Thursday, November 12, 2015

Driving on a suspended license 14601 Law & Defense

California Vehicle Code 14601(a), 14601.1(a), & 14601.2
The laws on the crimes of driving while license is suspended are found at California Vehicle Code sections 14601-14601.5.
By far the two most common driving with a suspended license crimes are found at VC 14601.1(a), and VC 14601.2(a), which is driving on a suspended license while that license is suspended due to a DUI conviction.
Because VC 14601.1 and 14601.2 are the most common driving on a suspended license crimes charged in California this article is dedicated to the law and defense on those two criminal vehicles code charges.
For more information on other driving with a suspended license criminal charges contact one of our qualified criminal defense attorneys today for a free consultation. 909.913.3138.
Vehicle Code 14601.1(a) driving while license suspended:  
VC 14601(a) & 14601.1(a) are virtually the same criminal charge. It is charged where the district attorney can prove that the defendant drove a motor vehicle while his or her driving privilege was suspended or revoked, and, when the defendant drove a vehicle he or she knew that their driving privilege was suspended or revoked.
It must be proved by the prosecutor that the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) mailed a notice to the defendant informing him or her that his or her driving privilege was suspended or revoked and that notice was not returned to the DMV for wrong address.
If the defendant can show that he or she changed his or her address but that the notice was sent to the defendant's prior address that may serve as a defense to a VC 14601(a) or 14601.1(a) charge.
If the district attorney can prove that the DMV sent a notice to the defendant informing the defendant that his or her driving privilege had been suspended or revoked then the jury may presume that the defendant had notice of his suspension or revocation; however, the jury does not have to follow this presumption.
Note: a motor vehicle for purposes of VC 14601(a) and 14601.1(a) criminal charges may include a car, truck, commercial vehicle, motor cycle, scooter, bus, tractor, or motor home. 
Punishment for driving on a suspended license:
Driving on a suspended license charged as VC 14601(a) or 14601.1(a) is classified as a misdemeanor. If found guilty of driving on a suspended license the defendant may face up to 180 days in jail. For defendant's who have previously suffered a conviction for driving on a suspended license he or she may face up to one year in the county jail.
Actual jail time is rare, even for repeat offenders of VC 14601(a) or 14601.1(a) convictions; however, for convictions of driving while license is suspended, whether by plea agreement or by jury, it is very common to be sentenced to work release or electronic monitoring. This is in addition to fines and harsh probation terms that the defendant may suffer for any VC 14601 conviction.
In addition to any work release/electronic monitoring and fines that the defendant may suffer if convicted of driving with a suspended license under VC 14601(a) or VC 14601.1(a) the defendant may also suffer U.S. immigration consequences (for immigrants), loss or revocation of professional license, increased insurance rates, probation terms, and increase in punishment for future violations.
Common defenses to a criminal charge of driving while license is suspended under VC 14601(a) or 14601.1(a) include insufficiency of the evidence to prove the defendant knew he or she was driving with knowledge that his or her license was suspended or revoked, insufficient evidence to prove the defendant was actually driving a vehicle, necessity, statue of limitations, jury nullification, or jurisdiction defenses.
Most driving with a suspended or revoked license charges are negotiated to a lesser included offense or negotiated to reduce the punishment that is usually associated with VC 14601(a) or 14601.1(a).
In most cases VC 14601(a) and 14601.1(a) cases a criminal defense attorney familiar with traffic court and misdemeanor crimes can handle the criminal case without the defendant needing to appear in court with the attorney. 
Punishment for VC 14601.2 driving on a suspended license with a prior conviction for DUI:
Driving on a suspended license, when that license was suspended due to a DUI conviction, will generally lead to a criminal charge of VC 14601.2(a) or 14601.2(b). 
Usually, it does not matter why the defendant's driving privilege is suspended or revoked and when a defendant is caught driving on a suspended or revoked license he or she is charged with a violation of California vehicle code section 14601(a) or 14601.1(a) (See above); however, when the license is suspended or revoked because the driver was convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) the criminal charge is filed as a violation of VC 14601.2(a) or 14601.2(b).
To prove that the defendant is guilty of driving while license is suspended due to a prior DUI conviction the prosecutor will have to prove everything listed in the section underpunishments for VC 14601(a) or 14601.1(a) plus prove that the defendant suffered the DUI conviction within the last ten (10) years. 
If found guilty of driving while license is suspended under VC 14601.2(a) or VC 14601.2(b) the defendant may face up to one year in the county jail. VC 14601.2 is also classified as a misdemeanor but the penalties are generally harsher than the penalties associated with a driving with a suspended license but without a prior DUI conviction.
The same defenses, same plea negotiations, and same consequences apply to both VC 14601.1 and VC 14601.2 criminal charges, with the exception that VC 14601.2 charges (w/DUI conviction) generally carry harsher penalties because the offers from the prosecutors are generally less attractive at the outset.
If you or a loved one has been cited or charged with driving while your license is suspended or revoked contact criminal defense attorney Christopher Dorado today for free consultation. Attorney Dorado has successfully negotiated all VC 14601(a), 14601.1(a), 14601.2(a), and 14601.2(b) criminal charges, including dismissal of these traffic offenses.
There is no charge to speak with one our qualified criminal defense attorneys and our criminal defense lawyers dedicate 100% of their practice to criminal defense.
Call today!! 909.913.3138

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