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Penalties in California for Driving Unlawfully After a DUI Conviction

In the state of California, just about every driving under the influence (DUI) conviction will end with some sort of penalty that affects the convicted individual’s driver’s license. Most of the time, this means suspending that driver’s license for a certain period of time. Suspension penalties begin with a 30-day to 10-month suspension for a first-time DUI, all the way up to a 4-year to permanent suspension for a fourth-time DUI.

While a license suspension is active, the driver cannot legally drive themselves anywhere. They may be able to acquire a restricted license in the meantime but, as the title suggests, this only lets them drive to certain places for specific reasons, such as going straight from home to work. Violating any of the conditions outlined in a restricted license, or driving without any sort of license at all, is considered to be “unlawful driving” and carries its own set of penalties.

California generally sees any form of unlawful driving after a DUI conviction as driving without a license, which can be penalized for:

  • First unlawful driving offense: 5 days to 6 months in prison; $300 to $1,000 fine
  • Any other unlawful driving offense: 10 days to 1 year in prison; $500 to 2,000 fine

In addition to the textbook penalties, unlawful driving opens up the possibility of the Department of Motor Vehicles or a court judge attempting to further limit your driving privilege. On a case-by-case basis, a person can lose their ability to legally drive for an indeterminate amount of time. It depends on whether or not the argument could be made that the individual is a menace on the road.

Rather than allowing a court or an agency to come to their own conclusions about you and your driving privilege, start taking steps to protect yourself. At Campbell Whitten, our Bakersfield DUI attorneys provide insight and unique legal strategies to our clients, delivered by an entire team of lawyers. Contact our firm for more information about your options and our services.