There are several legal codes that deal with driving on a suspended or revoked license in the state of California. Some charges are very generalized while others, including California Vehicle Code Section 14601.5: Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License Caused by Refusal or Specified Blood Alcohol Level, deal with specific situations.
The Simmrin Law Group can help you understand the unique applications of a VC 14601.5 charge. Get the information you need about the definition of this charge, the results of a conviction, and options for legal defenses.
Review the Legal Definition of VC 14601.5
Drivers in the state of California can be prosecuted under VC 14601.5 if they operate a motor vehicle after their license is suspended or revoked for a violation of:
- California Vehicle Code Section 13353
- California Vehicle Code Section 13353.1
- California Vehicle Code Section 13353.2
Drivers must be aware that their license was suspended or revoked to be convicted of a VC 14601.5 violation. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can send out a written notice of suspension to inform drivers. Once this notice is sent, the court system generally treats drivers as aware of their suspension or revocation.
Understanding California Vehicle Code Sections 13353, 13353.1, and 13353.2
Let’s go over VC 13353, 13353.1, and 13353.2, since these charges are directly tied to a VC 14601.5 conviction. You can review these charges one at a time right here:
California Vehicle Code Section 13353
Drivers may be convicted under VC 13353 if they refuse to submit to or complete a chemical test requested by a police officer. The police officer must have reasonable cause to suspect that the driver is operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol to request the tests.
California Vehicle Code Section 13353.1
VC 13353.1 charges allow the court system to prosecute drivers who refuse or fail to complete alcohol screening tests requested by a police officer. These tests can only legally be requested by a police officer that reasonably believes the driver to be driving under the influence.
California Vehicle Code Section 13353.2
The court system can use VC 13353.2 to immediately suspend the license of a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) that exceeds the legal limits set by the state. Note that any of these charges may also lead to driving under the influence (DUI) charges.
Results of a VC 14601.5 Conviction in California
The court system views driving on a suspended or revoked license caused by refusal or specified blood alcohol content as a misdemeanor. A first-time conviction for a VC 14601.5 violation may lead to the following penalties:
- Fines: Up to $1,000
- Jail Time: Up to Six Months
Drivers who are convicted under VC 14601.5 again within five years of their first conviction may face:
- Fines: Up to $2,000
- Jail Time: Up to One Year
After the five-year period has passed, the initial VC 14601.5 charge will no longer count against subsequent charges. Note that, in some situations, the court system may decide to sentence a driver to probation instead of a jail sentence.
Legal Defenses for VC 14601.5 Charges
You may have legal options if you are accused of driving on a suspended or revoked license caused by refusal or specified blood alcohol content. A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can go over the facts surrounding your case. Based on your specific situation, your lawyer could argue:
You Didn’t Know Your License was Suspended or Revoked
You should only be convicted under VC 14601.5 if you were unaware that your license was revoked or suspended. A lawyer may be able to show that you never received notification about the suspension or revocation of your license to help you deal with these accusations.
You Did Not Operate Your Motor Vehicle
The court system should only charge you under VC 14601.5 if you were operating your motor vehicle. Individuals in the state of California are allowed to sit in their motor vehicles without facing a charge for driving on a suspended or revoked license caused by refusal or specified blood alcohol content.
Build a Defense for VC 14601.5 Charges with a Legal Professional
You can get help facing California Vehicle Code Section 14601.5: Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License Caused by Refusal or Specified Blood Alcohol Level charges. Let the Simmrin Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles start working on your case now with a FREE case evaluation.
Begin working on your defense today by calling (310) 997-4688 or filling out our online contact form.