The State of California has millions of licensed drivers who drive to and from work and school every day. The ability to drive a car in California is an absolute necessity for most people. However, if you are charged with driving without a license or driving on a suspended license, you could be facing a substantial fine, potential jail time, and the possibility of losing your driving privileges for a longer period of time. Here are some common offenses for driving on a suspended license:
- Vehicle Code section 14601.2 – This code applies to those people who have been ticketed driving after their license was suspended for a DUI conviction. This code generally includes the most serious punishment for driving on a suspended license because the driver has already gone through the court process and was informed by the judge not to drive on a suspended license. The punishment if you are convicted of Vehicle Code section 14601.2 includes ten days of mandatory jail time and probation. There are various ways to avoid serving time in jail if you are charged with this violation.
- Vehicle Code section 14601.3 – This code applies to the person who keeps committing multiple traffic offenses or has three or more convictions that are 2 DMV point driving offenses. For example, a DUI conviction puts two points on your license. This charge will usually appear when you are designated as a habitual traffic offender and continue to drive without a license.
- Vehicle Code section 14601.5 – This code applies to a person’s license being suspended for a specific reason like refusing to do a blood or breath test during a DUI investigation or driving under the age of 21.
Driving on a Suspended License – Vehicle Code section 14601
In order to be convicted of driving on a suspended license, you must have:
- Driven a car while your driving privileges were suspended; and
- When you drove a car, you knew that your driving privilege had been suspended.
People can have their license suspended for a variety of reasons: failure to pay for a ticket, failure to pay child support, physical or mental condition making it unsafe to drive, or a DUI conviction. There are many instances where the DMV will suspend someone’s license and the person may not know his or her license is suspended because the person did not receive the notification by mail. Each person must know that the law presumes that you knew that your license was suspended or revoked if the following occurred:
- The California DMV mailed a notice with the appropriate information to your most recent address on file with the DMV and that notice was not returned to the DMV as undeliverable or unclaimed;
- A law enforcement or peace officer personally served notice of the suspension or revocation and confiscated your license when you were arrested for a DUI or other driving offense; or
- A judge personally informed you in court.
Driving Offenses May Include High Fines
When an individual has their license suspended due to a secondary reason, the person will receive a number of court-related fees and fines. If the fines and fees are not paid right away, the fines can easily reach over a thousand dollars because of court collections. Most courts work with collection agencies that charge an extreme amount of interest on a person’s fines to motivate them to pay back the fines and to get their license back. Contact HHJ Trial Attorneys to help you get your case back on calendar and to ask the court to waive certain fees. HHJ can ask the court to pull any fines out of collections and to prevent any additional fees from piling up on the client’s case.
Hit and Run Trial Attorneys
With the extremely high number of cars on the road in Southern California, drivers are prone to being involved in an accident or a minor fender bender. A person can be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony hit and run charge if they hit another car or personal property of another and they leave the scene without leaving any contact information. There can be a variety of reasons why a person might initially leave the scene of an accident without intending to commit a hit and run. It will be up to the criminal defense attorney to be the client’s voice in the courtroom to defend his or her position.
Vehicle Code section 20002(a): The prosecutor must prove the following for a hit and run offense: 1) the defendant, while driving a motor vehicle, was involved in an accident resulting in damage to any property, including vehicles, other than his or her own 2) the defendant knew that the accident had occurred, or that he or she was involved in the accident 3) the defendant either knew that the accident resulted in damage to another’s property or knew that it was of such a nature that it was probable that it resulted in damage to another’s property, and 4) the defendant failed to stop immediately after the accident.
A person may be charged with a felony hit and run offense if there are injuries to the other party. A person’s injuries can vary from slight pain to severe injuries like broken bones and deep cuts to a person’s body. If there are severe injuries to a person’s body, such as broken bones, the prosecutor may add an allegation called “great bodily injury,” also known as GBI. This GBI allegation will make the felony hit and run offense a “strike” offense, which automatically makes the charge one of the most serious offenses a person can face. For any type of felony charge, the defendant will face a potential sentence in prison and a substantial fine. If a defendant is granted formal felony probation he or she will not have to serve any time in state prison, however, he or she could serve anywhere from 0 to 365 days in a local jail. You have to have a skilled and experienced trial attorney that can help you fight these accusations. The attorneys at Hepburn, Hernandez, and Jung Trial Attorneys have dealt with hundreds of hit and run charges and know how to fight against serious accusations of felony or misdemeanor hit and run.
If you have been involved in any sort of driving offense, contact Hepburn, Hernandez and Jung Trial Attorneys today for a free consultation and let us help you fight your case.