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  1. #1
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    Default Penalty for Parent of 19 Year Old Caught Driving Without License

    My question involves a driver's license issued by the State of: California.... My son, 19 yrs old was given a ticket for driving without a license two days before he passed his driving test. I the parent was also given a ticket. He was taking his sister to school because his older brother could not take her. On his way to drop her off my daughter called to let me know what was going on, I was unaware of anything up untill that moment. I received a notice from the DA saying they wanted to prosecute. Is this possible? I didn't even know till after the fact. What can happen to me? Do I have any defense at all? A few days later he got his license, paid his fine in full and going to traffic school.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Penalty for Parent of 19 Year Old Caught Driving Without License

    Quote Quoting ginaeg1
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    My question involves a driver's license issued by the State of: California.... My son, 19 yrs old was given a ticket for driving without a license two days before he passed his driving test. I the parent was also given a ticket. He was taking his sister to school because his older brother could not take her. On his way to drop her off my daughter called to let me know what was going on, I was unaware of anything up untill that moment. I received a notice from the DA saying they wanted to prosecute. Is this possible? I didn't even know till after the fact. What can happen to me? Do I have any defense at all? A few days later he got his license, paid his fine in full and going to traffic school.
    What code sections were you each cited for? I'm guessing his is VC 12500(a) and yours is VC 14604(a)? Yes, it IS possible for you to be prosecuted, and VC 14604 a misdemeanor holding up to 6 months in jail. Often this can be pled down to probation and a fine only, and the recommended fine and assessment total for this offense is about $690.

    Your only real defense is that your son stole your car. Otherwise, you will be considered to have granted your permission to drive the car without a license. You can work with an attorney and try and make an argument that he took it without your permission and hope they don't press you to pursue charges against your son, but I'm not sure how much success you'll have with that. On the few occasions I have seen it argued, it's failed. But, I have only seen it argued in one county's court, so I cannot say what sort of common practice it might be. In an event, if charged, you will want an attorney.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

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    Love mercy,
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Penalty for Parent of 19 Year Old Caught Driving Without License

    Quote Quoting ginaeg1
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    I received a notice from the DA saying they wanted to prosecute. Is this possible? I didn't even know till after the fact. What can happen to me? Do I have any defense at all?
    In the abstract, anything is possible -- especially if the DA has gotten involved (which isn't usually the case with traffic tickets), but the rest of this depends on what you were cited for.

    If you were cited for VC 14604(a), the DA must prove that you "knowingly allow[ed] [your son] to drive the vehicle upon a highway [without] determin[ing] that [your son] possesse[d] a valid driver’s license." I assume you were aware that your son did not have a valid license, but your statement that you were "unaware of anything up until[] [the] moment" that your daughter called you suggests that you did not "knowingly allow" him to drive. Whether you call that your son stealing your car or taking it without permission is of no real relevance, but you will have to affirmatively testify that you did not give your son permission to drive by himself, and that may result in additional consequences for your son.

    I suggest you confer with a local attorney.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Penalty for Parent of 19 Year Old Caught Driving Without License

    Quote Quoting pg1067
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    In the abstract, anything is possible -- especially if the DA has gotten involved (which isn't usually the case with traffic tickets), but the rest of this depends on what you were cited for.
    In most cases - like the son's 12500(a) - that would be true. But, VC 14604 is - by statute - NOT an infraction, and is a misdemeanor.

    If you were cited for VC 14604(a), the DA must prove that you "knowingly allow[ed] [your son] to drive the vehicle upon a highway [without] determin[ing] that [your son] possesse[d] a valid driver’s license." I assume you were aware that your son did not have a valid license, but your statement that you were "unaware of anything up until[] [the] moment" that your daughter called you suggests that you did not "knowingly allow" him to drive. Whether you call that your son stealing your car or taking it without permission is of no real relevance, but you will have to affirmatively testify that you did not give your son permission to drive by himself, and that may result in additional consequences for your son.

    I suggest you confer with a local attorney.
    Yep. I have seen it come down to this: If the son did not have permission to drive the car, then he stole it. And, given that the offense of auto theft can be charged as a felony, things can then happen without the victim's acquiescence.

    A lawyer is necessary here.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Penalty for Parent of 19 Year Old Caught Driving Without License

    Quote Quoting ginaeg1
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    He was taking his sister to school because his older brother could not take her.

    Kind of implies that Mom knew what was happening and didn't object to it.

    I believe that's called "constructive permission."

    Else how did sonny get the car and the keys?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Penalty for Parent of 19 Year Old Caught Driving Without License

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    Kind of implies that Mom knew what was happening and didn't object to it.

    I believe that's called "constructive permission."

    Else how did sonny get the car and the keys?
    Exactly!

    Mom would likely have to show that the keys were hidden and unavailable to the child and that he pilfered them from a secure location. I'll wager that if they delved into it, they'd find that he had driven without permission before. In fact, I suspect the police specifically asked if his mom knew about his driving and he answered in the affirmative to some degree.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Penalty for Parent of 19 Year Old Caught Driving Without License

    Leaving the extra set of keys in an unlocked drawer is a long way from "knowingly allow[ing] [an unlicensed kid] to drive," but this is all pointless speculation until and unless the OP returns and clarifies things.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Penalty for Parent of 19 Year Old Caught Driving Without License

    Quote Quoting pg1067
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    Leaving the extra set of keys in an unlocked drawer is a long way from "knowingly allow[ing] [an unlicensed kid] to drive," but this is all pointless speculation until and unless the OP returns and clarifies things.
    One would think so. But, if the officer did as most of us do under these circs, he asked the kid whether mom knew he was driving the car. I have never yet had a kid claim that mom and/or dad did NOT know they were operating the car. They usually say that their parents let them do it in certain circumstances.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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