The state of California requires individuals to acquire and carry a driver’s license before they can legally operate a motor vehicle. Citizens of California may also need their driver’s license to board a plane, get into bars, and to otherwise identify themselves.
The important role of a driver’s license means that individuals who misuse or alter a license can face criminal charges. The state uses California Vehicle Code Section 14610(a): Unlawful Use or Alteration of a License to prosecute these acts.
You can find out more about the exact uses of VC 14610(a) right here with the Simmrin Law Group. Consider legal defenses to VC 14610(a) charges and go over the penalties for an unlawful use or alteration or a license conviction with this article.
Unlawful Use or Alteration of a License: Definition
Drivers in the state of California may face VC 14610(a) charges for a number of reasons. Legally, individuals are not allowed to:
- Keep or Display a License That Was Suspended, Canceled, or Revoked
- Duplicate or Change a Driver’s License
- Lend the License or Allow Someone to Use It Unlawfully
- Refuse to Give Up a License After a Lawful Suspension
Note that drivers can face VC 14610 charges for misusing even a temporary permit.
Unlawful Use or Alteration of a License: Similar Charges
The state of California uses a number of different legal codes to prosecute individuals who misuse either driver’s licenses or identification cards. Depending upon the specific situation, any of the following charges could be brought against a driver in Los Angeles:
- California Vehicle Code Section 12500: Driving Without A License
- California Vehicle Code Section 12951: Failing to Present a Driver’s License
- California Vehicle Code Section 13004: Unlawful Use of Identification Cards
- California Vehicle Code Section 13004.1: Manufacturing or Selling Counterfeit Identification Cards
- California Vehicle Code Section 14601: Driving On A Suspended Or Revoked License
A traffic violations lawyer in Los Angeles can go over the specifics for all of these charges. Generally, these charges – including driving on a suspended license – can lead to fines and jail time throughout the state of California.
Unlawful Use or Alteration of a License: Penalties for a Conviction
Any driver who misuses or alters a license in California can face misdemeanor charges under VC 14610(a). A conviction for VC 14610(a) violations can lead to the following penalties:
- Fines of Up to $1,000
- Jail Time of Up to Six Months
These penalties can apply for any violation of VC 14610(a), including merely lending a driver’s license to someone else. In some cases, the court system may sentence an individual to probation, instead of a period of jail time.
Unlawful Use or Alteration of a License: Possible Legal Defenses
You do not have to attempt to beat a VC 14610(a) charge on your own. You can get professional help on your side by reaching out to a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles right now. The legal team at the Simmrin Law Group can go over your case and we may be able to build your defense by showing:
You Didn’t Intentionally Lend Your License to Someone
You can face VC 14610(a) charges for purposefully allowing someone else to use your license in an unlawful manner. However, if someone else took your license without your knowledge or permission, you should not face charges under VC 14610(a).
You Didn’t Know That Your License was Suspended or Revoked
The court system can prosecute individuals for knowingly possessing a revoked, suspended, or otherwise invalid license. That said, VC 14610(a) charges shouldn’t apply if you were unaware that your license was invalid because you had not been informed by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). However, it can be difficult to prove that you were unaware of this suspension without professional help.
You Weren’t in Possession of an Invalid License
You may be able to avoid a VC 14610(a) conviction if your license was suspended or revoked but you did not have it in your possession. You must have immediate access to an invalid license in order to be convicted under VC 14610(a).
Speak with a Legal Professional About VC 14610(a) Charges
California Vehicle Code Section 14610(a): Unlawful Use or Alteration of a License charges can lead to fines and jail time. Take steps to protect yourself from VC 14610(a) accusations by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. You can reach our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles by completing our online contact form or calling (310) 997-4688.
Build a defense today, starting with a FREE consultation.