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Driving With a Suspended License

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All drivers need to have a valid license in order to drive. If you are pulled over and do not have a license, you will face penalties. However, driving with a suspended license will lead to more severe punishments. Understanding everything related to this type of case will help you to know what to do in your unique circumstances.

Reasons for Suspension 

In California, there are several reasons why your license may be suspended. One common occurrence is if you have been driving under the influence of alcohol. If you receive a DUI, you could face six months without a license. A license can also be suspended if you are in an accident and have no insurance or if you do not report an accident that has occurred. Suspensions are also offered if you fail to appear in court for a traffic violation, failure to pay child support, if you vandalize someone else’s property, or if you have too many points on your license. Your license can be suspended for short periods or years at a time.

Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License 

To be charged, you need to be knowingly driving with a suspended or revoked license. Doing so will result in a misdemeanor charge in California. You can face jail time, fines, or both. Jail time will typically result in up to six months in jail. A judge may also decide to give you probation in lieu of jail time. Fines can be up to $1000. The punishment you receive will depend on your circumstances. These include the reason your license was suspended as well as the circumstances of your arrest. For example, if you are under the influence of alcohol while also driving with a suspended license the consequences will be more severe. 


In cases where you are driving with a suspended license, there are typically three defenses that you might choose. You could claim that you were not driving with a suspended license. In these cases, you need to prove that you had a valid license when caught driving. Second, you can claim that you had no knowledge your license was suspended. For example, if your license was suspended the notice may be mailed to an old address or it might not have reached you yet. Third, you can claim there was a necessity for you to drive. Examples include emergency situations. Driving without a license or driving with a suspended license can result in serious penalties. If you’re being charged for driving with a suspended license, you should seek legal counsel. An attorney can help you build your case.  Are you looking for help with your case? Click here to get in touch with a criminal defense attorney.

Bradley Corbett

Bradley Corbett is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo Utah in 2004. Later he enrolled at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where he participated in a prestigious internship program with the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Since then he has handled over 2,000 cases.

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