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Drivers' License Suspension: A Thumbnail View

Although there is only one way to obtain a California drivers' license, there are a number of ways to lose it. The most common suspension tool is the NOTS system. Generally speaking, if you have too many points on your license within a certain amount of time, your drivers' license may be suspended.

A NOTS suspension not supposed to be a surprise: the state usually generates warning letters long before the suspension hearing. But, there are some other drivers' licenses suspensions that can occur suddenly and with little or no warning at all.

If you are caught driving with a suspended license, that can lead to a longer suspension. In some instances, it can also lead to jail time. Driving without insurance can also instantly trigger license suspension. The law calls for a four-year suspension, but you may be able to have your driving privileges reinstated after one year if you provide proof of insurance and agree to three years' driving probation.

There are also some specific violations that trigger license suspension, such as failure to report an accident, reckless driving, abandoning your vehicle on the highway and being at-fault in a fatal accident.

Some licenses are suspended for medical reasons. You may have a loss of consciousness while driving, or perhaps you are a senior citizen whose physical skills may have allegedly diminished. If you are found guilty of vandalism, your license may be suspended for a year; if you are not old enough to drive, you may not apply for a license for an extra year. There are also administrative suspensions, most commonly failure to appear in court and failure to pay child support.

All of these suspensions have one thing in common: there must be notice and hearing. An attorney practicing in Bakersfield can give you a much better chance of keeping your license at such a hearing, or at least reducing the penalty involved.