Driving on Suspended License

Driving on Suspended License

Driving on Suspended License

Vehicle Code §14601


If you or someone you love is being investigated for, arrested for, or has been charged with violating California Vehicle Code §14601 (Driving on Suspended License) time is not on your side. Every second that passes is vital.  Likely, the Prosecutor’s Office has already engaged their professional team to begin building their case against you.  And, depending on when you’re reading this, they could be working against you as you’re reviewing this information. We strongly recommend that you contact an attorney immediately after learning about these charges, to help you build a strong, successful defense.



Driving on Suspended License involves knowingly operating a vehicle after your license was suspended or revoked.


In the State of California, Driving on Suspended License is governed by Vehicle Code 14601, which states:


No person shall drive a motor vehicle at any time when that person’s driving privilege is suspended or revoked . . . if the person so driving has knowledge of the suspension or revocation.

California Vehicle Code §14601


The Elements

In law, every charge carries with it a set of “elements” that the Prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. All of the elements must be proven in order to convict someone of a given crime.


The three elements to Driving on Suspended License in California are:


  1. The accused was operating a car or other motor vehicle.
  2. The accused’s license had been revoked or suspended.
  3. The accused knew their license had been revoked or suspended.


Our office is experienced at finding which elements the prosecution cannot meet, or which elements are weak points in the prosecution’s case against you and may keep the prosecution from being able to prove you guilty of Driving on Suspended License under California Vehicle Code 14601.


Possible Penalties

Driving on a suspended license is a misdemeanor in California and carries offenses that grow in severity with each consecutive conviction, particularly if the convictions are within five (5) years of each other.


First time offenders may be sentenced to no fewer than five (5) days and no more than six (6) months in county jail and face a fine not less than $300 and not more than $1000.


Repeat offenders may be sentenced to no fewer than ten (10) days and no more than one (1) year in county jail and a fine not less than $500 and not more than $2,000.



The sooner you call our office the sooner we can hear the truth about what took place.  Depending on the facts of the situation, and whether you’ve called our office soon enough, we may be able to take the facts you share with us and meet with the District Attorney to keep charges from being formally filed against you.

If charges have already been filed against you, our office is experienced at going through all of the evidence line-by-line to find discrepancies and discover all possible defenses for your case.  As with all criminal cases, most defenses target at least one of the elements stated above.  Examples of defenses in a Driving on Suspended License case that we may be able to find in your favor include (but are not limited to):


  • LACKED KNOWLEDGE: You never received sufficient actual notice of the suspension of the license in the mail.
  • EMERGENCY: You were driving because of a serious emergency.
  • LICENSE WAS RESTRICTED: Your license was actually restricted, not revoked, and you were operating the vehicle in accordance with that/those restriction(s).


Each case unique and may be better suited to one particular defense over another. Always speak to an attorney about all of your options when deciding the defense that may be best for you.  Call the Law Office of James Hassey at 619-745-5555 for your FREE consultation.