New York Knicks Basketball star and Winner of the 2008-2009 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, Nate Robinson, was arrested Tuesday in the Bronx for driving with a suspended drivers license. Reports from Yahoo! and the New York Post indicated that his drivers license may have been suspended up to 5 times due to past infractions and failure to appear problems.
The Miami Herald reported that Police said they arrested Robinson after officers pulled him over in the Bronx at about 5:30 p.m. and discovered he had a suspended license.
The high flying Knicks guard was taken to the 52nd Precinct and charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and issued a summons to return to court at a later date, police said. This procedure is known as a “cite and release” arrest and is common for driving related misdemeanors. At his court date, Robinson will be asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty and have a trial.
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On his Twitter page, Robinson apologized to his team and fans, and explained the suspension was due to an “unpaid” ticket.
In California, “driving n a Suspended Drivers License” is also known as a violation of vehicle code section 14601.1 or Vehicle Code section 14601.2. It is a misdemeanor that can lead to 1 year in county jail.
And the government will impound the car for 30 days. The owner of the car must pay for the towing and all storage fees, which often exceed $2,000.
Most defendants convicted of the charge will receive 3-4 days of jail or community service, 5 years of probation, a $1000 fine, and 2 points on their driving record (the same as a DUI Arrest) A second offense has a 10 days in jail minimum penalty.
The most common reasons for a suspension of a drivers license is a failure to appear in court after receiving a traffic ticket. People who get traffic tickets in California have the option to pay a “bail” and forfeit it to close the case (pay the fine) or they must show up in court before the date listed on the ticket. Drivers who do neither have their licenses suspended under Vehicle Code section 40509.5.
Some courts, such as Riverside County Traffic Court, will also issue a bench warrant for a failure to appear charge under Vehicle Code section 40508(a).
Not having actual knowledge of the suspension is a defense to the charge, but very difficult to prove because the law states that you must keep your address current with DMV. And DMV always sends out the notices to the last known address.
Attorney defending Veh. Code sec. 14601 cases often try to get the charge reduced to a less serious “driving without a valid license” or VC 12500(a), which can be an infraction instead of a misdemeanor.
The best way to avoid arrest for driving on a suspended license if you have old tickets, if to go to the court and schedule court date(s) or have an attorney do the work for you.
We offer free attorney case reviews for this purpose.
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