You should contest both tickets. You will be better off with an attorney.
THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation.
You need to consider hiring an attorney to contest both tickets because a third conviction for driving on a suspended license can be filed as a felony and can result in a five year driver's license suspension. Hiring an experienced attorney would be recommended to fight these charges.
DWLS With knowledge and DWLS without knowledge are as you see 2 different types of charges. One is a criminal citation that will require a Court appearance and the other, without knowledge is a civil infraction that could simply be paid. The issue is that if you simply pay that one, it could potentially impact you in the future if you have a total of 3. The criminal case will be set for a hearing soon and I would try to resolve that one first. Why did they suspend your DL in the first place? Have you resolved that issue already? That’s the first thing you should do BEFORE any appearance in Court on the charges.
Now to the issue of IF YOU HAD KNOWLEDGE THAT YOU DL WAS SUSPENDED. All the state would have to show is that they mailed you notice to your address as listed on your current DL. If you moved and did not within 7 days as required update your mailing address and correct your DL with the new information then you would not have received the information they mailed you. NOTE!!! The post office WILL NOT FORWARD YOUR LETTERS TO YOU FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES!!!! It will simply be returned to the sender and you will NOT receive the notice. Not receiving the notice is NOT A DEFENSE to a DWLS.