DRIVER'S LICENSE SUSPENDED
Some driving on a suspended license violations may be filed as either a misdemeanor criminal offense or a traffic infraction. Vehicle Code Section 14601.1 is an example. Whether or not it is filed as a misdemeanor is within the discretion of the prosecuting agency and the practice of the local courts. One reason for filing the citation as a misdemeanor would be if the driver has prior 14601.1 convictions. Other driving on a suspended license violations, such as Vehicle Code Sections 14601.2 and 14601.5 are only misdemeanors. All driving on a suspended license convictions, both misdemeanor and infraction, will result in two points on your DMV driving record.
Reason for Suspension
A driver's license can be suspended for a number of other reasons. Vehicle Code Section 14601.2 is only charged when a person was driving on a license which was suspended because of a DUI court conviction. Section 14601.5 prohibits driving when your license has been suspended due to an Administrative Per Se (APS) decision against you. Both of these offenses are misdemeanors and can result in jail time. Section 14601.1 punishes driving when the license has been suspended for other reasons, such as failing to appear in court, failing to pay a traffic fine, or failing to obey a court order to pay child support. Section 14601.1 can be either a misdemeanor or an infraction. If it is an infraction, it is treated like a traffic ticket. You cannot get sentenced to jail.
Elements of the Crime
To convict a person for driving on a suspended license, the prosecutor, or the officer in a traffic trial, must establish all of the following: 1) the person drove a motor vehicle; 2) the person's driver's license was suspended or revoked at the time (either by a court or the DMV); and 3) the person had knowledge of the suspension. The third element can be proven by showing that the person was served with a notice of suspension in court or it was mailed to the person and not returned.
Get Back Your Driver's License
If you have been arrested or cited for driving on a suspended license, CONTACT our office today for a free and confidential consultation. We can assist not only in representation of the charges against you but help you in taking the necessary steps to get your driver's license. Berglund Law Office, P.C. specializes in representing persons charged with traffic violations.