Driving on a Suspended License

Suppose you lend your car to a friend. You know that she does not have
a valid driver’s license, but she’s just going on a short errand. For
some reason a police or CHP officer pulls her over. New Senate Bill 1758
requires that your car be impounded for 30 days. You will face
misdemeanor charges, and to get the car back, you will have to pay
towing, storage and other charges which could easily add up to

Or, you received a misdemeanor conviction for driving on a suspended
license last month, but you decided to do it again. You get pulled over
for a traffic violation. Under new Assembly Bill 3148, your car will be
impounded, and possibly forfeited and sold by the state. These are a few
of the strict new California laws which took effect January 1, 1995.

Many of the new anti-crime laws enacted by the Legislature were
auto-related, DUI laws were strengthened; laws against car-jacking were
written; immediate revocation of drivers’ licenses were added to many
drug- and weapons – related charges.

Included in the new auto-related laws in California are two tough
unlicensed-driver laws, written by Senator Quentin Kopp and Assemblyman
Richard Katz. Kopp’s bill, SB 1758, says that if you are driving without
a valid license, your car will be impounded for 30 days. Katz’s bill, AB
3148, also known as the Safe Streets Act of 1994, will require any car
driven by a second-time offender of driving without a license, be
forfeited and sold by the state. (The San Francisco Chronicle reported
that in the first week of January 80 cars had been impounded under these
laws, which are some of the toughest in the nation.)

Since January 1, if a driver is stopped and the officer cannot verify
a valid license, SB 1758 says the vehicle should be impounded for 30
days. (In actual practice some jurisdictions have not been keeping them
that long.) To get the car back the driver is required to pay fines, city
administrative fees, towing fees, and daily storage fees. In San
Francisco for example, the administrative fee is $150, towing fee is $120
and the daily storage rate is $25 after the first day.

Under SB 1758, people who knowingly lend their cars to unlicensed
drivers can face misdemeanor charges and a minimum fine of $300.

Under AB 3148, for a second offense within five years, the driver
faces a mandatory jail sentence, impoundment and forfeiture of the

Some details:
What happens if you’re pulled over by a traffic officer and you just
don’t have your license with you? If the officer can verify that you do
have a valid license, that car will not be impounded. However, if the
officer cannot verify the license, the car will be impounded and the
driver has three working days to come up with a valid license.

If this happens to you, call a California DUI Lawyer?

DUI Attorneys

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