Under Newly enacted AB 2746, the DMV will no longer be able to suspend driver’s licenses based on failure to appear
This new law makes several changes to the existing statutes. First, driving without a California Driver’s license is currently a misdemeanor or an infraction. Under the new law, the first two offenses will be considered infractions, and only 3rd and subsequent violations can be infractions or misdemeanors.
Second, effective January 1, 2023, AB 2746 repeals Vehicle Code section 40509 and 40509.5 which authorized the court to notify the DMV regarding a failure to appear in court. Effective January 1, 2027, the DMV can no longer suspend the driver’s licenses of persons who failed to appear in court.
This new law is similar to previously enacted laws that eliminated suspensions for unpaid traffic fines, vandalism, firearm use, and controlled substance and alcohol use violations unrelated to driving.
Prior to this change in the law, many drivers faced the risk of their cars being towed or stored by law enforcement because of non-payment or failure to appear. If a driver is pulled over by a police officer while his license is suspended, his car could be towed and stored for 30 days and even sold at an auction. Additionally, a driver whose license was suspended would face criminal prosecution for violation of California Vehicle Code section 14601. This code section carries significant punishment, 2 points on the driving record, a record of a criminal offense, and a significant fine of nearly $2,000.
This new law makes it much easier to drive in California without being licensed and does not punish drivers for technical violations that should be equivalent to a fix-it-ticket.
For any case-specific questions, please contact Los Angeles Criminal Defense or Los Angles DUI Attorney at 323-464-6424.