Under Vehicle Code section 14601.2, there is a minimum penalty of 10 days county jail (as a condition of probation) for driving on a suspended license if your suspension was due to a DUI. The maximum jail time is six months plus a fine of $300 to $1,000 plus "penalty assessment". Additionally, if you are placed on probation for the DUI, one of your probation conditions will be not to drive without a valid license; so you could get additional jail time for the probation violation. Some courts will allow a jail alternative, such as CALTRANS work, in lieu of jail on these types of violations, but there is no guarantee. Most judges recognize the need to drive in Southern California, but some are quite punitive when it comes to driving while your license is suspended for DUI.
It's a minimum of ten days in jail, up to a year. plus whatever the judge gives you for violating your probation in the DUI case. You would also be allowed to install an ignition interlock device on any car you own -- a small breathalyzer what won't let you start your car unless you pass its test. The court can impound your car, too.
The fines are usually as much or more than your DUI, once you add in all of the penalties and assessments.
It is also two points on your drivers license. The DUI is also two points, so you could wind up with another suspension.
Please understand that this is a general discussion of legal principles by a California lawyer and does not create an attorney/client relationship. It's impossible to give detailed, accurate advice based on a few sentences on a website (and you shouldn't provide too much specific information about your legal matter on a public forum like Avvo, anyway). You should always seek advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction who can give you an informed opinion after reviewing all of the relevant information.
Driving on a Suspended License Mandatory Jail Penalty
If you drive when your privilege is suspended or revoked for driving under the influence of alcohol, upon a first conviction, you face imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 10 days or more than six months and by a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $1,000. [California Vehicle Code section 14601.2(a)]
If you drive on a suspended license and your license is suspended for a DUI related manner. You are subject to no less than 10 no more than 6 months of jail. There are jurisdictions where the courts can suspend your license further as a condition of probation. However, this can vary from county to county and court to court.
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