Certain traffic violations can lead to the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license in California. Drivers who continue to operate a vehicle after losing their license and commit additional traffic violations can face charges under California Vehicle Code Section 14601.3: Habitual Traffic Offender.
The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group can help you understand this criminal charge. Go over the penalties for a VC 14601.3 conviction and possible defenses today.
The Definition of VC 14601.3 Violations
Drivers may be designated as habitual traffic offenders if they have their license suspended or revoked and then accrue – within a 12-month period – any of the following:
- 2 Additional Convictions for 2-Point Offenses
- 3 Additional Convictions for 1-Point Offenses
- 3 Accidents That Must be Reported
Individuals may also be considered habitual traffic offenders for a combination of convictions and accidents that result in at least 3 points being added to their suspended or revoked license.
Drivers must be aware that their license was suspended or revoked to be designated a habitual traffic offender.
The point system used in California ranks traffic violations based on their severity. 1-point violations are generally considered less severe. There are many different violations that can add 1 point to your license. Examples can include:
- Ignoring Traffic Signals
- Passing Illegally
- Making Illegal U-Turns
2-point violations are generally more severe, and may include:
Ways California Drivers Can Lose Their License
Drivers should only be considered habitual traffic offenders if they violate traffic laws after first having their license suspended or revoked. Individuals may have their license revoked or suspended if they accrue a set number of points from traffic violations.
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can suspend a driver’s license if the driver gets:
- 4 Points Within 12 Months
- 6 Points Within 24 Months
- 8 Points Within 36 Months
The DMV can also suspend your driver’s license if you are facing charges for driving under the influence (DUI). Drivers charged with a DUI must set up a hearing with the DMV. Failure to attend this hearing can result in an automatic license suspension for charges like:
- California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a): Driving Under The Influence Of Alcohol
- California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b): Driving With A Blood Alcohol Content Of 0.08 Percent Or Higher
- California Vehicle Code Section 23153: DUI Causing Injury
- California Vehicle Code Section 23140: Under 21 DUI With Blood Alcohol Content Between 0.05-0.07 Percent
A DUI lawyer in Los Angeles can provide drivers facing DUI charges with the help they need to handle a DMV hearing as well as any criminal proceedings.
Penalties for VC 14601.3 Violations
Drivers who are labeled as habitual traffic offenders will receive harsher penalties for any traffic violation convictions. This means that additional penalties will be added onto the sentence for the traffic violation.
The first violation for a habitual traffic offender will result in an additional:
- 30 Day Jail Sentence
- $1,000 Fine
Habitual traffic offenders who accrue additional traffic violation charges will face a:
- 180 Day Jail Sentence
Drivers can get help handling these harsh penalties by contacting a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles right now.
Defenses for Habitual Traffic Offender Charges
It can be difficult to effectively avoid being labeled a habitual traffic offender. However, a criminal defense lawyer may be able to build a defense by arguing:
You Were Not Notified that Your License was Suspended or Revoked
A driver must be aware that their license is revoked or suspended and drive anyway before they may be labeled a habitual traffic offender. This means that, if you were unaware that your license was invalid, you may be able to avoid these charges.
You Were Forced to Drive by Necessity
Sometimes, drivers work hard to avoid driving on an invalid license and simply cannot avoid getting behind the wheel. If there is an emergency situation that forces you to drive, you may be able to avoid VC 14601.3 charges.
You Were Falsely Pulled Over
Police officers are only supposed to pull drivers over if they have reason to believe the driver is breaking a law, or if they saw a law being broken. If a police officer pulled you over without due cause, your case might be dismissed.
Get Professional Help Handling VC 14601.3 Charges
Charges under California Vehicle Code Section 14601.3: Habitual Traffic Offender can impact drivers for the rest of their lives. Let the Simmrin Law Group build you a professional defense against VC 14601.3 charges. Contact us today for a FREE case evaluation.
Take charge of your future by filling out our online contact form or calling (310) 896-2723.