Drivers in California can have their license suspended or revoked for a number of different reasons. In many cases, a license revocation or suspension could be the result of a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI).
Any driver that continues to operate a vehicle after a license suspension related to a DUI could face additional criminal charges under California Vehicle Code Section 14601.2: Driving with Suspended License for DUI Conviction.
You can go over the facts about a VC 14601.2 charge right here. The Simmrin Law Group can help you review how this charge compares to other charges for driving on a suspended license. You can also consider the penalties for a conviction and potential legal defenses.
Legally Defining Driving on a Suspended License After A DUI Conviction
The court system in California can use VC 14601.2 charges to prosecute individuals who operate a motor vehicle with a suspended or revoked license if the suspension or revocation was the result of a conviction for:
- California Vehicle Code Section 23152: Driving Under the Influence
- California Vehicle Code Section 23153: DUI Causing Injury
Note that driver must be aware that their license was suspended or revoked for VC 14601.2 charges to apply. Generally, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will send drivers a “notice of a suspension.” Once this notice is mailed, the court system can treat drivers as aware of the suspension or revocation.
Restricted Licenses and VC 14601.2 Charges
You should also be aware that drivers could be prosecuted under VC 14601.2 if they are granted a restricted license after a DUI conviction and do not obey the terms of the restriction. For example, California sometimes allows drivers to continue operating a vehicle after a DUI if they install an ignition interlock device (IID).
A driver that agrees to install this device to maintain a restricted license and then fails to go through with the installation could be charged under VC 14601.2.
Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License for a DUI Conviction
Driving with a suspended license for a DUI conviction is considered a misdemeanor level offense in California’s court system. Drivers may face the following penalties if they are convicted under VC 14601.2:
1st VC 14601.2 Conviction
- Fines: Up to $1,000
- Jail Time: Up to Six Months
2nd VC 14601.2 Conviction
- Fines: Up to $2,000
- Jail Time: Up to One Year
You should be aware that a second VC 14601.2 offense must occur within five years of the first offense to be counted as a subsequent violation. Once five years have expired, another VC 14601.2 violation will be treated as a first-time conviction.
Other Charges for Operating a Vehicle on an Invalid License in California
VC 14601.2 is only one of the charges used to prosecute individuals who operate their vehicle without a valid license. The court system in California can also use the following charges to handle this action:
- California Vehicle Code Section 12500: Driving Without A License
- California Vehicle Code Section 14601: Driving On A Suspended Or Revoked License
Drivers who repeatedly operate their vehicle on an invalid license may even be deemed habitual traffic offenders in the court system. Once a driver is considered a habitual traffic offender, the courts can begin utilizing harsher charges to penalize all traffic offenses.
Defenses for Driving with a Suspended License for a DUI Conviction Charges
You may be able to deal with a VC 14601.2 accusation effectively by contacting a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles right away. The faster you get help on your side, the better your odds of beating VC 14601.2 charges. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to demonstrate that:
You Weren’t Operating a Motor Vehicle
You should only be convicted under VC 14601.2 if you were operating a vehicle. This means you should not be charged merely for sitting in a car. As long as the engine of the vehicle was not running, you could avoid driving with a suspended license for DUI conviction charges.
You Were Unaware Your License was Suspended or Revoked
VC 14601.2 charges should only apply if you knew your license had been suspended or revoked for a DUI conviction. If your lawyer can successfully show that the DMV did not mail you a notice of suspension or revocation, you could be able to resolve these charges in your favor.
Your License was not Suspended or Revoked for a DUI
The court only uses VC 14601.2 charges to deal with drivers who operate a vehicle after their license is suspended or revoked for a DUI. If your license was suspended or revoked for another reason, you might still face charges, but you should not be convicted under VC 14601.2.
Speak with a Lawyer About VC 14601.2 Charges Today
A criminal defense lawyer can help you deal with California Vehicle Code Section 14601.2: Driving with Suspended License for DUI Conviction accusations. Find out more about your legal options by contacting the Simmrin Law Group for a FREE consultation.
You can reach us easily by calling (310) 896-2723 or by filling out our online contact form.