June 13, 2022 By Matthew Wallin

When Can My License Be Suspended? 

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can suspend or revoke your driver’s license for many reasons. These reasons can range from mental incompetence to reckless driving to failure to appear in court. One of the most serious types of suspensions occurs when a person receives a DUI. The DMV is required to suspend or revoke the driving privileges of any person arrested for driving under the influence who meets the following requirements: 

  • Has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more while driving a non-commercial vehicle or 0.04% or more while driving a commercial vehicle, as indicated by a chemical test OR 
  • Refuses to take or fails to complete a chemical test to determine BAC 

If you are convicted of DUI, the DMV can suspend your driving privilege for up to 10 months. In addition, you may face fines, penalties, and other restrictions on top of your driving suspension. Failure to comply with the suspension can result in serious consequences, including jail time. 

California Vehicle Code Section 14601.2(a) 

California Vehicle Code Section 14601.2(a) makes it illegal for a person to drive with a suspended license after a DUI. In order for the defendant to be prosecuted under this statute, the prosecution must prove the following elements: 

  • The defendant drove a motor vehicle at a time when his driving privilege was suspended or revoked. 
  • The defendant’s driving privilege was suspended or revoked for a conviction of a violation of Section 23152 (DUI) or 23153 (DUI causing bodily injury). 
  • The defendant had knowledge of the suspension or revocation. 

What Happens If I Drive With a Suspended License After a DUI? 

Driving with a suspended license after a DUI can lead to harsh penalties. A violation of VC Section 14601.2(a) is charged as a misdemeanor. Upon a first conviction, the defendant will face: 

  • $300 to $1,000 in fines 
  • 10 days to 6 months in county jail 

If the offense occurred within five years of a prior conviction of a violation of this section, the defendant will face more severe penalties: 

  • $500 to $2,000 in fines 
  • 30 days to 1 year in county jail 

In some cases, the judge may opt to grant probation rather than incarceration. If a person is convicted of a first offense under this section and is granted probation, the person must be confined in the county jail for at least 10 days as a condition of his probation. If the offense occurred within five years of a prior conviction of a violation of this section, the person must be confined in the county jail for at least 30 days. 

Additionally, the court will require anyone convicted under this section to install a certified ignition interlock device (IID) on his/her vehicle. The court has special forms and procedures to monitor drivers who are ordered to install an IID. After the court notifies the DMV, the DMV will place a restriction on your driving record and mark your driver’s license to notify law enforcement officers if you are ever stopped. Failure to observe the restriction may result in suspension of your driving privileges until you comply. 

The DMV also uses a points system on your driving record to monitor repeat offenses. Drivers who exceed a certain number of points (4 points within a year) are deemed Habitual Traffic Offenders and may end up losing their driving privileges for many years. For operating a vehicle with a suspended license, you may receive 2 points on your driving record.

Contact Wallin & Klarich Today 

If you are charged with driving with a suspended license after a DUI, you need an experienced defense team to represent you. With 40+ years of experience, Wallin & Klarich is your best choice amongst Southern California criminal defense firms. Our attorneys have helped thousands of clients with their DUIs and restored their driving privileges with great success. We have the skills and resources to help you as well. 

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, Torrance, West Covina, Los Angeles, and San Diego, you are sure to find an available and convenient attorney near you. 

Discover how our team can assist you. Contact us today, toll-free at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free consultation with a skilled defense attorney.

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