DRIVING ON A SUSPENDED LICENSE-VC14601- does not require a six month jail sentence in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Lake county if a defendant refuses being placed on probation.
In a recent case decision, the defendant refused an offer of probation from the court. Normally, a period of probation for a conviction of driving with a suspended license -Vehicle code 14601.1- is three years in length. The defendant refused being placed on probation and the court countered with an offer of one year. The defendant refused the one year probation offer and the judge felt that he/she was required to then sentence the defendant to the maximum term of jail which was six months.
The appellate (higher) court disagreed with the lower court's decision and explained that the language of the VC 14601.1 law sets a maximum term of jail and not a requirement that the full-term be imposed if the defendant refuses probation. Each case is unique and the court should always consider what is a an appropriate jail sentence in each case.
The appellate court also ruled that the clerk of the court may not add standard fines and fees if they were not actually ordered by the trial court.
The clerks minutes must accurately reflect what was ordered at the sentencing hearing. Staff may not supplement the minutes (what is recorded by court staff at a hearing) even if the information is standard procedure.
Remember, Ronald Dinan and Associates, is a firm of experienced and aggressive criminal defense lawyers who can help in achieving the best outcome in your case. Many times criminal case dispositions will include reduction or outright dismissal of the number and/or severity of criminal charges, diversion programs, probation, reduced fines with installment payments, alternatives to jail, etc.
To get immediate help with your criminal matter, we invite you to call us to discuss your case. We answer all telephone calls in a polite, professional and helpful manner.
Sonoma County Santa Rosa 707-571-5550
Napa County Napa 707-252-0102
Marin County San Rafael 415-491-0223
Lake County Lakeport 707-262-0503
Mendocino County Ukiah 707-462-5950
Humboldt County Eureka 707-445-1348