Driving on a suspended license is a misdemeanor and a conviction of this charge will generate two points on your driving record. If the reason for the license suspension is a DUI conviction, there is a mandatory 10 days of jail that must be served on a conviction; the conviction can also trigger a violation of the DUI probation.
In addition, the police have the authority to impound the car of anyone driving on a suspended license for up to 30 days. Most impound yards charge anywhere from $50-$75 a day for impound fees that must be paid before the vehicle is released to the owner, so re-possessing the car after the 30-day period has run can be costly.
Despite all these possible adverse consequences, driving on a suspended license charge can usually be negotiated to avoid the mandatory 10 days custody and possibly even the 2 points on the DMV record, by pleading to a lesser charge of “driving without a valid license in possession,” as long as the charged individual has no prior convictions for the same offense.
Also, sometimes these charges can be defended on the basis that the person never received proper notice of the suspension, which is an essential element of the charge, or that the suspension was not in force at the time of the driving.
One of the most common reasons for a suspended license is the failure to show up in court on a traffic ticket (“FTA”), or failure to pay a fine on a traffic ticket (“FTP”). The license will remain suspended until the FTA or FTP is cleared, which sometimes can be accomplished while a “driving on a suspended license charge” is pending, thus prompting a dismissal on the charge.
One word of advice – if you show up in court on a “driving on a suspended license” charge, make sure you have someone else drive you to the courthouse; it is not unusual for a court bailiff, i.e., a deputy Sheriff, to follow you out to the parking lot after your court appearance and arrest you if you are foolish enough to get in a car and try to drive away from the courthouse.
I do not charge for initial consultations and my reasonable fees are determined by the seriousness of the charges. Selecting the right attorney is a very important decision that can significantly affect your future. Do not take this decision lightly. I can help you, as I have done for hundreds of clients in the past.
The information contained herein is not intended to be advice concerning your individual situation, but rather is general in nature. Please rely upon your own attorney's advice regarding your specific case.
© 2015 Attorney Richard Muir
630 Alta Vista Drive, Suite 205, Vista CA 92084
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