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8 Crimes That Lead to Suspension of One’s Driver’s License

Under California law, DUI is not the only crime that, if convicted of, results in suspension of one’s privilege to drive.  There are eight other additional convictions that can lead to the same result.
 
Five involve crimes committed by juveniles from age 13 up to adults under 21, and three others result in a suspension of one’s driver’s license for one year or a delay of one year for one’s eligibility to receive a driver’s license. 

In two of the offenses listed below, the suspension is for thirty days, not one year.

They eight crimes mentioned above are:
  1. If one is at least 13 years old and under 21 years of age, one’s driver’s license will be suspended for one year if convicted of reckless driving (Vehicle Code § 23103) under Vehicle Code § 23103.5 (a “wet reckless”) or Vehicle Code § 23140 (DUI by one under 21 driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.05% or higher);
  2. If one is at least 13 years of age and less than 21 years of age, one’s driver’s license will be suspended for a year if that person is convicted of public intoxication (Penal Code § 647(f));
  3. If one is at least 13 years of age and less than 21 years old, one’s driver’s license is suspended for one year if one is convicted of vehicular manslaughter (Penal Code §§ 191.5, 192.5(a) or (b))
  4. If one is at least 13 years old and less than 21 years old and one is convicted of any controlled substance violation listed under Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code, beginning with section 11000;
  5. If one is at least 13 years old, but less than 21 years old, and one is convicted of purchasing, offering false identification to purchase or possessing alcohol by a minor (Business & Professions §§ 25658, 25658.5, 25661 or 25662);
  6. No matter what one’s age is, if one is convicted of lewd conduct under Penal Code § 647(a), by picking up a person who was loitering with the intent to commit prostitution and engaging in lewd conduct with that person, one faces a driver’s license suspension for up to thirty days if the offense was committed with the use of a vehicle within 1,000 feet of a private residence;
  7. No matter what one’s age is, if one is convicted of prostitution under Penal Code § 647(b), that person faces a driver’s license suspension for up to thirty days if the offense was committed with the use of a vehicle within 1,000 feet of a private residence; and
  8. If one is thirteen years of age or older and one is convicted of vandalism under Penal Code §§ 594, 594.3 or 594.4, one can have one’s driver’s license suspended for up to two years.  The judge may suspend the suspension if he or she finds that a personal or family hardship requires defendant to drive for a family member, employment or medically related purpose (similar to finding a critical need exists to drive).
In addition, for each successive offense specified above, the judge will suspend the defendant’s driver’s’ license, or delay the individual’s eligibility to receive a driver’s license for an additional year.  In other words, if one does not have a valid driver’s license at the time of the conviction, the judge will order the Department of Motor Vehicles to delay issuing defendant a license for one year after one becomes eligible to drive.
 
While these convictions and the resulting suspension of one’s driver’s license for a year is harsh, one can ask the judge to instead impose a restricted license based on a critical need to drive.  Similarly, one can ask the judge to find that one’s ability to drive is a “critical need” and this then allows one to apply for a Critical Needs Restricted License at the DMV to avoid the one-year suspension.  A judge may find that there is a critical need to drive based on the distance or difficulty one would experience without a driver’s license in seeking to continue education, employment or help with a medical condition of a family member.

For more information about the issues mentioned in this article, please click on the following articles:
  1. What Is Vandalism and Graffiti (Penal Code § 594)?
  2. Minor in Possession of Alcohol - What Happens?
  3. What Is a Critical Needs Restricted License?
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