact that a vehicle belongs to someone with a suspended license is sufficient grounds for a police officer to pull someone over, so it is difficult to argue that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle in these cases.
Driving Without a Valid License: 12500 (VC)
While continuing to drive after receiving a license suspension or revocation is a crime that is taken very seriously, you can also face charges for driving without a valid license in California. his law doesn’t just cover teens or adults who drive without obtaining a license from the DMV, but also those who drive after their license expires or who move to California and fail to obtain a new driver’s license within 20 days.In fact, under California Vehicle Code section 12500 (VC), these crimes could even be misdemeanors, punishable by jail time.
Penalties for Driving Without a License in California
Operating a vehicle without a license under 12500 (a) (VC)is a less severe (although similar) crime to driving after getting a license suspension or revocation. That’s because if your driver’s license has been suspended, chances are you have already violated a major driving law -getting a DUI, for example. Driving after a license suspension is always filed as a misdemeanor (although criminal defense lawyers can sometimes have the charges reduced to an infraction), but driving without a license under 12500(a)(VC) can be charged as either an infraction or a misdemeanor.
There is no minimum sentence for those caught driving without a license. Additionally, driving a vehicle without a license does not add a point to your DMV record.
In most cases where someone failed to renew their license or obtain a new license after moving to California, the crime is an infraction, punishable by $250 in fines —especially if the driver renews their license or gets a California state license within 20 days.
If you never obtained a license, especially if you are too young to get a license, the charge is much more likely to be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail, although it is rare for someone to go to jail for a first-time offense.
Facing Charges for Driving Without a License?
One of the best things you can do to fight charges related to 12500 (VC) is to get a legal California driver’s license as soon as possible, which will usually result in the charges being reduced to an infraction. If this isn’t an option because of your age, you may also be charged with another offense, such as joyriding. In this case, your no-license driving lawyer may be able to negotiate a plea bargain where you only face a driving without a license charge, helping you escape other, more serious charges.
If you were driving someone to the hospital due to a medical emergency or were reacting to a similar crisis, you have a total defense against the charges in court.