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California DMV & Drunk Driving Offense Lawyers

With offices in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, San Diego, Orange County and Riverside, our DUI lawyers and criminal defense attorneys defend clients against all types of driving and license-related offenses.

Driving Without a License in California

It is illegal to drive a vehicle on a street or highway in California without a valid driver's license. Doing so is a crime. The driver can be cited, arrested, prosecuted and ultimately jailed.

But to be valid, the driver's license doesn't have to be issued by the California DMV. A person may drive in California with a properly issued driver's license from another state or even a foreign country. However, once the person establishes residency in California, he or she must go to our DMV and obtain a California license.

As California DUI and DMV attorneys, we see two common types of prosecutions related to driving without a license:

Vehicle Code 12500 - Driving Without a License. Vehicle Code 12500 is charged in two situations. The first is when a person is caught driving in California and the person has never obtained a valid drivers license to begin with. The second is when someone with a valid license from another state or country comes to live in California, but fails then to obtain a California driver's license. It is often possible to get the VC 12500 charge dismissed simply by obtaining a driver's license and then showing proof to the court.

Vehicle Code 14601 - Driving on a Suspended License. Vehicle Code 14601 is charged when a person had been issued a driver's license, but is caught driving in California during the time in which his/her license is suspended. This offense carries mandatory jail time. The amount of jail depends on the reason for the suspension, and whether the driver has prior Vehicle Code 14601 convictions. If the original suspension was triggered by a DUI, DWI or drunk driving convictions, the offense is more serious.

Defending Against a License-Related Offense

Our California DUI attorneys and criminal defense lawyers have helped countless clients to avoid conviction and to avoid jail time for Vehicle Code 14601 and Vehicle Code 12500 offenses. We would be happy to discuss your situation and what we can do to help.

Related Resources on California Drivers License Issues:

California Department of Motor Vehicles
Compete information on obtaining, renewing and reinstating California drivers licenses.

DMV Point Count
DMV point counts for various traffic violations and convictions, and determination of negligent operator status.

Obtaining a Drivers License or Identification Card in California
Explains the process for securing drivers licenses, California identification cards and vehicle registration in the state of California

Illegal Immigrants and California Drivers License
National Council of La Raza opposition to California law denying drivers licenses to aliens without lawful immigration status.

California DMV Lawyer
Sacramento-based DMV attorney Bruce L. Snipes handles all aspects of DMV license actions and has represented thousands of clients before the Department of Motor Vehicles.

San Bernardino County DUI Attorneys
Drunk driving defense lawyers with offices in San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga and Riverside.

Southern California DUI Defense


DUI cases are rarely hopeless. DUI convictions are almost never inevitable. Clients retain our California DUI defense attorneys for one reason: they want to fight the case. And win.

Contact Us For Help

The police arrested you for DUI. You gave a blood or a breath sample. The DUI officer confiscated you drivers license. The police released you with a notice to appear in court in a few weeks. Where do you go from here? Our lawyers are here to guide you step by step.