Driving on a Suspended License

Vehicle Code section 14601 makes it a crime to drive a vehicle when you know that your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked. You can be found guilty of driving on a suspended license under Vehicle Code section 14601 if your license was suspended or revoked for any number of reasons, including:

  • Being declared a negligent operator by the DMV for having too many points on your license
  • A mental or physical disability, such as seizures
  • A conviction for California DUI or another traffic related offense
  • Unpaid child support or fees/fines that have gone to collections

Driving on a suspended license under Vehicle Code section 14601 VC is a misdemeanor crime and the potential punishment includes a county jail sentence and substantial fines. Additionally, driving on a suspended license is a priorable offense so the punishment increases with each additional charge. Often times, if we are able to cure the reason for your suspension, by conducting a hearing with the DMV or paying off all your fines for example, a reduced charge can often be negotiated with lower fines and jail time.

Speak with a Santa Rosa driving on a suspended license attorney today.

Hit & Run

In California, there are two types of hit and run offenses: misdemeanor and felony. You may be charged with California misdemeanor hit and run under Vehicle Code section 20002 if you:

  • Left the scene of an accident
  • Without first identifying yourself to the other party involved
  • Another’s property was damaged in the accident

The difference between Vehicle Code section 20002, misdemeanor hit and run, and Vehicle Code section 20001, felony hit and run, lies in what was damaged in the accident.  While misdemeanor hit and run is generally concerned with property damage, felony hit and run is concerned with injury to a person. You can be charged with felony hit and run if someone (other than yourself) was seriously injured or killed. Vehicle Code section 20001 is a wobbler and can be charged as a misdemeanor if the injury is minor instead of serious.

Vehicle Code section 20002 carries steep penalties given the nature of the offense. If you are convicted, you may face a fine of up to $1,000 or even a sentence of up to six (6) months in county jail as well as being ordered to pay for the damages caused during the accident. Vehicle Code section 20001 carries more serious penalties even if filed as a misdemeanor including a mandatory driver’s license suspension. If filed as a felony, Vehicle Code section 20001can carry a prison sentence.

Given the high stakes, speaking with a Santa Rosa hit and run attorney as soon as possible is very important to the successful defense of your charges.

Reckless Driving

California Vehicle Code section 23103 defines reckless driving as driving a vehicle “in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” For the prosecution to prove the defendant is guilty of reckless driving under Vehicle Code 23103, the prosecution must prove:

  • The defendant drove a vehicle (on a highway/in an off street parking facility) and
  • The defendant intentionally drove with wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.

Reckless driving may sound minor, but the consequences can be very serious. Under California Vehicle Code 23103, reckless driving is a misdemeanor offense carrying a potential fine of up to $1,000 and/or a jail sentence of up to ninety (90) days. If someone was hurt as a result of the reckless driving, or if you have a prior conviction for reckless driving, those penalties can increase. Additionally, the DMV will put two points on your driver’s license (which can result in suspension) and may count a conviction against you in any future license suspension hearing or other legal proceeding.

Depending on your criminal and DMV record, the consequences for reckless driving may be very serious. Contact a Santa Rosa reckless driving attorney to discuss your options today.

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