DUI on a Suspended License
Getting pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence can be an incredibly upsetting situation. What can make it worse, however, is if your license is suspended or if you do not have a license at the time that you get pulled over. If you’re dealing with this type of situation or any other situation involving a driving under the influence charge, it is critical to seek legal representation from a Los Angeles DUI attorney that you can trust.
Charged with a DUI While Driving Without a License?
If you have never had a driver’s license and get pulled over for suspected driving under the influence, you could be hit with a separate charge for driving without a license. In some cases, you could get a similar charge if you have a license but if you do not have a license in California.
For example, even though visitors to California are allowed to drive with the driver’s license from their home state, those who are living in California but who have not yet gotten their California driver’s license — even though they might be legally and properly licensed in another state, including a nearby state like Nevada — can also sometimes be charged for driving without a license at the officer’s discretion.
What Happens if You’re Charged with a DUI When Your License is Suspended?
If you had a driver’s license at the time that you got pulled over but if your driver’s license was suspended, you could be charged with driving on a suspended license.
There are many reasons why a person’s driver’s license might be suspended. For example, if your license was suspended for reckless, negligent or incompetent driving, you could be sentenced to five or more days in jail as well as hefty fines. If this is your second case of being charged with driving on a suspended license, you could face a minimum of 10 days plus other penalties.
If your license was suspended because of a previous DUI conviction, you could be charged for both driving under a suspended license and for the new driving under the influence charge. You could be sentenced to both mandatory jail time for subsequent DUI’s and mandatory jail time for driving on a suspended license, to be served consecutively. The court will also require you to install an ignition interlock system in your vehicle.
If you are considered a Habitual Traffic Offender by the California DMV, if you have been convicted of vehicular manslaughter or if you have had multiple prior DUI convictions, you could face an additional 180 day mandatory jail sentence as well as even heftier fines.
Can Your Vehicle Be Impounded?
If you get convicted of driving on a suspended license, the judge who sentences you can choose to order to have your vehicle impounded. If it’s your first offense, the judge can order for your car to be impounded for as long as six months. If it’s your second offense or beyond, your car could be impounded for up to one year. The judge can also deem that your vehicle is a “nuisance” if you are a repeat offender; if he or she chooses to do so, your vehicle could be seized, and you could never get it back.
As you can see, you could be facing many different penalties if you have been pulled over for a DUI on a suspended license. If you have been pulled over and charged for driving under the influence while driving without a license or while driving on a suspended license, you should not take the situation lightly. Luckily, you do not have to go through the whole ordeal alone. Instead, hiring a team of reputable Los Angeles DUI lawyers can allow you to get the legal assistance that you need through this tough time.