If an individual drives while his or her license is suspended or revoked, then that individual can and likely will be charged with driving on a suspended license if he or she is stopped by a police officer. The important thing for you to know is that you can be arrested, your car can be impounded and you could suffer a criminal conviction. Driving on a suspended license is not an infraction, i.e., a speeding ticket. Driving on a suspended license is a crime that is taken very seriously by prosecutors and judges alike.
If you are facing a driving on a suspended license offense in San Mateo County, call toll free at 866-477-0965 or contact us online in order to set up a no-obligation consultation. Our team at Ahmed & Sukaram understands what needs to be done to protect your best interests.
Driving on a Suspended License: Penalties and Defense in Redwood City
Your driver's license can be suspended or revoked for a number of different reasons under the California Penal and Vehicle Codes. A person's license can be suspended for being arrested or convicted of a DUI. Additionally, a driver's license can be suspended for being a negligent operator. A person is a negligent operator if he or she has received four or more points in one year, six or more points in two years, or eight points in three years. If the driver has been declared a negligent operator, then that individual's license can be suspended for up to six months.
Moreover, your license can be suspended for a failure to pay fines or child support. The individual's license suspension will not be lifted until the person pays his or her fines and/or child support obligations. A license can also be suspended for a failure to appear in court. Until the person clears the failure to appear in court, that driver's license will remain suspended by the California DMV.
Experienced Lawyers Representing Clients Facing Traffic Violations
For a prosecutor to obtain a conviction for driving on a suspended license, the prosecutor must prove the following three facts beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You drove a motor vehicle
- Your driver's license was suspended or revoked at the time of driving
- You knew that your license had been revoked or suspended when you drove
One of the major defense issues in cases charging driving on a suspended license is whether the driver knew that his or her license was suspended. Although the DMV may have mailed you a notice of the suspension of your license, you may not have received that mail because you had moved, a co-tenant discarded your mail or you simply never received the notice.
Through plea bargaining, it may be possible to obtain a lesser charge than driving on a suspended license, which can carry a minimum jail time of 10 days, as well as, mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device in any vehicle that you own, operate or have access to. We frequently obtain reduction in charges from driving on a suspended license to driving without a license in your possession, which is an infraction. This means you avoid both heavy fines and incarceration in county jail. Additionally, you may have a valid defense based on the fact that the officer who stopped you did not have a sufficient legal basis for the initial stop.
What Penalties Do I Face for Driving on a Suspended License?
The potential punishment for driving on a suspended driver's license depends on the particular circumstances of your case including the reason your license was suspended or revoked and your prior criminal history. You could be looking at losing your right to drive, jail time and large fines.
Importantly, driving on a suspended license is also a priorable offense, which means that the penalty necessarily increases with each subsequent conviction within a five- to seven-year period depending on the exact violation.
Contact Our Redwood City Defense Attorneys
The San Mateo County traffic lawyers at Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law, have helped people just like you who face serious criminal charges throughout the Bay Area including South San Francisco, San Mateo, Palo Alto and San Jose. Call us to obtain your free initial no-cost consultation today at 866-477-0965.