What is VC 14601.1 (a) – Driving With a Suspended License?
VC 14601.1 (a) (driving with a suspended license) is a violation under the California Vehicle Code.
14601.1 (a) is a traffic ticket that can be charged as a misdemeanor or an infraction. If charged as a misdemeanor, it will be handled in criminal court and will be prosecuted by the District Attorney or City Attorney.
If handled as an infraction, it will be prosecuted in traffic court.
If you’ve already received a conviction of VC 14601.1 as a misdemeanor, you consider getting a misdemeanor expungement of the conviction in order to prevent an adverse effect on your future employment.
Although an expungement WILL NOT remove points from your DMV record, it comes with benefits such as allowing you to truthfully state you don’t have a criminal record.
What Are the Consequences of a 14601.1 (a) Driving With a Suspended License Charge?
Effect on Your Criminal Record
If treated as a misdemeanor, VC 14601.1 (a) can result in jail time, fines, probation, and a conviction on your criminal record that would appear if a criminal background check were conducted.
If treated as an infraction, a 14601.1 (a) conviction will result in fines, but no jail time and no criminal conviction.
By definition, an infraction is punishable by fines only, and a misdemeanor is punishable by jail time in addition to fines.
Effect on Your DMV Record
Despite whether your driving with a suspended license charge is treated as a misdemeanor or an infraction, this charge is a moving violation and will result in 2 points on your DMV record, if you’re convicted of the charge.
Additionally, you cannot use traffic school to keep these points off of your DMV record because any moving violation that results in 2 points rather than 1 point is ineligible for traffic school.
The reason you don’t want to receive points on your DMV record is because one or more DMV points can result in higher insurance premiums, as well as bring you one step closer to a negligent operator suspension.
Fix the Reason Your License Is Suspended in the First Place
Normally, a driver’s license becomes suspended because you failed to appear in traffic court.
In Los Angeles County, if you failure to appear on a traffic ticket, your ticket will be referred to GC Services, a collections agency that collects on unpaid traffic tickets for the Los Angeles County Superior Court.
GC Services may try to send you threatening letters or call you to try and convince you to pay them. But don’t pay GC Services until you read this because you can unwittingly damage your criminal record and DMV record by paying GC Services.
In many cases, you can still get the hold cleared from your driver’s license so you can get your license reinstated, without paying GC Services.
If you haven’t seen the judge yet on your traffic ticket, you still have a right to handle your traffic ticket in traffic court rather than pay GC Services.
Further, if your traffic ticket is older than 5 years old, whether you’ve seen the judge or not, the hold will be purged with the DMV and won’t stop you from getting your license anymore – even if you don’t pay it or handle it in court!
These types of offenses can be remedied much more affordably when you handle them in court because you have an opportunity to show the court your valid insurance or registration for a $25 dismissal fee in most cases. (For comparison, GC Services would want over $800 for a no insurance ticket.)
Get Help With Your 14601.1 (a) Driving on a Suspended License Charge
As a Los Angeles traffic ticket attorney, I’ve handled hundreds of VC 14601.1 charges and probably thousands of traffic tickets that were the reason for the suspended license in the first place.
As an attorney I can help you fight the VC 14601.1 (a) charge and try for a dismissal or try to negotiate a non-moving violation on your behalf, such as a VC 12500 driving without a license charge.
In addition I can help you clear the underlying traffic tickets causing the suspension of your driver’s license.
You can reach me for a free consultation at 888-250-8450 or use the Contact Form below.