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Driving with A Suspended License, What’s Next? Complete Guide

Posted by Mark A. Velez | Sep 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

Driving with A Suspended License, What's Next? Complete Guide

Your driving license is suspended due to a squeamish you have with the law, and now you were caught while driving with a suspended license. We understand your predicament. Here is everything you need to know about your driving options after your driving license has been suspended.

Driving With A Suspended License; Is It Legal?

No, you cannot drive when your driving license has been suspended. VC 14601.1(a) states that the person, as long as they know that their driving privilege has been suspended, cannot drive a vehicle of any kind.

How Can I Prove That I Had No Knowledge That My Driving License Has Been Suspended?

When you are standing in front of a judge, here is what the prosecutor has to prove that you should be convicted.

  • The defendant was driving a vehicle while his or her license was revoked or suspended.
  • The defendant had explicit knowledge that the driver's license was revoked when they were driving the vehicle.
  • The prosecutor only has to prove that DMV (Department of Motor Vehicle) has notified the defendant that their license was revoked or suspended through the mail.
  • The court sent the mail to the most updated address of the defendant.
  • The defendant did not return the letter to the DMV office as an unclaimed or undelivered mail.

How Can I Defend Myself?

As you can see from the list, proving that the defendant is guilty in these cases is exceptionally simple. If the court sent out the mail and the person did not receive it, then the defendant is guilty.

Are There Legal Defenses?

A defendant can try to beat criminal charges under this statute with an excellent legal defense. Here are the primary defense options that are in common with these kinds of cases.


Need has to be the most common defense in these cases. Even though, it is hard to prove that you never got the mail or that the suspension claim is false. But it is comfortable to prove that there were dire circumstances involved that forced you to decide.


The defendant can claim that the court failed to serve the defendant with the charges, but that is a hard claim to rove. The mailman takes signature, and even if they don't, their only job is to drop the letter of notice into the mailbox.


You can prove that your suspension verdict was open to the challenge in the court. That is the only way to ensure that you will not be convicted. It is also a common tool in the modern legal system. If you can prove that you had already filled a junction against the suspension, then you can try and get a pardon for the driving.

Driving with a Suspended License- An Explanation Defense:

The guilty with an explanation defense is the most common defense in driving with a suspended driving license conviction. As discussed above, it is rare to fulfill the three possible ways not to get a guilty conviction.

It is much easier to make the case that there was a reason for the person to drive. For example, if a person has a relative in jeopardy and the person has to pick them up. Or in the case when a person is having a medical emergency and paramedics cannot arrive at the scene, he can drive the ailing person to the hospital.

Penalty For Driving Without A Driving License:

The penalty in these cases mainly depends on the type of issues at the time of suspension. If a person's driving license was suspended due to violent behavior, then the person can expect jail tie for breaking the restriction. Usually, breaking the rule is a misdemeanor charge.

The following statutes will define the punishment:

  1. Vehicle Code 14601.3 VC
  2. Vehicle Code 14601.5 VC
  3. Vehicle Code 14601.2 VC
  4. Vehicle Code 14601 VC
  5. Vehicle Code 14601.1 VC

VC 14601- Incompetent Driving:

The prominent statue in these cases is the incompetent or negligent driving statue VC 14601. The figure applies if a driver with a suspended driving license was driving. You can get a suspension for incompetent, reckless, or negligent driving.

The punishment for the crime is one of the following possibilities:

  • Three years of informal probation
  • Six months of custody in county jail
  • A fine up to $1000

VC 14601.2- Driving Under Influence:

If the defendant got his license suspended for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and they are found driving with a suspended license, one of the following punishments will apply:

  • An informal three-year probation
  • County jail imprisonment from 10 days to six years
  • A $1000 of the maximum fine
  • Installation of a certified ignition interlock device

VC 14601.3- Repetitive Traffic Offenders

If you are expecting a charge with being a habitual traffic offender at the time of the suspension, then you can expect one of the following punishments:

  • Informal probation for three years.
  • A jail sentence of 30 days
  • A fine up to $1000

These are the major types of convictions that defenders usually receive in driving with a suspended driving license related cases. As stated earlier, it depends on the subject, the kind of punishment that the person may receive.

If you have any questions about the suspended driving license issues in California, how to solve them, share them with us. MAV Law Corporation will help you find a way out of the suspension.

About the Author

Mark A. Velez

Mark A. Velez My name is Mark Velez and thank you for visiting my site. I would like to take a moment to tell you about who I am and why I opened my own law practice. I was born and raised in Southern California. After completing high school, I applied at the Palos Verdes Estates Police Departme...


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