DRIVING ON A SUSPENDED LICENSE (OR DRIVING PRIVILEGE)
Driving on a suspended license and driving on a revoked license are basically the same offense. For some reason, DMV has taken action against a person‘s ability to legally drive in the state of California. The reasons can include a DUI arrest, a DUI conviction, failure to pay tickets or satisfy a legal judgment, failure to pay child support, and accruing too many points against the driving record due to traffic violations.
A person can be guilty of driving on a suspended license even if that person never had a license in the first place. Driving without a license is a separate offense. Even if a person never had a license, it is considered driving on a suspended license if the person‘s privilege to drive was suspended for some reason in addition to simply not having a valid license.
In order for a person to be guilty of driving on a suspended license, there has to be proof that the driver had knowledge of the suspension. This is typically done in either of two ways: 1. There is proof that the driver was personally given notice by a court or DMV that their driving privilege was suspended, or 2. There is proof that DMV served written notice of the suspension on the driver, typically by certified mail to the driver‘s address of record, and that the mail was not returned unclaimed.
DMV often fails to notify drivers of suspensions, and often fails to maintain proof of such notice. We always check the records in these cases to determine whether proper notice is present.
Driving on a suspended or revoked license is often treated as a serious offense in most jurisdictions, albeit still a misdemeanor. They can often carry jail time, as most judges and prosecutors view these offenses as a deliberate flouting of the law and rules of society. Some suspended license offenses carry mandatory minimum jail sentences. This depends on the specific suspended license offense committed, which is determined by the reason for which the license was suspended (see below). The penalties are also increased by the presence of prior suspended license convictions, and often carry mandatory minimum jail sentences in such cases.
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