March 16, 2010 By Wallin & Klarich

It is a crime to be driving on a suspended driver’s license in California. The consequences for driving on a suspended license can be severe. If you are facing a charge of driving on a suspended license, it is important that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Under California Vehicle Code 14601, it is a misdemeanor to drive a vehicle with the knowledge that your license has been either suspended or revoked. A person’s privilege to drive in the state of California can be suspended or revoked for a number of reasons, such as a DUI arrest, lack of car insurance, or an arrest for an outstanding warrant.

In order to be convicted of driving on a suspended license, the prosecution must prove that the defendant drove a motor vehicle while his/her driving privilege was suspended or revoked, and he/she knew that his/her driving privilege was suspended or revoked. The prosecution can prove that the defendant knew that his/her driving privilege was suspended or revoked by showing that the Department of Motor Vehicles mailed a notice to the defendant notifying him/her that their driving privilege had been suspended or revoked; the notice was sent to the most recent address reported to the department and the notice was not returned to the department as undeliverable or unclaimed.

There are many defenses to driving on a suspended license. One defense is that the defendant was not aware that their license was suspended or revoked. There is a presumption that a defendant is aware of the suspension if he/she received a notice in the mail from DMV; therefore, if DMV never mailed out a notice or there was an error in the processing of the suspension, then the defendant did not receive notice. In addition, another obvious defense is that the defendant was not the person operating the motor vehicle. With the help of an experienced California driving on a suspended license defense attorney, these defenses may get your charges dismissed.

A conviction for driving on a suspended or revoked license can be imprisonment for up to one year in county jail, or a fine of up to $2,000, or by both fine and imprisonment. Driving on a suspended license is a serious charge. It is important that you talk to an attorney to help you defend your case.

For more information, go to and read our Driving on a Suspended License section. You will find invaluable information on the charges that you or a loved one may be facing, as well as the possible defenses.

The consequences of being convicted of driving on a suspended license could involve a lengthy jail sentence especially if you have prior convictions of the same offense. With so much at stake it is essential that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney before taking any action on your case. Wallin & Klarich has over 30 years of experience defending the rights of our clients. Call us at (888) 280-6839 to learn more about your legal rights. We will be there when you call.

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