California License Suspension - Avoid these 3 Mistakes

1) Do Not pay GC Services 2) Do Not Plea Guilty 3) Don't get caught driving on the way to court. A Traffic Ticket Lawyer Can Help You Get Your Driving Privileges Back.Even if you did not have a reason to miss court and DMV suspends your license, we can still restore your driver license. We can reopen the case contest the new vehicle code vioaltion, the new charge of failure to appear, get GC Services off your back, and fight the new 14601.1 misdemeanor offense driving on a suspended license.

There are consequences to not appearing in court.

Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License in California – What You Need to Know

How Can Your Driver's License Be Suspended?

Top Causes of License Suspension

Courts and the DMV do not impose a California License Suspension for no reason. There are a variety of reasons for the original suspension. Not all these reasons have to do with a criminal offense (drunk driving, reckless driving,probation violation)however, failure to address the issue can result in a criminal history along with additional penalties,community service and mandatory jail time.The most important thing is to find out why your license was suspended by DMV and start the reinstatement process to either get a valid license restricted license. 

There are consequences to not appearing in court. Most people do not know they have a License Suspension in California until it is too late and they are facing new criminal charges for driving during the suspension period. Below is a list of common reasons  why people have a drivers license suspension and variety of defenses. 


Not Showing up to Court. 


The typical scenarios for suspending a person driving privilege  usaully involves missing a traffic violation for a minor offense (proof of insurance. unpaid ticket, ). This is followed by the traffic violator overlooking a notice of suspension in the mail  or it was mailed to an old mailing address (lack of knowledge). Others just disregarded and threw it away. The person thought it was no big deal. Since that day the person had been living  life and  thought the traffic ticket disappeared.


It's important to show up to court for your traffic violation even if you disagree with it. Courts and the DMV do not like it when you ignore them and by ignoring them you are subjecting yourself to increase fines and penalties. You need to show up to court when on your court date. Failure to do so can result in a California License Suspension. This means the court will suspend your license and you will not be allowed to drive. If this happens and you are caught driving then you will be subjected to a driving on a suspended license charge by the district attorney in addition to your traffic violation . A driving on a suspended license charge will subject you to probation, jail time and fines.

DMV Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS)

Some of reasons for for a California License Suspension include too many vehicle code violation points on the driving record. This is reffered to as a negligent operator (habitual traffic offender) suspension.  This happens when a person gets 4 points (moving violations) on their driver license over a period of time. 

The reasons for the license revocation is to take the driver off the road by imposing harsher penalties if they are caught driving. If this is the case then getting it is important to have a traffic attorney who is knowledgeble with defense strategies to represent or give you legal advice at the negligent operator hearing and take the necessary steps to enroll in you defensive driving classes before your hearing at the local driver safety office. 


Not  Paying  Child Support. 

A failure to pay child support(if you fall behind on child support then you can get a License Suspension by DMV . The state legislatures have made up several ways to make dads pay overdue child support. There are also other ways your license can be suspended as well. ) is common reason for a license suspension. If this happens, then the issue needs to be resolved with child support.  As a criminal defense attorney I get the prosecution to not push forward with the case in hopes of buying my clients more time to work out their issues in family court so they can go out and get their license and get their drivers license.  This will result in a lower penalty and possibly an amended charge the vehicle code from a driving on a suspended license to a driving on a no license.


License Revokes/suspended for DUI – Vehicle Code 14601.2 VC

Many people have DUIs (driving under the influence of alcohol) ,reckelss driving, or chemical test refusal convictions and are lost in the burecracy. Despite paying all their penalty with the courts, doing their time in county jail,  and serving out their suspension period pursuant to the vehicle code, they just did not take the right steps for getting their driver license back. Eventually they are pulled over by a police officer for a traffic law violation and facing prosecution on a new case. 

Most of these things are adminstrative and are often fixable. The goal of your criminal defense attorney is to negotiate with the prosecution to not make you do the minimum jail sentence of 10 days and to give you  more time for you to fix the problems and get a valid drivers license or at least a restricted license. See How do I get my license back after a DUI in California? 

After this is done, then the client out and do what they should have done in the first place such as showing they have insurance (financial responsibility), paying a reinstatement fee after serving out their suspension,  forgetting to show completion of alcohol education at court, or having an ignition interlock device improperly installed.


Health and Fitness Suspension 

Other times, the California License Suspension may be unrelated to any vehicle code. Instead they have to do with a person's health and fitness to drive. This happens when a person is ill or has some sort of medical condition which makes them a danger on the road. Some things that make a person dangerous on the road include that of suffering seizures or being legally blind. In these cases a person will be called in for a fitness exam where they will be given an eye test and from there given a series of other test which will help and hearing officer determine whether or not their condition hampers them and makes them a dangerous individual on the road. California License Suspension can be handed out for physical as well as mental conditions. For example, a person can be unfit to drive even if they have perfect vision if they are found to be mentally unstable for the purpose of driving.

 

California License Suspension and Failure to Appear

THE ELEMENTS OF THE OFFENSE

Vehicle Code 14601.1 - Driving on a Suspended license Vehicle Code 40508 - Failure to appear in court on a traffic citation

When people not show up to court, they will receive a failure to appear notice

1. You  drove a motor vehicle while your driver's license was (suspended/ [or] revoked) 

AND

2. When the you drove, you knew that your driver's license was (suspended/ [or] revoked).

[If the People prove that:

1. The California Department of Motor Vehicles mailed a notice to the defendant telling (him/her) that (his/her) driver's license had been (suspended/ [or] revoked);

2. The notice was sent to the most recent address reported to the department [or any more recent address reported by the person, a court, or a law enforcement agency];

AND

3. The notice was not returned to the department as undeliverable or unclaimed;

1. You  received a citation;

2. In connection with that citation, you  signed a written promise to appear(in court/[or] before a person authorized to receive a deposit of bail);

AND

3. You willfully failed to appear (in court/[or] before a person authorized to receive a deposit of bail).

Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose. It is not required that he or she intend to break the law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage.

[It does not matter whether you were  found guilty of the violation of the Vehicle Code alleged in the original citation.]

How can I defend against a charge of driving on a suspended license?

[It does not matter whether you were found guilty of the violation of the Vehicle Code alleged in the original citation.] Take Care of the Problem The main point if you NEED to show up to court or have an attorney show up on your behalf. By not showing up to court you are putting your self up for more charges. These charges include a failure to appear and additional civil assessments.

Why is the Amount so High?

A civil assessment is an additional 300 charge to your California License Suspension. This additional money is money that you must pay on top of your case. I get many cases where people miss a court date and a civil assessment will kick in within a few weeks. It is important that you take care of your civil assessment and unfreeze your license at the same time.

What is this New Charge of Failure to Appear Misdeameanor?

In addition to this, the failure to appear is also a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor will affect your criminal record. It's important that you take care of this the correct way. A California License Suspension will involve a hold on your license. This hold on your license will make it illegal for you to drive. If you are caught driving within this period then you are subject to jail time and fines. You are looking at probation and your car being impounded.

Why the Arrest Warrant?

The arrrest warrant tells law enforcement that there is an arrest warrant out for you. This means that you can get arrested at any time there is law enforcement contact. This is in the broadest sense. Even if you did not break a law you will still be exposed. For example, if you were in a car that and a passenger but the car got rear ended by no fault of the driver and police came by than the police can take you in. Bottom line is that you do not need to do anything new to get arrested. A warrant alone is enough.

When people do not show up to court, they will receive a failure to appear notice

Why the Arrest Warrant?

Why the Arrest Warrant?

Who is GC Servcies?

The first is that your ticket will be referred to GC Services . GC services will go after you for the full amount of the ticket. In other words they will go after the maximum amount. For example, if the court was asking for 400.00 then GC services will come asking for $1400. In addition to this, the people who work at GC services are very agressive at getting you to pay over the phone. They will not tell you that there other options to handling things. You need filter out the BS and look out for your best interest.

Additional Charge of Failure to Appear In fact, if a person misses out on their court date, then the court will usually add an additional charge of failure to appear. This is a misdemeanor in itself and carries jail time and fines of up to a 1000 dollars. In addition to this, the court will also add many extra fees. Some of these fees are labeled civil assessment. These civil assessments are hefty fines in itself. They can be anywhere from 300-500 dollars.

This does not come out well for the person who missed their court date. First their license gets Suspended License in California. In addition, they are now facing misdemeanor charges as opposed to just infractions and finally the fines have more than doubled. This type of mess takes a substantial time to clean up.

There are two ways to fix your License Suspension in California. You can do it yourself or get a professional. If you want to do it yourself , you can go back to California and take care of the ticket yourself. However, you MUST make sure not to get pulled over in California as you making your way to the courthouse. In addition, depending on the courthouse you are going to, you will need to know the local rules. Some courts such as the ones in San Bernardino and Riverside will not let you walk in the same day. They will want you to come back.. In my opinion, if you you can go back to California this will involve a substantial time and money investment. Getting a pro will cost money but is worth it.

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2 Ways to Deal with your License Suspension

  • Pay It
  • Fight It

The first way is to pay the full amount. I would never do this. If your ticket was originally 350 then GC Services which are the people who will be handling your ticket will ask for around 1500-2000 for your ticket. This is absurd, but it is an option never the less.

Recent Case Results -  A history of Success

 Metropolitan Court LA

  • Client had 4 tickets failed to appear on (2 different counties)
  • Suspended license charge dismissed and tickets cleared up and dismissed. 

West Covina

  • Driver License reinstated and beat all traffic cases
  • Driver License reinstated and beat all traffic cases

Van Nuys

  • Client had suspended license and got caught driving
  • Got license back and avoided a misdeameanor for client

Westminster

  • Client never bothered paying  court fees. DMV suspended license and got caught driving
  • All charges dismissed (nothing on permanent record)

Fullerton

  • Client had tickers in LA which held up license and got caught driving in Orange County. 
  • Clear up license and freed up license

Santa Ana

  • Client dove on suspended license for years then finally got caught. 
  • Case Dismissed

West Covina

  • Client had 7 tickets Failure to appear
  • Freed up license and dismissed

San Berardino

  • Client didn't live in state. Got license and blew it off.
  • Case Dismissed

Harbor

  • Client never bothered showing up. 
  • Freed up license and case dismissed

Bellflower

  • Client had ticket here and LA Metro. 
  • Case dissmissed
  • Freed up both tickets. 

Testimonials - What Clients Say About Hieu Vu

Cece

Trustworthy

”He is that small percentage of attorneys that actually cares about his clients well being rather than rushing to collect their money only to disappear and cut off all forms of communication. He's generous with his time and updates you along the way in your case. Moreover, he takes your case and sees you through it from beginning to the end.”

Goes Above and Beyond

“EAbout a year ago I made the great mistake of getting a DUI right after getting my degree as a registered nurse. At first I was apprehensive whether or not to get an attorney, because I was already in debt from med school. So I spoke to a handful of lawyers, and after speaking with Hieu, I knew right away this was the man I needed - a decision I did not regret it once..”

Jane Doe
Shane Melaugh

Second DUI

“Great lawyer I got 2 d.u.I.'s back to back and he managed to keep me out of jail, worked with me all the way through it and gided me through the process”

About Hieu Vu


2017

SuperLawyers Rising Star

Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with independent research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selections are made on an annual, state-by-state basis. . Only %2.5 of Attorneys are selected to Rising Stars

2018

SuperLawyers Rising Star

The objective is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys that can be used as a resource for attorneys and consumers searching for legal counsel.

2019

SuperLawyers Rising Star

Super Lawyers selects attorneys using a patented multiphase selection process. Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with independent research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selections are made on an annual, state-by-state basis.

2020

SuperLawyers

Super Lawyers recognizes only the top five percent of attorneys from more than 70 practice areas per state. Rising Stars honors the top 2.5 percent of up-and-coming attorneys. 

About Me.

“To the client, every angle is important, there’s a number of questions, and each person also have their own worries. Some will need a person to listen to them. At the end of the day, it’s more than just delivering legal results. I put a 110% into every person I work. I strive to make sure everyone knows what is going on and is kept in the loop as the case goes on. The practice of law is more than just getting the results in court.” -Hieu Vu



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Have your case reviewed by Hieu Vu. It's important to know what the prosecutors are planning do. Each case is different and every case needs a unique defense strategy.

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