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Driving in Shafter with a Suspended License

Pulled Over for Speeding in Shafter California

So, you were pulled over for speeding in Shafter California, but when the Law enforcement (LE) officer runs your license, he places you under arrest for driving with a suspended license. Many speeding tickets are given to drivers on SR 43 and on occasion, an LE officer pulls over a driver with a suspended license. When you tell the police officer you had no idea your license was suspended, he tells you it happens more frequently now that the state started enforcing license suspensions for “deadbeat dads and moms”, in other words people that did not pay their court-ordered child support.

You immediately start shaking your head in disbelief because you told your ex-spouse you would be late paying last month and this and you may need to go back to court because of the reduction in your hours at work. Now you remember that your spouse wasn’t too sympathetic and actually hung up on you. So, that’s what this is all about! Now you not only have less money in your paycheck because of the reduced hours, but you must go back to court about the child support, and you are looking at some real trouble with this charge of driving with a suspended license. You start thinking you better call Mark at Bigger & Harman now and worry about the rest of it later.

Driving with a Suspended License in California

Driving in California when your license has already been suspended is illegal. This is a very serious offense with incredibly stiff penalties. The Vehicle Code prohibits operating any vehicle without a valid license. Although the penalties involved depend on the circumstances surrounding why you had your license suspended in the first place, it could get very expensive and you could spend at least five days and up to six months in prison. I-5 is considered a major route and is heavily patrolled. The bottom line is if you drive with a suspended license you will eventually be caught. You remember hearing that news flash on the radio driving to work the other day, but really didn’t worry about it because you knew you did not have a suspended license.

The only exception is if you were unaware your license had been either suspended or revoked. But, how will the state go about proving you should have known you were driving on a suspended license? There are three elements:

1. They will show proof the DMV mailed the notice of suspended license;

2. They will show that it was sent to the address reported by you to the DMV; and

3. They will claim the notice was not returned.

Each of these things must have happened for the court to believe that you should have known your license was suspended. However, there could be circumstances where you could not have known even when these three all happened. You may have been out of town on business or vacation and can prove it, you could have been driving on a restricted license, or there were some other mitigating circumstances that your lawyer can prove to negate what the prosecution contends is proof you knew.

Fines and Punishment

California has strict regulations regarding driving infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. Depending on your offense you can have points added to your record, your California driver’s license can be revoked or suspended and you can be arrested and placed in jail. Your insurance rates will go up and the judge can suspend your license no matter how many points you have. Driving with a suspended license is one of the more serious violations and if convicted you will lose your driving privileges. If you have multiple offenses, you can face a minimum of ten days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

When you are faced with a ticket for suspended license in Shafter, Kern County, or many other SoCal counties, such as Kings, LA, Riverside, Tulare, Inyo, or San Luis Obispo (SLO) counties in California, contact Bigger & Harman for advice. Give Mark or Paul a call and explain your circumstances, 661-349-9300. Or, send them an email today, attorney@markbigger.com.

En español, llame al 661-349-9755.