Driving on a Suspended License Can Carry Mandatory Jail Time

Unless expressly exempt under the California Vehicle Code, no person may drive a motor vehicle on a highway unless the person then holds a valid driver’s license.

Driving on a suspended, revoked or restricted license in California is a misdemeanor and is prohibited by several different Code sections which are classified according to the reason for the suspension, revocation or restriction and provide for additional punishments if there are prior offenses.

For example if your license is suspended for an alcohol related offense, the penalty for driving during the suspension is 10 days in jail for a first offense. A second offense within 5 years requires a 30 day suspension. Other penalties include installation of an ignition interlock device, fine, probation and points on your driving record.

A key component of any driving while suspended charge is that you have notice or knowledge of the suspension. If you don’t, you are not guilty of the offense.

On the other side of the coin Section 12500 of the California Vehicle Code does not require knowledge on your part that your license is suspended or even expired for you to be found guilty. All the District Attorney needs to show is that (1) you were driving and (2) you did not have a valid license. However this is a far less serious charge that typically can be resolved with a fine only, i.e., no jail and no probation. Additionally it places no points on your driving record.

Attorney Paul Tyler practices almost exclusively in Ventura County, California and has appeared on thousands of driving and license-related cases. Therefore, he knows ALL of the prosecutors and ALL of the judges that may handle your case in that County. If possible he knows how to get the more serious driving charges reduced to less serious charges, i.e., Code Section 12500, and how to avoid jail time in all but the most serious cases.

To learn more, please call Paul Tyler at (805) 889-9000. He will answer your call personally… you will not be required to go through a secretary, paralegal or associate attorney. Call for a free consultation.

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