DMV license suspensions and charges of driving with a suspended driver's license is unlike other motor vehicle traffic violations. This offense imposes hefty fines, probation, and/or a jail sentence. You should speak with a Santa Rosa license suspension attorney at our office as quickly as possible after receiving this charge.
Your penalties could increase depending on the presence of any underlying offenses accompanying the charge of driving with a suspended license. There are a number of criminal offenses that cause a mandatory or discretionary license suspension, and your suspension lawyer can help you avoid this penalty, if possible.
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Causes of License Suspensions
License suspension offenses are delineated under the California Vehicle Code section 14601.
Under these statutes, drivers in Santa Rosa could face suspension for any of the following:
- Reckless driving, which is defined as driving with a willful or malicious disregard for the safety of other people or property
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI)
- A physical or mental condition precluding the safe operation of a vehicle
- Declaration as a "negligent operator," which usually occurs after accumulating too many points on your license
Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License
Under California law, the penalties arising from driving with a suspended license will vary based on the reason for the suspension. The law requires the prosecutor to prove that your license was, in fact, suspended at the time of the charge and you were aware of the suspension.
Proving you did not know about the suspension can be difficult, and you should not attempt this defense without the assistance of a knowledgeable Santa Rosa license suspension attorney.
What are the Penalties for First Time Offenders of Suspended License in California
For first-time offenders caught operating a vehicle with a suspended license, a minimum jail sentence of five days or a maximum of six months is possible, depending upon the underlying reason for the suspension. If the license is suspended due to a DUI conviction, the minimum jail sentence is 10 days and maximum is 6 months.
First-time offenders also face fines ranging from $300 to $1,000. These penalties increase to a minimum of 10 days and maximum of one year in jail for subsequent offenses, and carry a possible fine amount ranging from $500 to $2,000.
Protect Your License with Our Santa Rosa License Suspension Lawyer
The Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig, P.C. can assist you if you recently endured a charge of driving with a suspended license or you are facing other DMV license suspensions. Whether you lost your license following a DUI or due to another underlying charge, call us for help immediately. Time is of the essence so get started today.
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