California Vehicle Code Section 14601 makes it illegal to drive while your driving privilege is suspended or revoked. However, the reason for the suspension or revocation plays a roll in the sentencing should you be convicted. As an Orange County DUI defense attorney, practicing criminal defense law in Orange County, CA for 20 years, one commonality with these types of offenses is that clients don’t realize the seriousness of driving on a suspended license and are surprised at how harsh the Courts can be.
According to ]California Vehicle Code Section 14601.2(a) which is the code section that deals with driving on a suspended license where the license was suspended due to a conviction for DUI, the minimum punishment is 10 days in County Jail for a first offense and a minimum 30 days in County Jail for conviction of a second offense. California law also requires the installation of a California Ignition Interlock device also known as “IID”. This is a device installed into your car, which prevents the operation of the motor vehicle, until and unless an alcohol-free breath test is passed.
Here in Southern California, the inability to drive can be incredibly crippling for a person. There is of course the bus, taxis, and driving companies. However, trying to get to work or an appointment on time using the bus system is risky. Taxis and driving companies can be very expensive if you need to utilize these services for any length of time. A new alternative however, is becoming more and more prevalent. It is the old fashion ridesharing with a new twist. Ridesharing web sites are popping up all over the United States. The sites vary in the process of matching drivers with passengers. Security and how payment is calculated and made vary from site to site. Some sites allow it’s participants to agree on the cost between themselves, some sites calculate and come up with the amount based on the miles travelled and the profit-making sites take a percentage of the fee charged to the riders.
A company by the name of eRideShare, which was started in 1999, is currently testing a mobile app for the iphone and android phones, which would make it easy for a person to quickly find websites for ridesharing in their area. Another company, Carpooling.com is slowly making its way to Southern California and may be a good source for people whose license has been suspended or revoked. Long distance commuters are currently using sites like Zimride.com, Ridejoy.com, Avego.com, Nuride.com, Rideshare.com and eRideShare.com.
Driving on a suspended license is a misdemeanor, and as mentioned above, can have serious consequences. Consulting with an experienced criminal defense lawyer, before pleading guilty to this type of offense, could make the difference between doing jail time and alternative sentencing.
If you would like to know more about driving on a suspended license, contact Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney William M. Weinberg at his Irvine, California office at 949-474-8008