When someone is put on DUI probation, they are ordered to not drive without a valid driver's license. You have to go through the DMV to get a valid driver's license – whether it's a temporary driver's license or a full driver's license.
Typically, related to DUI cases, you're going to need to get an SR22 proof from your insurance company that you're able to drive and you have liability insurance. Also, you're going to have to be enrolled in a first offender alcohol program and have to pay some fees.
What I have my clients do for DUI cases in getting their driver's license back, is go to the DMV, find out exactly what they need so they can get it and can be driving lawfully.
Mandatory Jail Time
Because the answer to what will happen to you if you're caught driving on a suspended license related to a DUI is that you will face mandatory jail time. They don't mess around with these types of cases. They don't want people on the road who they consider dangerous because of drinking and driving. Vehicle Code 14601.2 makes it a crime for anyone to drive with a suspended license because of a DUI or DUI causing injury conviction.
So, we are sometimes able to get out of the jail time, but it's not easy. When you get a 14601.2, 14601.1 of the Vehicle Code, you're definitely looking at jail time and it's very difficult to get the prosecutors and the judge not to give you any jail time.
So, this is where we have to do some real lawyering here and show why you were driving. We're going to try and show that you weren't dangerous at the time. Hopefully, you weren't drinking and driving.
Because when you do this, not only do you pick up a new open case for driving on a suspended license related to a DUI in Los Angeles, you also violate your probation related to your DUI.
So, you're subject basically to double punishment. In other words, they can punish you for the open case and they can also punish you because you violated the terms and conditions of your DUI probation.
So, if you have a driving on a suspended license case, we're also going to want to try to get your driver's license. In other words, the next question the judge and prosecutors are going to have is, why don't they have their driver's license?
Okay, well the DMV suspended it. Alright, well then they can't drive. So, the closer you are to getting your driver's license, the stronger argument we're going to have to keep you out of jail.
Defenses To Driving On A Suspended License Related To DUI In Los Angeles
One defense is that you didn't have knowledge. In other words, you didn't know that your driver's license was suspended. The best way for them to be able to prove that you did know is to show some sort of proper service.
Lack of Knowledge on License Suspension
In other words, did the judge tell you in court that you could not drive without a driver's license, but you also have to know that the license was suspended. So, the judge can tell you, don't drive without a valid driver's license, but if you say, wait a minute I didn't know the license was suspended – the Judge would have to tell you in court, this would be the best service. Your license is suspended. Do not drive on it. You can't drive until this date.
Lack of Effective Notice From DMV
Another effective way is if a police officer tells you and is ready to testify, hey I told him his license was suspended and then you drive after that. The last way is if the DMV can give you effective notice. Just sending a letter in the mail is not good enough.
They're going to have to send a certified letter to prove that you actually got the letter and that you had noticed that your driver's license was suspended. A lot of this is common sense. If you got a driving on a suspended license and you're afraid you are going to end up in jail, you better get an attorney.
Let's figure out exactly how we can get that license, because sometimes when the case is pending, we can actually get the driver's license. That helps us avoid the conviction for the 14601.2 of the Vehicle Code.
Negotiation With Prosecutor for Reduced Charge
It also helps avoid jail time. Maybe we can get it reduced to a Vehicle Code 12500 which is driving with no license in Los Angeles. That has no mandatory jail time and we can avoid you having to spend some time in jail – away from your job and away from your family.
So, pick up the phone. Make the call. We can talk about your DUI case. We can talk about any probation violation you might have, and if you have a driving on a suspended license case, we can figure out how to help you with it.