Articles Posted in Driving on a Suspended License

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After a night at the bar with your friend, your friend realizes he is too intoxicated to drive you home. Your driver’s license has been revoked, but you think “what’s the harm?” and decide to drive his car home.

On the way, you swerve off the road and hit a guardrail. Your friend dies as a result from his injuries. What happens next for you? Here is a look at the potential charges you could face for driving with a revoked license or while your license is suspended and causing a fatal accident.

Driving With a Suspended or Revoked License (California Vehicle Code Section 14601)

There are various reasons why your license could be suspended or revoked by the DMV, including:

  • Driving on Suspended LicenseDUI arrest or conviction
  • Outstanding warrant
  • Too many “points” on license due to traffic violations
  • Medical issues
  • No car insurance
  • Failure to pay child support
  • Vandalism
  • Possession of a controlled substance
  • Failure to file a report with the DMV after an accident
  • Failure to pay a civil judgment related to an automobile accident

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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.

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Deportation for Drunk Driving? You Need an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

A new court decision may allow persons convicted of drunk driving in California to be deported. On March 4, 2009, the United States Appeals Court for the Ninth Circuit decided the case of Marmolejo-Campos v. Holder. In the decision, the court said that if you are an immigrant and you commit a crime of moral turpitude, you could be deported.

Court Says You Can Be Deported for DUI

Campos was a Mexican national who was convicted of driving under the influence for the second time. He plead guilty, and he admitted that he was driving with knowledge that his license was suspended or revoked. The Board of Immigration Appeals had ruled Campos could be deported for driving under the influence with a suspended driver’s license.

They found the combination of driving under the influence and a suspended license constituted “moral turpitude,” meaning that he could be deported for his criminal actions. However, Campos appealed the decision to the United States Appeals Court. The appellate court declined to change the original ruling. Due to his guilty plea to a misdemeanor offense, Campos could be deported from the country.

This decision means not only that you could be deported for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol while your license is suspended or revoked, but also that you could be deported from the country if you commit any crime of moral turpitude.

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About Wallin & Klarich


Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.