Skip to main content

Do I have a defense to my driving with a suspended license ticket?

Los Angeles, CA |

It is my understanding that to be guilty of a driving with a suspended license in California (Los Angeles County) you need to be aware your license was suspended. I had a ticket that became a Failure to Appear warrant in February. Than in April, I was stopped and ticketed for running a red light and not warned or cited that my license was suspended. On May 10 in Downtown LA, a LAPD officer stopped me for a malfunctioning brake light, in the investigation he found my license was suspended - and it had only been suspended on May 5, five days prior. Sense I was ticketed in April after my February warrant and that my license was only suspended 5 days prior to the brake light - is this an appropriate and likely defense to fight the suspended license ticket?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

No, it is not a defense and a judge will not allow it to be argued. You're lucky the DMV were slow in issuing the suspension since, when stopped for running the light, your car would likely have been impounded if the cop in that stop found your license had been suspended.

It's also not a defense to a failure to appear to say you forgot.

James Brian Campbell

James Brian Campbell


I believe counsel has misinterpreted the question. Lack of knowledge of a suspension is a defense to a charge of driving on a suspended license. There is case law on the issue. These cases are often resolved favorably after a license is obtained. It is important to try and resolve the holds on the license. It is a very bad idea to plead to driving on a suspended if there are any alternatives, as the violation carries two points and often puts the driver in excess point situation with the DMV resulting in additional suspension.


Yes, you should get a lawyer, or public defender, and fight your ticket - tell them all about the above and show them the ticket(s).

Good luck on your case.


You knew about the FTA ticket because you signed that Citation. That will be enough for them to show Suspension. You need to hire an attorney to get the best plea deal possible.

Seth Weinstein, Esq.
Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
(310) 707-7131

This reply should NOT be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. At this time I do not have sufficient factual/legal documentation to give a complete answer to your question and there may be more to the issues you raised then I have set out in my brief reply.


The best way to deal with your ticket is to clear the previous citation and get your license. You can argue all you want about your lack of knowledge- but taking care of your previous matter will get you the best results. Get an attorney to deal with all matters.

Andrew Roberts
(818) 597-0633

Andrew Roberts (818) 597-0633/ (805) 496-7777

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer