Friday, February 16, 2018

VC12500(a)-M Driving Without a License Defense Lawyers 909.913.3138

Driving Without A License Law & Defense
Information on the crime of driving without a license, is found at California vehicle code section 12500(a). This article is a summary of the law, the punishments, and the defenses related to VC 12500(a) charges.
To begin with, driving without a license means the defendant is driving without a valid driver's license issued by California or another state. It does not mean that the defendant was driving without his or her license in his or her possession. The charge of driving without possession of a driver's license is found at VC 12951(a), an infraction.
VC 12500 & Relevant Law (Abbr.)
A person may not drive a motor vehicle upon a highway, unless the person has a valid California driver’s license except those persons who are expressly exempted under the law (VC12500(a)-M).
Person that are exempt from the requirements of VC 12500(a) include: persons operating off road vehicles, federal law enforcement agents driving in relation to their employment, and incidental highway driving in connection with breeding farm animals (VC 12501).
Out of state residents may lawfully drive in California if they are over the age of eighteen and possess a valid driver's license from their state of residence. The out-of-state license must be in the immediate possession of the out-of-state driver while that driver is driving in California (VC 12502(a)(1)).
A person may not drive a motor vehicle that is not of a type for which the person is licensed (VC 12500(d)).
Motorcycles are considered motor vehicles and a person may not drive a motorcycle in California unless the person has a valid motorcycle license, except those persons who are expressly exempted under the law (VC 12500(b)).
In order for the defendant to be found guilty of the crime of driving a vehicle without a license the district attorney will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant:
  • Drove a motor vehicle on a public highway or street
  • Drove without a California driver's license, and
  • Was not exempted from the license requirement
highway or street is defined as a way or place of whatever nature, publicly maintained and open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel. Highway includes street (VC 360).
VC 12500(a) Punishments
VC 12500(a)driving without a license, is classified as a misdemeanor.
Jail Sentence: If found guilty of driving without a license the defendant could face up to 180 days in the county jail.
Probation Sentence: A probation sentence is a period of supervision instead of jail. Probation sentences for driving without a license are considered informal, which means the defendant is not monitored by a probation officer. Probation sentences carry terms of probation that must be followed in order to avoid a violation of probation charge. Probation terms can include work release or house arrest terms. Probation sentences are common for VC 12500(a) convictions but they are not guaranteed. Whether or not a probation sentence is available for VC 12500(a) convictions depends largely on the defendants criminal history and the circumstances of the case.
Immigration Consequences: Driving without a license is not a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT). Crimes involving moral turpitude are defined as crimes that are morally wrongand carry special punishments for non U.S. citizens. Even though driving without a license is not considered a crime involving moral turpitude non U.S. citizens should be aware that multiple misdemeanor convictions can lead to deportation or denial of reentry into the United States. Also, immigration law is changing rapidly and if you are charged with any crime, including the crime of driving without a license, you should contact a criminal defense attorney or an immigration attorney, or both, without delay. For more information see immigration consequences for criminal convictions.
Professional Licensing Consequences: A professional with a California state license, such as a doctor, dentist, lawyer, nurse, teacher, therapist, etc., may be disciplined by his or her licensing agency (Board, Bar, Commission, etc.) upon any conviction for a misdemeanor crime, including the crime of driving without a license. If you are charged with VC 12500(a), and you possess a state-issued professional license, contact a criminal defense attorney, or a licensing administrative attorney without delay. For more information see professional licensing consequences for criminal convictions.
Other Punishments: In addition to possible jail time, if found guilty of driving without a license, the defendant could suffer any or all of the following punishments: Court fines and fees, loss of the ability to obtain a driver's license in the future, loss of immigration status, loss of a professional license, enhanced punishment for subsequent violations, vehicle impound for up to thirty days, and more.
VC 12500(b)driving without the proper license, is classified as an infraction. Infractions do not carry jail sentences.
VC 12951(b) failure to present license to a peace officer, is classified as a misdemeanor. VC 12951(b) carries the same punishments as VC 12500(a) driving without a license.
VC 12500(a) Defenses
After the district attorney shows evidence that the defendant was driving without a license, usually through DMV records and officer testimony, the defendant must provide evidence to the contrary, or a legal justification, to avoid a conviction.
Common defenses or legal justifications for driving without a license include: necessity, illegal stop, statute of limitations, duress, and more.
Plea Bargaining: In many cases of VC 12500(a) the district attorney, or the court, will agree to reduce the criminal charges, or the sentence associated with the criminal charges, if the defendant is willing and able to obtain a valid driver's license. Whether or not a negotiated plea bargain is available in any case depends largely on the defendant's criminal history (including driving history), and the egregiousness of the defendant's conduct associated with the current charge. 
For more information on the common defenses to VC 12500(a) crimes, please visit defenses.
If you are charged with the misdemeanor offense of driving without a license, or VC 12500(a), contact our office today for a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Our misdemeanor traffic attorneys are available seven days a week to review your case and discuss your defense options. Call today!
See our sister sites for information on Prostitution Defense Lawyers and Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers
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Proposition 57 California Information

How Proposition 57 Impacts California’s Prison Inmate Population
Prop 57: Early Parole for Non-Violent Criminals
On November 8, 2016, California voters voted to approve proposition 57, also known as California's Early Parole for Non-Violent Criminals and Juvenile Court Trial Requirements Initiative. Proposition 57, or simply Prop 57, was added as a new part of the California Constitution found at Article 1, Section 32.
Prop 57 law is intended to reduce the population of California’s over-crowded prisons in two ways: 1) by granting non-violent prison inmates the opportunity to petition the California Parole Board for release on parole at an earlier date than previously entitled, and 2) by granting additional opportunities for inmates to earn good-conduct credits while in prison; good conduct credits are used to reduce the inmate’s sentence.
In this way, Prop 57 has dramatically changed California adult sentencing law as well as juvenile court procedures. Consider the following:
1) Per Prop 57, California prisoners convicted of non-violent felonies may apply for early release on parole after the prisoner completes the full term of any primary offense for which the prisoner was convicted.
The full term of any primary offense means the longest term of imprisonment imposed by the court for any offense, excluding the imposition of an enhancement, consecutive sentence, or alternative sentence.
Pre-existing good time credits for prison sentences on the primary offense continue to apply.
2) Prop 57 allows inmates the ability to earn more good conduct credits while in prison. The more good conduct credits the prisoner earns while in prison the earlier the prisoner may be released on parole.
Good conduct credits fall into three major categories: good behavioreducational, or rehabilitative. Good conduct credits may be used for earlier release to parole on all crimes (including violent crime), not just non-violent crimes.
3) Prop 57 allows judges, not prosecutors, to determine whether or not a minor is considered a juvenile for purposes of prosecution. The issue of whether a minor qualifies as a juvenile is determined at a transfer hearing.
Per Prop 57, to be granted early parole, all inmates, current and future, must demonstrate that they are rehabilitated and do not pose a danger to the public.
Prop 57 Procedures:
The California Board of Parole Hearings determines who is rehabilitated and therefore eligible for early release. Any prisoner approved for release will be subject to mandatory supervision by law enforcement. An inmate's petition for early release can, but not necessarily lead to the following:
  • The Department of Corrections can choose to have convicted felons only serve a sentence for one of their offenses (the primary offense with time off for any good time credits).
  • Extra enhancements can be disregarded, and a person can be released early if the California Department of Corrections feels that they should be released early.
Non-violent felony
Neither Prop 57, nor California law, defines non-violent felonies; however, violent felonies are listed in California Penal Code section 667.5. Violent felonies are also listed at the end of this page.
Violent Felonies: The below list is a list of California crimes that are considered violent. These violent crimes do not qualify for early release on parole under Prop 57; however, these crimes may qualify for increased good time credits under prop 57. The list of non-violent crimes that are affected by Prop 57 is too numerous to list; therefore, if your crime is not listed below, you may be eligible for early release on parole under Prop 57.

Murder PC 187(a)
Voluntary Manslaughter PC 192(a)
Mayhem PC 203
Aggravated Mayhem PC 205
Rape of Mentally or Physically Disabled Person PC 261(a)(1)
Rape of Unconscious Person PC 261(a)(4)
Spousal Rape by Force or Fear PC 262(a)(1)
Spousal Rape W/Threat of Retaliation PC 262(a)(4)
Sodomy of Minor by Force or Fear PC 286(c)
Sodomy in Concert by Force or Fear PC 286(d)
Oral Copulation on Minor Under 14 PC 288a(c)
Oral Copulation in Concert by Force or Fear PC 288a(d)
Lewd or Lascivious Acts on Minor Under 14 PC 288(a)
Lewd or Lascivious Acts on Minor by Force or Fear PC 288(b)
Any Felony Punishable by Life Imprisonment or Death PC 667.5(c)(7)
A Felony where the person Caused GBI or Used Firearm PC 667.5(c)(8)
Robbery in Second Degree PC 211
Robbery in First Degree PC 212.5
Robbery of Train PC 214
Arson with Injury PC 451(a)
Arson to Inhabited Structure PC 451(b)
Sexual Penetration by Foreign Object by Force or Fear PC 289(a)(1)(A)
Sexual Penetration by Foreign Object on Minor Under 14 PC 289(j)
Attempted Murder PC 664/187(a)
Exploding Destructive Device Causing Death PC 18755(a)
Exploding Destructive Device with Intent to Murder PC 18745
Exploding Destructive Device Causing Injury PC 18750
Kidnapping PC 207, 208, or 209
Assault with Intent to Commit A Felony Sex Crime PC 220
Continuous Sexual Abuse of A Child PC 288.5
Carjacking PC 215
Rape in Concert or Sexual Penetration in concert PC 264.1
Gang Related Extortion PC 518, 186.22 & 667.5(c)(19)
Threats to Victims or Witnesses Related to Gang Crimes PC 136.1, 186.22 & 667.5(c)(20)
First Degree Burglary of Occupied House PC 460
Use of Firearm during the Commission of A Violent Felony PC 12022.53
Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction PC 11418(b) & 11418(c)

Non-Violent Felonies: The following is a list of common felonies that are considered to be non-violent in California (Partial list).

Battery PC 242
Loiter with Intent to Commit Prostitution PC 653.22(a)
Keeping a House of Prostitution PC 315
Acquire Access Cards PC 484e
Annoying or Harassing Phone Calls PC 653m
Possession of Controlled Substance HS 11350(a)
Possession of Controlled Substance for Sale HS 11351
Possession of False Compartment for Controlled Substance HS 11366.8(a)
Unauthorized Use of Automobile VC 10851(a)
Animal Cruelty PC 597(a)
Vandalism PC 594 Crimes
Elder Theft PC 368 Crimes
Child Endangerment PC 273a(a)
Criminal Threats PC 422
Contempt of Court PC 166(a)
Brandishing PC 417
Simple Assault PC 240
Hit and Run VC 20002(a)
Obstruction PC 148(a)(1)
False Report of Crime PC 148.5
Perjury 118 Crimes
Welfare Fraud WI 10980
Receipt of Stolen Property PC 496(a)
Stalking PC 646.9 Crimes

Common California Criminal Codes

Criminal Codes (Partial List)

The following list is a list of the most common criminal codes charged against defendants in CA. For more information on any of the following codes or charges please click on the code or charge. If you need a criminal defense attorney, please contact our criminal defense firm at 909.913.3138 for a free consultation. Thank you.

Penal Codes (Abbr.)
PC 32
PC 67
PC 68
PC 69
PC 85
PC 86
PC 113
PC 114
PC 118(a)
PC 118a
PC 134
PC 135
PC 136.1(a)
PC 136.1(b)(1)
PC 136.1(c)
PC 136.1(c)(1)
PC 137(b)
PC 141(a)
PC 148(a)(1)
PC 148(b)
PC 148.5
PC 148.9
PC 166(a)(1)
PC 166(a)(4)
PC 166(c)(1)
PC 186.10
PC 186.22(a)
PC 186.22(d)
PC 187(a)
PC 191.5(a)
PC 191.5(b)
PC 192(a)
PC 192(b)
PC 192(c)(1)
PC 192(c)(2)
PC 203
PC 205
PC 206
PC 207(a)
PC 209(b)(1)
PC 209.5(a)
PC 210.5
PC 211
PC 212.5
PC 215(a)
PC 220(a)
PC 236
PC 236.1(a)
PC 236.1(b)
PC 237
PC 240
PC 242
PC 243(b)
PC 243(d)
PC 243.4
PC 243.4(a)
PC 243.4(e)(1)
PC 245(a)(1)
PC 245(a)(2)
PC 245(a)(4)
PC 245(c)
PC 246.3(a)
PC 261(a)(2)
PC 261(a)(3)
PC 261(a)(4)
PC 261.5(c)
PC 261.5(d)
PC 262(a)(1)
PC 264.1(a)
PC 266
PC 266h(a)
PC 266h(b)(1)
PC 266i(a)
PC 272(a)(1)
PC 273a(a)
PC 273a(b)
PC 273.5(a)
PC 273.5(f)
PC 273.6(a)
PC 281
PC 285
PC 286(a)(1)
PC 286(c)(2)
PC 286(g)
PC 288(a)
PC 288(b)(1)
PC 288a(b)(1)
PC 288a(b)(2)
PC 288a(i)
PC 288.5(a)
PC 289(a)(1)
PC 289(h)
PC 290.018(a)
PC 290.018(b)
PC 290.018(g)
PC 311.11(a)
PC 311.11(c)
PC 314(1)
PC 315
PC 330
PC 331
PC 337a
PC 347(a)(1)
PC 350(a)(1)
PC 350(a)(2)
PC 368(b)(1)
PC 368(c)
PC 368(d)(1)
PC 368(d)(2)
PC 368(f)
PC 398(a)
PC 399(a)
PC 399(b)
PC 399.5(a)
PC 403
PC 404(a)
PC 404.6(a)
PC 407
PC 408
PC 409
PC 415
PC 415(1)
PC 415(2)
PC 417(a)(1)
PC 417(a)(2)
PC 417.4
PC 422
PC 422.7 
PC 451(a)
PC 451(b)
PC 451(c)
PC 451(d)
PC 452(d)
PC 459
PC 459
PC 459.5(a)
PC 460(a)
PC 463
PC 466
PC 470(a)
PC 470a
PC 470b
PC 471
PC 476
PC 476a(a)
PC 477
PC 478
PC 484(a)
PC 484e(a)
PC 484e(b)
PC 484g
PC 484i(c)
PC 487(d)(1)
PC 488
PC 490.1(a)
PC 496(a)
PC 502.5
PC 503
PC 520
PC 524
PC 530.5(a)
PC 530.5(c)(1)
PC 532
PC 538d(a)
PC 538d(b)(2)
PC 548(a)
PC 550(a)(1)
PC 550(a)(3)
PC 550(a)(4)
PC 550(a)(6)
PC 593d(a)
PC 594(a)
PC 594(b)(1)
PC 594(b)(2)
PC 594.3
PC 597(a)
PC 597(b)
PC 597b(b)
PC 597j(a)
PC 597f
PC 597z
PC 597.7(a)
PC 601(a)
PC 602(k)
PC 602(m)
PC 602(o)
PC 602(p)
PC 602(q)
PC 602(s)
PC 602.8(a)
PC 632
PC 646.9(a)
PC 647(a)
PC 647(b)
PC 647(f)
PC 647(j)(4)
PC 647.6(a)(1)
PC 653f(a)
PC 653f(b)
PC 653m(a)
PC 653m(b)
PC 653.22(a)
PC 853.7
PC 1203.2
PC 1320(a)
PC 11418(a)(1)
PC 12022.7(a)
PC 14166
PC 21310
PC 21510
PC 21810
PC 22010
PC 22410
PC 25100(a)
PC 25100(b)
PC 25110(a)
PC 25400(a)(1)
PC 25400(a)(2)
PC 25400(c)(4)
PC 25850(a)
PC 29800(a)(1)
Accessory after the fact
Bribery of state executive officer
State officer receiving a bribe
Resisting an executive officer
Bribe a member of the legislator
Legislator accepting a bribe
Manufacture false citizen documents
Use false documents to hide citizenship
Perjury under oath
Perjury by false affidavit
Falsify evidentiary documents
Destroy / conceal documentary evidence
Prevent witness from testifying
Prevent witness from making a report
Dissuade a witness or victim
Dissuade a witness or victim by threat
Induce false testimony by force or threat
Planting Evidence
Resisting or obstructing a public officer
Remove officer's weapon while resisting
False report of crime
Give false information to an officer
Contempt of court
Disobey a court order
Violation of a protective order
Money Laundering
Criminal street gang activity
Aiding in a criminal street gang
Murder & Attempted Murder
Vehicular manslaughter (intoxicated)
Vehicular manslaughter (intoxicated)
Voluntary manslaughter
Involuntary manslaughter
Vehicular manslaughter w/gross neglect
Vehicular manslaughter
Aggravated Mayhem
Kidnapping for sex offense or robbery
Kidnapping during a carjacking
Hostage taking
Robbery near an ATM
Sexual Assault
False Imprisonment
Human Trafficking
Human trafficking for sex act
False imprisonment with violence
Misdemeanor assault
Battery on an officer
Battery causing serious bodily injury
Sexual battery
Sexual battery by restraint
Sexual battery
Assault with a deadly weapon
Assault with a firearm
Assault with force likely to cause GBI
Assault on officer with a deadly weapon
Discharge a firearm with gross neglect
Rape by force or fear of bodily injury
Rape by intoxicant ("date rape")
Rape of unconscious person
Unlawful sexual intercourse
Unlawful sexual intercourse
Spousal rape by force or fear of injury
Rape in concert by multiple defendants
Seduction of minor for prostitution
Pimping a minor over fifteen years old
Contributing to a minor's delinquency
Endangering the health of a child
Child abuse causing injury
Corporal injury to spouse or cohabitant
Corporal injury with prior conviction
Violation of a Restraining Order
Sodomy of minor under eighteen
Sodomy by force or fear of injury
Sodomy of incompetent person
Lewd and lascivious acts on a child
Lewd act by force on a child under 14
Oral copulation on minor under 18
Oral copulation on minor under 16
Oral copulation of intoxicated person
Continuous sexual abuse of a child
Sexual penetration by object by force
Sexual penetration of person under 18
Failure to register as a sex offender
Failure to register as a sex offender
Failure to update sex offender registration
Possess child pornography
Possess child pornography images
Indecent Exposure
Keeping a house of ill repute
Conduct illegal gaming
Permit illegal gaming
Bookmaking (illegal gaming)
Altering food with harmful substance
Counterfeiting under $1000
Counterfeiting over $1000
Elder abuse or neglect
Cause or permit injury to elder adult
Theft from elder adult under $950
Theft from elder adult over $950
False imprisonment of elder adult
Negligently allow animal to cause injury
Allow vicious animal to cause death
Allow vicious animal to cause injury
Own attack dog that bites w/injury
Disturb an assembly
Inciting a riot
Unlawful assembly
Participate in an unlawful assembly
Refusing to disperse when ordered
Disturbing the peace
Disturbing the peace with a fight
Disturbing the peace with loud noise
Brandishing a deadly weapon
Brandishing a firearm
Brandishing imitation firearm w/threat
Criminal Threat
Hate crime
Arson causing GBI
Arson of inhabited structure
Arson of a structure or forest land
Arson of property
Unlawfully cause a fire of property
Residential burglary
Commercial burglary
Residential burglary 1st degree
Possession of burglary tools
Forgery of identification
Possess forged driver's license
Alter entries in books and records
Possess or make counterfeit note
Check fraud under $950
Posses counterfeit note
Theft (Larceny)
Credit or debit card theft
Acquire illegal credit card
Unauthorized use of credit card
Counterfeit access cards
Grand theft auto (GTA)
Petty theft
Petty theft under $50
Receipt of stolen property
Remove fixtures from property
Attempt to extort
Identity theft
Theft of personal ID to defraud
Theft by false pretenses
Impersonating an officer
Use false badge to impersonate Officer
Insurance fraud
False claims (insurance fraud)
Participate in auto insurance fraud
False insurance claim for theft of vehicle
Health care fraud
illegal cable connection
Vandalism over $400
Vandalism under $400
Vandalism of cemetery or church
Kill or maim an animal
Animal Cruelty
Cockfighting (Alternate Charge)
Animal neglect
Sell dog under 8 weeks old
Leave an animal in a vehicle
Trespass with threat to cause bodily injury
Trespass to interfere with business
Trespass by occupying property
Trespass by refusing to leave property
Trespass by entering closed area
Trespass by refusal to leave building
Trespass by refusal to leave hotel
Trespass within fenced area
Eavesdrop or record confidential comm.
Lewd acts in public
Public intoxication
Distribute nude images (revenge porn)
Annoy or molest a child
Solicitation to commit a felony
Solicitation to commit murder
Harass by telephone
Repeated harassment by telephone
Loiter with intent to commit prostitution
Failure to Appear for Court
Violation of probation
Failure to appear for court
Possess weapon of mass destruction
Great bodily injury (GBI) enhancement
Money laundering
Possession of a dirk or dagger
Possession of a switch blade
Possession of metal knuckles
Possession of nunchaku
Possession of shuriken (throwing star)
Criminal storage of firearm 1st degree
Criminal storage of firearm 2nd degree
Criminal storage of firearm 1st degree
Carry concealed firearm in vehicle
Carrying a concealed firearm
Carrying a concealed firearm by felon
Carrying a loaded firearm
Possession of firearm by felon

VC 2800.1
VC 2800.2(a)
VC 2800.3(a)
VC 2800.4
VC 10801
VC 10851(a)
VC 12500(a)
VC 14601(a)
VC 14601.1(a)
VC 14601.2(a)
VC 20001(b)(1)
VC 20002(a)
VC 21453(a)
VC 21655.5
VC 21703
VC 22108
VC 22109
VC 22356
VC 23103(a)
VC 23104(a)
VC 23109(a)
VC 23109(b)
VC 23109(c)
VC 23123(a)
VC 23123.5(a)
VC 23140
VC 23152(a)
VC 23152(b)
VC 23152(d)
VC 23152(e)
VC 23152(f)
VC 23153(a)
VC 23153(b)
VC 23153(d)
VC 23153(e)
VC 23220
VC 23222(a)
VC 23578
VC 27315(d)(1)
VC 40508(a)


HS 11173(b)
HS 11350(a)
HS 11351
HS 11352(a)
HS 11366
HS 11366.6
HS 11366.8(a)
HS 11366.8(b)
HS 11368
HS 11370.1(a)
HS 11378
HS 11383.5(a)
HS 11530

BP 725(b)
BP 4060
BP 4140
BP 4324(a)
BP 6126(a)
BP 25658(e)(1)
BP 25662(a)
HN 655(a)
WI 10980(a)
WI 10980(b)
WI 10980(c)(1)
WI 10980(c)(2)