Absolutely not. Most violations around the 14601 section of the California Vehicle Code are not infractions and the penalty is not simply a fine payment, traffic school and the possibility of one DMV point.
Driving when one’s driver’s license is suspended is a misdemeanor allegation, and consequences may include a jail sentence not to mention continual suspension of one’s driving privileges and a big fine. Once the person arrives at Court for the Arraignment ( 10 Tips For Court) they will face various charges: some type of traffic or equipment violation in most cases (the reason the police stopped the car may be an area to explore for possible defenses) and then the specific Vehicle Code section for driving when driver’s license is suspended. If the person did not pay a previous ticket, did not show up for court for a previous ticket or owes some type of fee to the DMV and therefore their driver’s license was suspended, the person will be charged with a violation of Vehicle Code section 14601.1. In most cases, if a plea of guilty of is entered they will receive a fine of about $2,000, 3 years of probation ( Suge Knight receives probation for driving on a suspended license), and 2 points will be added to their DMV record. They will then have a misdemeanor record and if this person is charged with a similar offense in the future or has one in their past, a minimum of 5-days jail and a greater fine would be ordered. The Court will not explain the DMV consequences, which are separate from the Court ramifications. If a guilty plea is entered, an abstract will be sent to the DMV and 2 points will be added to the driving record. If other points are on the record, although they may have been able to obtain their driver’s license by simply taking care of a previous traffic ticket or paying a fee to the DMV, now, their driver’s license will be suspended, because they are considered a negligent operator ( CA DMV Negligent Operator Points) and ( DMV Hearings ).
One other common driving with a suspended license charge is a violation of California Vehicle Code section 14601.2, suspension as a result of a DUI. The sentencing consequences are more severe with a minimum of 10-days jail for a first offense and 30-days jail for a second offense plus $2,000 in fines. Again, the result is 2 additional points on the driver’s DMV record (with the 2 points from the DUI this may cause a longer suspension period)