Nine Reasons Your California Driver’s License Can Be Suspended

man is driver's seat

Having your driving privileges taken away can be devastating. It can affect your ability to work, go to school, and complete even the simplest tasks. Additionally, getting your license suspended can be costly and cause significant frustration and stress.

To avoid these harsh consequences, it is essential to maintain your driving privileges in the event you are charged with a traffic offense. There are nine common reasons for your California’s driver’s license can be suspended. Depending on the circumstances of a potential license suspension, an attorney could build a strong defense that prevents the revocation of your driving privileges.

Driving Under the Influence

One of the most common reasons someone may face license suspensions is getting convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When an individual is arrested on suspicion of DUI, officers confiscate their license and give them an Order of Suspension, which only allows someone to drive for the following 30 days. After the 30 days pass, the suspension or revocation will go into effect.

In California, a first-time DUI conviction results in a four-month license suspension. A driver may lose their license for one year for a second conviction, and for any subsequent convictions, individuals lose their driving privileges for 10 years. Other criminal convictions can result in the suspension of your driver’s license include:

  • Reckless driving
  • Reckless driving that causes injury
  • Felony hit and run

Driving without Insurance

In California, driving without insurance is an infraction punishable by fines of up to $500. However, if you are involved in an accident and found not to have insurance, you may have your license suspended.

Refusing a Required Chemical Test

If law enforcement pulls you over on suspicion of DUI, state law requires you to submit to a chemical test that detects the presence of alcohol or drugs in your system. If you refuse to take a chemical test in California, your license will be suspended. A first-time offense will result in a one-year suspension, a second offense may result in a two-year revocation, and a third or subsequent offense may result in a three-year revocation.

Alcohol in the Vehicle when the Driver is Under 21

Under California Vehicle Code 23224 VC, it is unlawful for a person under the age of 21 to drive a motor vehicle that contains alcohol or to possess alcohol while riding in a motor vehicle. If convicted, you face a one-year driver’s license suspension and a 30-day impoundment of your motor vehicle.

Excessive Points on Your DMV Driving Record

The California DMV has a points system that helps monitor a driver’s dangerous or risky behavior. When a driver receives certain traffic violations, one or two points are added to their DMV record. Therefore, another common reason someone may get their California license suspended is if they have too many points on their DMV record. If you get four points within a 12-month period, six points within a 24-month period, or eight points within a 36-month period, the DMV will suspend your license for six months.

Failure to Appear in Court or Failure to Pay a Traffic Ticket

If you fail to appear in court as ordered or fail to pay a traffic ticket or other court-imposed fine, the court may order the DMV to suspend your driver’s license until you appear in court or pay the fine.

Failure to Pay Child Support

Under state law, if you are 30 days or more past due on child support, the Department of Child Support Services can submit a request to the DMV to have your license suspended. The DMV will send you a notice giving you 150 days to pay the past due amount. If the payment is not made, the DMV will suspend your license until the amount is paid in full.

Having a Physical or Mental Disorder

Medical conditions can result in a driver’s license suspension and/or restriction. Some of these conditions include:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Lapse of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Cataracts and muscular degeneration

If you are facing a driver’s license suspension or revocation, we urge you to contact our experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Scott D. Henry. We have over 40 years of combined experience advocating on our clients’ behalf to have their driving privileges maintained or reinstated. While DMV hearings can be challenging, our skilled DMV attorneys can fight effectively to keep your driving privileges and on the road to freedom. If one of these reasons has resulted in your California driver’s license getting suspended, call today.

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