Driving With a Suspended or Revoked License


Most people don’t look at traffic violations as seriously as they do most other criminal acts. In reality, it’s because traffic violations don’t often involve any illegal act against another person or their property. It is important to note, however, that in California, some violations of the vehicle code can be treated just as seriously as other seemingly more egregious violations. Driving with a suspended or revoked license is definitely fits the bill.

The Legalities

The charge of Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License sounds as if it would be a pretty open and shut case; literally, the name of the crime basically describes exactly what it is. Important to note, however, is that convicting a person of this crime isn’t as easy as just proving that they were driving while their license was suspended. As with most criminal cases against an individual, there are a few things that a prosecutor must prove to win a conviction.

In the case of driving on a revoked license, the prosecutor must show that an illegal action actually happened and that the person who engaged in that illegal action knew what they were doing. This means that it must be proven that a person was purposefully and knowingly driving with a suspended license. Courts are often able to accomplish this by simply showing that a notice of suspension was mailed and then not returned as undeliverable.

Bail Amounts

California sets forth all potential penalties for certain crimes, but the state allows each individual county to set the bail amounts in its own bail schedule. This means that, depending on where a person was caught driving on a suspended license, they may end up with far different bail to pay. It’s always a good idea to choose a bail agent in close proximity to the jail in which you are being held, as they will know all the local variances.

In Los Angeles County, for instance, this charge may require a bail of $1,000. In Shasta County, on the other hand, bail will likely be set at only $500. It should also be noted, though, that each county can have varying bail amounts for the same crime. Going back to Los Angeles County, for instance, a person with a prior conviction for driving on a suspended license can face a $2,500 bail amount. If their license was suspended for DUI and they have a prior conviction of driving on a suspended license, however, this amount can jump all the way to $10,000.

Penalties and Consequences

As is the case with bail amounts, penalties can also differ considerably when it comes to driving with a suspended license. In most cases, a person can face a maximum fine of $1,000 and six months in jail for their first offense. The minimum jail sentences will vary in these situations; for instance, if a person lost their license due to DUI they will face a minimum sentence of 10 days.

For most other reasons leading to license suspension, a person will face no minimum jail time. It should be remembered, though, that a person who has already been convicted of driving on a suspended license will face harsher consequences.

Driving with a suspended license is never a good idea, and in most cases, having one in the first place can show a proclivity toward breaking other traffic laws. This can bode badly for the person charged, but luckily, an individual has just as much right to legally defend themselves in these situations as they do in others. Therefore, it’s essential for a person get out of jail as soon as possible, and to begin working on their legal defense. 

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