Los Angeles Suspended License Lawyers
A suspended license is when the DMV has put a hold on your ability to drive and your California driver’s license is not valid to drive in any state. This is different from driving with no license or with an expired license.
Hart J. Levin is a suspended license attorney in Los Angeles and hit and run attorney. As a former district attorney, he has personally handled over 3,000 suspended license cases. He knows every possible defense, every tactic used by the prosecutor, and all the ways to beat these cases. Most of these cases can be dismissed if handled properly, saving you thousands of dollars in penalties and getting you back on the road right away.
How a Lawyer for Suspended License Cases Can Help
Fixing a suspended license can be much more complicated than you imagine. You may ask, “Do I really need an attorney for a suspended license?” As suspended license attorneys we handle both the DMV and the court case for you, and make sure there aren’t holds on your license that prevent you from getting back on the road legally. We will look at your driving history to identify which items are causing holds or a suspension and fix and or advise you on how to remove each hold, one by one, so that the path is cleared to begin driving.
Common Causes of License Suspension
In Los Angeles, there are many common causes of license suspension for drivers. The DMV can suspend your license for several reasons including:
- Failure to pay traffic tickets
- Failure to appear in court for traffic tickets
- Not paying child support
- Not driving with an ignition interlock device after a DUI
- Too many tickets or points on your driver’s license
- Having a medical condition (i.e. seizures) that makes driving unsafe, etc.
- Not having car insurance
- Road rage
California Suspended License Laws
The California Vehicle Code defines driving on a suspended license as:
(a) No person shall drive a motor vehicle when his or her driving privilege is suspended or revoked for any reason other than those listed in Section 14601, 14601.2, or 14601.5, 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 to the person pursuant to Section 13106. The presumption established by this subdivision is a presumption affecting the burden of proof.
(b) Any person convicted under this section shall be punished as follows:
(1) 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.
(2) If the offense occurred within five years of a prior offense which resulted in a conviction of a violation of this section or Section 14601, 14601.2, or 14601.5, by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than five days or more than one year and by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) or more than two thousand dollars ($2,000).
(c) Nothing in this section prohibits a person from driving a motor vehicle, which is owned or utilized by the person’s employer, during the course of employment on private property which is owned or utilized by the employer, except an off street parking facility as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 12500.
(d) When the prosecution agrees to a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to a charge of a violation of this section in satisfaction of, or as a substitute for, an original charge of a violation of Section 14601.2, and the court accepts that plea, except, in the interest of justice, when the court finds it would be inappropriate, the court shall, pursuant to Section 23575, require the person convicted, in addition to any other requirements, to install a certified ignition interlock device on any vehicle that the person owns or operates for a period not to exceed three years.
Driving without a license or with an expired license is not the same as driving on a suspended license. Many people ask us, why was I cited for driving on a suspended license when I never had a license to begin with? The answer is: The DMV and court can suspend your ability to drive even if you never had a license. In the case where the driver never got a driver’s license but gets a DUI, for example, the DMV will assign that driver a temporary license number, known as an “X number” strictly for the purpose of suspending their ability to drive. That X number suspension will follow the driver wherever they go and if they try to get a license, they will be unable to do so until the X number case is resolved and the hold is lifted.
I often hear, my license is already suspended so why am I worried about another suspended license ticket? The reality is that there can be several suspensions on your license at the same time and each one must be fixed separately in order to be cleared to get a valid license. Let’s say that you have a suspension for non-payment of tickets, and then get a DUI, you would have a suspension for both reasons. Fixing the DUI will not remove the suspension for the non payment of tickets. As experienced suspended license attorneys, we pull your entire DMV history and tell you exactly what needs to be done to fix each suspension or hold.
Driving without a valid license, VC 12500(a)
Although convictions for driving without a valid California license will not cause a point on your DMV record, they can cause you to have a criminal record and subject you to probation. If you are arrested or cited for driving without a valid California license, contact us immediately. In most cases, we can have these charges dismissed or reduced to a traffic infraction to avoid any convictions on your criminal background. If you’ve been caught while on probation, our Los Angeles probation violation lawyers can help.
Driving on a Suspended License Consequences
Whatever the reason your license may be suspended, if you are pulled over with a suspended license, the consequences can be quite severe. The consequences include jail time, huge fines, probation, community service, more points on your license, a much longer driver’s license suspension, a bench warrant for your arrest, probation violations and more. That is why it is critical to have an experienced Los Angeles suspended license attorney fix the matter and prevent severe punishment.
California Penalties for Driving on a Suspended License
Many people are not aware that in most cases, driving on a suspended license is not a “ticket.” It is a misdemeanor, meaning it will go on your background as a criminal offense. It is critical to prevent a conviction for driving on a suspended license as a conviction could impact your credit, background checks, ability to rent apartments and more.
When you have multiple citations for driving on a suspended license, a suspended license lawyer is critical because each suspended license offense is priorable, meaning the court will look at your past record to see if you have other instances of driving on a suspended license and will impose a much more harsh penalty, including mandatory jail time, if there are prior offenses.
Having Your Suspended License Reinstated
If you are facing a license suspension, your top priority is most likely having your suspended license reinstated. At the Law Offices of Hart J. Levin, we handle countless suspended license cases in court and with the DMV. Our experienced Los Angeles suspended license attorneys will help you:
- Remove your driver’s license suspension
- Reinstate your valid driver’s license
- Remove and reduce penalties including jail time and fines
- Explain all necessary steps you will need to have your license completely reinstated
Driving on a suspended license is a unique “crime” because many times the driver is not even aware that their license is suspended. The DMV may have an old mailing address and a ticket could have been missed that causes an automatic driver’s license suspension. Even without knowing of the suspension, if you are pulled over the officer will cite you for driving on a suspended license and will give you a court hearing date to handle the case. You will be charged with a criminal misdemeanor that carries the possibility of jail time.
As Los Angeles suspended license lawyers, we handle the entire process for you. We tackle the court case and find solutions to prevent criminal convictions on your record and pave the way for you to undo the suspension. You will not need to come to court in most cases and we will update you on the case status and what if anything is needed from you.
Driving on a Suspended License Defenses
Aside from removing any holds on your license, a good suspended license lawyer can demonstrate to the court and prosecutor that you had no knowledge of the suspension and were never properly warned of it – therefore you should not be held accountable. Many criminal defense attorneys are quick to give up on these cases instead of challenging the reasons why the suspension occurred. There are often errors on the part of the court and DMV which generate suspensions at no fault of your own. We identify and remove such errors and demonstrate that the fault is not your own, but rather on the overly complex DMV and Court suspension system which often fails to properly notify drivers of a suspension.
Contact Our Suspended License Lawyers in Los Angeles Today
Having your license suspended can have an enormous impact in your life. You won’t be able to drive to work, to drive your children to school, or even go to the market. And if you drive anyway and get caught, the consequences are severe. If you find yourself in this situation, give us a call and we will discuss your options free of charge. Fixing these cases, either by dismissal or reduction, is what we as experienced suspended license attorneys do. Utilize our extensive experience to get back on track and most importantly back on the road immediately.