Protect Your Driving Privileges Fight Your Ticket With Bigger & Harman Today

undefinedThe first thing you must know about driving with a suspended license is that it is a misdemeanor crime. 

Some drivers might not know that all traffic offenses are not created equal. When a driver starts explaining how they came to be driving with a suspended license, they will likely incriminate themselves. 

Most law enforcement officers these days are wearing body cams, and as you know, “anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” Drivers need to get in the habit of exercising their “right to remain silent.”

Typically, nothing you say on the side of the road will get you out of a traffic violation—particularly a misdemeanor offense.

Just sign the ticket and call a CA traffic attorney with trial experience immediately. Some think they can’t afford an attorney—the truth is you cannot afford not to hire an attorney.

If they impound your vehicle and take you in, you probably have outstanding warrants. Once again, say nothing without an attorney present, and do not accept any deals offered by the DA or other officers of the court.

If you are convicted, you must pay the impound fee and 30-day storage, which can add up to $1,500 or more. 

What the CA Traffic Code Says About Driving with a Suspended License

CA Vehicle Code (VC) Section 14601.1(a)Violation of License Provisions, warns drivers:

“No person shall drive a motor vehicle when his or her driving privilege is suspended or revoked for any reason…if the person so driving has knowledge of the suspension or revocation. Knowledge shall be conclusively presumed if mailed notice has been given by the department…”

Although the traffic code requires jail time or probation if convicted of a misdemeanor, county jail time can be avoided if your attorney can get the judge or DA to downgrade the offense to an infraction.

“A misdemeanor is a type of offense punishable under criminal law. A misdemeanor is typically a crime punishable by less than 12 months in jail.”Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute (LII).

However, many CA judges consider driving with a suspended license a wobbler or wobblette. A wobbler is a felony that could be downgraded to a misdemeanor, and a wobblette is a misdemeanor that could be downgraded to an infraction if the judge and attorney agree. 

Generally, the court has wide discretion when they believe there was no intent of wrongdoing. For instance, when a driver’s license was recently suspended, or the driver forgot to change their address with the DMV and did not receive the notice of suspension. 

The traffic code requires punishment for the misdemeanor as follows:

Upon a first conviction, by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six months or by a fine of not less than three hundred dollars ($300) or more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.”

However, the fine state here is the “base fine” established when the code was written in 1959. Since then, the CA Assembly has added ten surcharges, penalties, and assessments, and the Governor has approved, bringing the total fine to four or five times the base fine. Plus, the DMV would assess two negligent operator treatment system (NOTS) points for seven years.

Although probation could be granted, if convicted of a misdemeanor, you would still have a criminal record. An infraction would carry a fine of about $238 and one NOTS point for three years. Therefore, a downgrade to an infraction could save you thousands of dollars and your good name.   

Consult a CA traffic attorney with trial experience in Ridgecrest, CA. 

Contact Bigger & Harman About Driving with a Suspended License in Ridgecrest, CA

When you’re facing a misdemeanor charge of driving with a suspended license in Ridgecrest Courthouse in Kern County, CA, contact the Bakersfield Traffic Defense Team of Bigger & Harman, APC. Give us a call at (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

We have extensive experience in traffic and Superior Court cases where the defendant was charged with a misdemeanor. Therefore, we know how to negotiate with the DA and the judge from a position of strength due to our reputation of success in Kern County. 

Use the contact form to schedule a consultation, or email us at


CA VC Section 14601.1(a)Violation of License Provisions.

Cornell Law School LII WEX Definitions: Misdemeanor & Wobbler/wobblette.

The CA Driver Handbook English y Español.

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