Driving with a Suspended License
Penalties for DUI and other Criminal Charges
California and all of the other states have made it illegal to drive when your driver's license has been suspended or revoked. Not having your driver's license is a major inconvenience for anyone who has to drive to work or complete errands on a daily basis, but choosing to drive even with a suspended license can lead to worse penalties. If you are caught driving on a suspended or revoked license, you will face a DUI charge that may result in your arrest or incarceration. In addition to these penalties and the possibility of having to post bail, the court may also impound your vehicle for up to 30 days and impose a jail sentence of up to six months as well.
If your driver's license was suspended or revoked because of a DUI arrest or conviction, the penalties you may face for driving without your license may be even greater. Many people are arrested and stuck with these harsh penalties because they did not realize that their license had been suspended or revoked until it was too late. Many times, this happens because drivers have received a traffic citation or because they plead guilty to a traffic citation in court without realizing that they would have too many points. California has created distinct laws regarding driver's license suspension, and it is wise to consult a Ventura DUI attorney any time after you are arrested.
Reasons for Driver's License Suspension
Here at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP our team has helped many people through the process of fighting a driver's license suspension or revocation. We understand the huge impact that these penalties can have on your future, and we are here to help you avoid this unfortunate situation. Below, we have listed some of the most common reasons why driver's licenses are suspended and revoked in Ventura and throughout California. Please do not hesitate to call and schedule your free case evaluation to discuss your unique situation.
- DUI conviction: If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, the DMV can suspend your driving privileges for six months even for a first-time offense. If you are arrested for any additional DUI offenses, the DMV may suspend your driver's license for two to four years, or may even revoke your driving privileges altogether. This is one of the most common reasons why licenses are suspended throughout California.
- Driver's License fraud: If you have used false identification or someone else's identity to secure a California driver's license, you may face criminal charges for forgery. You may face the permanent loss of your California driving privileges, but you are entitled to a hearing where you can dispute your driver's license suspension if this is the case.
- Failure to appear: If you have been issued a traffic ticket in Ventura County, you will be asked to sign the ticket. When you do so, you are promising to pay the court or appear in court on the requested date. If you fail to appear in court, the court will notify the DMV and your driver's license may be suspended.
- Failure to report an accident: If you are involved in an accident, California law requires you to file a Report of Traffic Accident within ten (10) days if the property damage from the accident exceeds $750, if anyone was injured, or if anyone was killed. The DMV will suspend your driver's license if you fail to report the accident within this ten-day period.
- Failure to take a chemical test: This rule applies to drivers who have been pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. If you have a California driver's license, you are required by our state's Implied Consent law to submit to chemical testing at the request of a police officer. If you refuse, your driving privileges may be suspended for one year.
- Excessive points on a driving record: Every time that you receive a traffic citation, the DMV will make a note of that conviction on their records. Each type of infraction will be assigned a certain number of points, and the DMV will take action to suspend or revoke your driving privileges if you get too many points on your record. You may be deemed a "negligent operator" for having too many points on your record, and if you receive a warning letter you should contact a lawyer immediately.
- Underage drinking: California practices a zero-tolerance law when it comes to people who are drinking under the age of 21. If you have been arrested for drinking and driving and you are under the age of 21, you may suffer a one year driver's license suspension for having a BAC of even .01%.
Our Ventura DUI lawyers are highly skilled in handling these cases and we offer free consultations to help you resolve these issues quickly. If you are an out-of-state driver with a California DUI, you may be at risk for losing your license in your home state.