Driving with A Suspended License | Resources

Driving With A Suspended License

In California, it is against the law to drive with a revoked or suspended license and you had knowledge of the suspension or revocation. Do not be fooled: the prosecutor can prove knowledge merely by showing that the DMV sent you a mailed notification of the revocation or suspension.

Driving with a suspended or revoked license is not a trivial matter. It can have devastating consequences, including jail time, significant fines, and a stain on your driving and criminal records. It can also lead to you being classified as a habitual driving offender, which can lead to the revocation of your driving privilege in California. If you were on probation at the time you were caught driving with a suspended license, which is so often the case after a DUI conviction, the prosecutor can file a probation violation case against you, which may result in your revocation of probation and in your imprisonment.

The experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers at Ernenwein & Johnson, LLP, have over 40 years of combined experience defending persons accused of driving with a suspended license.

Robert Ernenwein is a former Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys and is Certified as a Criminal Law Specialist by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. He has been named a Super Lawyer by Los Angeles magazine and has appeared as a legal analyst on multiple cable news programs, including Fox News.

Is there any defense to a charge of driving with a suspended license? If so, what can my lawyers do to defend me against the charge?

Yes, this is a defensible charge.

Our team will review the discovery and evidence against you thoroughly and carefully. We will verify whether, in fact, your license was suspended or revoked at the time that you were driving. For example, if you were caught for DUI and given a temporary license, and you or your attorney requested a stay on your driver's license, were pulled over again and the police officer believed your license was suspended, we may be successful in challenging the charges. We would contact the DMV and obtain verification that the stay on your license was in place or that it should have been in place at the time you were pulled over the second time. Once we document this and show the prosecutor, we may be able to convince the district attorney to dismiss the charge.

We may also be able to successfully challenge that you knowingly drove with a suspended license or that you knew that the DMV had actually taken action on your case. If you did not, in fact, receive a mailed notification of the suspension or the notice was sent to the wrong address, or the notice was returned to the DMV as undeliverable, we may convince the prosecutor to dismiss the charge. If the matter goes to trial, we can fight this element of the charge and show a jury that although you were driving, the DMV had not given you proper notice of your suspension and that you should be acquired of this crime.

Even if you do meet the elements of the offense, we may still be able to convince a prosecutor to drop the charge in exchange for an infraction or a non-priorable offense, such as driving without a license under Cal. Veh. Code §12500. We will want to sit down with you, document your personal circumstances, verify that you do not have a prior criminal conviction, or that your prior offenses were not serious or were remote in time. There are things in mitigation that may help us convince the prosecutor to reduce the offense so that you are minimally impacted.

There is a host of issues we can evaluate based on our analysis of the police reports, witness statements and other evidence on file. Based on our findings, we may be able to successfully thwart a criminal prosecution in court, or otherwise weaken the case against you.

Have you or someone you know been charged with driving with a suspended license? Contact Ernenwein & Johnson, Los Angeles and Orange County criminal defense lawyers, today at 424-552-3901 for a free case review.