Vehicle Code 14601.4 VC: Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License and Causing Injury

Vehicle Code 14601.4 VC states that it is a crime to drive with a suspended or revoked license and cause bodily injury to another person. Breaking this law is a misdemeanor, and the driver may face up to 6 months in a county jail if convicted.

When another driver hits you in a dangerous car accident, the injuries you suffer can be life-changing. However, as you navigate this claim, you may also find out that the driver who injured you was driving on a suspended or revoked license. That action can complicate your case and mean a longer timeline for your recovery.

Fortunately, when a driver commits Vehicle Code 14601.4 VC: driving on a suspended or revoked license and causing injury, you have grounds to pursue compensation that can help you recover from your injuries. At Text Kevin Accident Attorneys, we provide the tools and resources needed to secure your compensation, and we are ready to represent you in the courtroom throughout this process. When pursuing compensation from someone who has broken this law, reach out for help and guidance.

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Defining Vehicle Code 14601.4 VC

When someone breaks Vehicle Code 14601.4 VC, it can impact the specific timeline of your claim, as the at-fault party may be facing misdemeanor charges. Understanding these laws can help you navigate your lawsuit and the factors that can impact the case. Below is the exact text of the statute:

14601.4. (a) It is unlawful for a person, while driving a vehicle with a license suspended or revoked pursuant to Section 14601.2 to do an act forbidden by law or neglect a duty imposed by law in the driving of the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to a person other than the driver. In proving the person neglected a duty imposed by law in the driving of the vehicle, it is not necessary to prove that a specific section of this code was violated.

(b) A person convicted under this section shall be imprisoned in the county jail and shall not be released upon work release, community service, or other release program before the minimum period of imprisonment, prescribed in Section 14601.2, is served. If a person is convicted of that offense and is granted probation, the court shall require that the person convicted serve at least the minimum time of imprisonment, as specified in those sections, as a term or condition of probation.

(c) When the prosecution agrees to a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to a charge of a violation of this section in satisfaction of, or as a substitute for, an original charge of a violation of Section 14601.2, and the court accepts that plea, except, in the interest of justice, when the court finds it should be inappropriate, the court shall, pursuant to Section 23575, require the person convicted, in addition to other requirements, to install a certified ignition interlock device on a vehicle that the person owns or operates for a period not to exceed three years.

(d) This section also applies to the operation of an off-highway motor vehicle on those lands that the Chappie-Z’berg Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Law of 1971 (Division 16.5 (commencing with Section 38000)) applies as to off-highway motor vehicles, as described in Section 38001.

(e) Upon receipt of the abstract of a conviction under this section, the department shall not reinstate the privilege to operate a motor vehicle until the department receives proof of either the “Verification of Installation” form as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (g) of Section 13386 or the Judicial Council Form I.D. 100.

(f) If Section 23573 is applicable, then subdivisions (c) and (e) are not applicable.

How 14601.4 VC Can Impact Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

When another driver hits you in a California car accident, you may find out in the process of investigating your claim that they are also facing criminal charges. When someone commits a crime in the process of your car accident, it can impact your personal injury claim in many ways. Being prepared for this before you file your claim can help you understand your next steps and how an attorney can help.

Two Cases May Apply to Your Accident

When a driver commits a crime and injures you, two separate potential legal cases are in play. First, they have broken state law and may face criminal charges that can lead to punishment. However, you may also be due compensation for your suffering through a civil lawsuit, which does not have criminal penalties like imprisonment but may incur financial penalties meant to compensate you for the suffering you have experienced.

Because these are two separate claim types, they are handled in different branches of the judicial system. Generally, the criminal case must be handled first, and your personal injury claim can be scheduled following that. That means you may have evidence from two separate claims.

Time Limits and Deadlines Can Affect Your Case

Because there is a criminal case regarding your lawsuit, you may be concerned about the deadlines you have to file. According to California Civil Code section 335.1, you only have two years to file your lawsuit. If you fail to file within this time limit, your claim may be dismissed, leaving you without compensation.

However, you may be unable to take your case to court right away if there is a criminal trial. That trial can put your claim on pause, but that means your time limits will not continue to run. If you file before their criminal cases are complete, your time limits will be paused for the entirety of the trial.

Even better, your personal injury lawsuit can benefit from this. Criminal trials have a much higher standard of proof because they must prove that the person broke the law beyond a reasonable doubt, while you only need to prove that they more than likely acted negligently in a way that caused your injury. Evidence used in the criminal trial can be gathered by us and used to the advantage of your personal injury lawsuit.

Pro Tip

While waiting for your compensation can be frustrating, that extra time to contact your lawyer can also be useful. During this time, we can spend more time gathering evidence and proof of your accident.

Top Defenses to Vehicle Code 14601.4 VC

When navigating Vehicle Code 14601.4 VC, the at-fault party can fight their criminal charges before defending themselves in civil court. They may already be building a strong defense to help protect their future, including the following defenses. Keep in mind, however, that even if they successfully have their charges reduced or dismissed, evidence gathered at this time can still be used to the benefit of your claim.

No Knowledge of Suspension/Revocation

In some cases, the driver may have simply not known that their license was suspended or revoked. They may have received a letter in the mail, but they may have never seen it, or it may have even been lost in the mail. It could impact their case if they believed they were acting in good faith that their license was not suspended.

No Illegal Act or Neglect of Duty

In some cases, the at-fault party may have been accused of engaging in an illegal activity, or they may have been accused of neglecting their duty of care to those around them. However, they may gather evidence that shows this is not the case and that they were driving as carefully as possible. This evidence can also impact your lawsuit, as it can conflict with evidence you have showing that they were negligent and harmed you.

Note

Attorney Kevin Crockett and his team are prepared to help you determine who is liable for your accident. We can use any evidence from this case to better identify the cause of the accident and determine liability.

No Prior DUI Conviction

In some cases, the at-fault driver’s record may incorrectly show a prior DUI conviction, or the police may have inaccurately identified them as someone with prior convictions. If there were no prior DUI convictions, the at-fault party could defend their case from this particular vehicle code violation with this evidence. However, other charges regarding driving on a suspended or revoked license may still apply.

Penalties for Driving on a Suspended License and Causing an Injury

If the other driver is charged with VC 14601.4, they may face a misdemeanor if they are convicted. However, the severity of their penalties can change depending on whether this is a first-time or second conviction within five years of the first. Regardless of the conviction type, they may face ongoing consequences, even after their sentence is complete.

For a first-time conviction, the at-fault party may face county jail for up to 6 months and a fine of up to $1,000. For a second offense within 5 years, they may face county jail for up to a year and a fine of up to $2,000. In some cases, they may also face further penalties for their license.

Multiple convictions can also affect your approach in the courtroom. If we find that the at-fault driver for your case has multiple convictions on their record, we may use this information as evidence to the judge that the at-fault driver has habitually caused accidents or injury to other parties through their negligence. That can help you secure your maximum compensation needs, and in some cases, it can even lead to punitive damages for your case.

Related Offenses Can Also Impact Your Case

When someone causes a serious car accident, they may face this charge and others. Related offenses can lead to further legal penalties, which can impact the timeline of your car accident lawsuit and can provide further evidence for your lawsuit. If the driver has been charged with any of these related offenses, a personal injury attorney with Text Kevin Accident Attorneys can provide the support you need for your claim.

Driving on a Suspended License (VC 14601)

Besides being charged with driving on a suspended license and causing bodily injury, the driver may simply be charged with driving on a suspended license. VC 14601 makes driving a misdemeanor if you know your license has been suspended or revoked. However, this misdemeanor does not come with the requirement of having caused bodily injury.

Reckless Driving (VC 23103)

Vehicle Code 23103 makes it a crime to commit reckless driving, meaning that the driver is acting with a wanton disregard for the safety of other people and their property. While this is a misdemeanor if the driver crashes and is the only one injured, the sentence and fine can increase if they cause bodily injury to another person. The penalties can be up to 90 days in county jail, fines of up to $1,000, and two points on the driver’s DMV record.

Hit and Run Causing Injury (VC 20001)

VC 20001 is a wobbler offense that criminalizes fleeing from the scene of a car accident when another person was injured or killed in that accident. This type of accident can be a misdemeanor or a felony, which can lead to penalties of up to 3 years in state prison if the driver is convicted of a felony. Drivers should remember that even if the other driver or another party was entirely at fault for the accident, they can still be charged with a crime if they leave the scene.

Will a Vehicle Code 14601.4 VC Violation Impact Insurance Coverage?

When someone commits a crime like Vehicle Code 14601.4 VC, they may also be concerned about their insurance policy. Because California is a fault state under California Civil Code 1714, they are financially liable for any damage they do that they are found at fault for. Because of this, ensuring that their insurance coverage is intact and that their insurance rates do not go up is vital.

However, committing any serious driving offense like this, especially involving a DUI, can lead to an increase in insurance rates. Insurance companies expect drivers to follow a certain duty of care to obey traffic laws and protect the safety of other drivers and pedestrians. If they fail to do this, the insurance company may increase the premiums they pay every month.

That can be impactful for your case because the insurance company may choose to drop their coverage in some cases. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, meaning they do not want to be liable for dangerous activities that lead to serious injury and significant damages. That can lead the at-fault party to have no insurance and need to pay out of pocket, which means the source of your compensation may change.

Seek Out Personalized Guidance from an Experienced California Car Accident Lawyer

A serious accident can impact your ability to live your life as you once did. Worse, the other party may have been breaking the law, which can impact their insurance coverage, lead to a criminal trial, and delay the compensation you need for your recovery. Fortunately, you still have options to get compensated fairly for the suffering you have experienced.

At Text Kevin Accident Attorneys, we strive to help clients like you recover when the at-fault driver has violated Vehicle Code 14601.4 VC: driving on a suspended or revoked license and causing injury. We offer free consultations to discuss the specifics of your claim and determine how their actions will impact the specifics of your case. To learn more about what our team can do to help you recover, reach out by calling or filling out our online contact form.

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