Joseph H. Low IV Gets Client’s Vehicle Code Misdemeanor Dismissed
Criminal defense attorney Joseph H. Low IV recently got a case dismissed in which his client had been charged with one misdemeanor count of Vehicle Code Section 14604(a), a motor vehicle owner allowing an unlicensed driver to operate a motor vehicle. As a misdemeanor offense, the charge could have resulted in penalties, such as six months in a county jail, a maximum fine of $1,000, or the loss of driving privileges. Fortunately, the misdemeanor charge against Mr. Low’s client was dismissed.
In California, it is illegal for anyone to operate a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license and under Vehicle Code Section 14604(a), vehicle owners are legally obligated to uphold that law, as well. The law states that “no owner of a motor vehicle may knowingly allow another person to drive,” however, the owner is not required to go beyond a reasonable effort to determine whether or not the prospective driver has a valid driver’s license. This also means that the owner is not required to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles before allowing a prospective driver behind the wheel.
Potential Grounds for a Case Dismissal
A judge may dismiss a misdemeanor traffic violation on the following grounds:
- Lack of knowledge – In a case involving Vehicle Code Section 14604(a), the vehicle owner may not have known whether the prospective driver had a valid driver’s license and is not legally required to make an unreasonable effort to find out.
- Sua sponte – Latin for “of his or her own will,” meaning a judge may decide to dismiss a case if he or she determines that there is a problem with the case, such as a conflict of interest, the court lacks jurisdiction, or for want of prosecution.
- Insufficient service of process or insufficiency of process – If the summons or complaint was not properly served to the defendant or there is a clerical error or technical defect, a judge may dismiss a case.
Joseph H. Low IV is committed to defending his clients from unjust or excessive penalties and will tirelessly fight to win the best possible outcome for your particular circumstances. Call (888) 454-5569 to learn more about your legal rights and options in a free, confidential consultation.