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The Consequences of Driving with a Suspended License

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What are the consequences of driving with a suspended license? Most drivers are shocked to learn that it is not just an infraction but a misdemeanor crime. You just needed to run out to 7-Eleven to get some bread and milk when you see the flashing lights and hear the siren. The first thing that runs through your mind is, “Will I go to jail?”

Driving with a Suspended License Is a Misdemeanor Crime

The law enforcement officer (LEO) writes you a ticket with the “M” circled and tells you that you will be notified by mail about what date you will need to appear in court. Although California law has tightened up on the counties’ and municipalities’ ability to sell your car because of fines and impound fees, the LEO can still impound your vehicle for driving with a suspended license and other misdemeanor crimes.

CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 14601Violation of License Provisions allows that a person convicted of driving with a suspended license can be jailed from five to one-hundred and eighty days for the first offense and pay a base fine of between $300 and $1,000.

A second conviction of driving on a suspended license will result in ten days to two years in jail and a base fine of $500 to $2,000. Even when you are able to obtain a plea bargain for probation, the judge will order you to serve a minimum of ten days in jail and install an ignition locking device for three years. 

State & County Fees, Surcharges, and Assessments

The base fine typically increases three to five times when the ten state and county fees, surcharges, and penalties get added. There is a state assessment of 100% of the base fine, a county assessment that is 70% of the base fine, DNA ID surcharge of $4.00 for each $10.00 of the base fine, and seven others. Therefore, your actual fine could be as much as $4,080. 

Further, you will need to add the expense of towing and storing your vehicle for a minimum of thirty days, which could add another $1,000 or more.    

However, these fines and penalties will seem cheap compared to the amount your auto insurance premiums will go up after your insurance company puts you in an increased risk category because of your conviction.

Exercise Your “Right to Remain Silent” and Call Bigger & Harman

Driving with a suspended license, as stated, is a misdemeanor crime. Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, before you make any statement. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755. 

We regularly handle criminal traffic cases in Bakersfield, Lamont, Shafter, Delano, Ridgecrest, Mojave and Kern County Superior Courts. When you face a criminal traffic charge, hiring a criminal attorney is not enough. You need a traffic attorney who has criminal law experience. We practice traffic law daily, and know what elements of criminal law the state must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt.”   

Send us an email, attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com.  

References:

CVC 14601Violation of License Provisions