Driving with a suspended license in Florida is a criminal offense. Depending on the reasons for the suspension and whether you have had prior charges of driving with a suspended license, the charge may be either a misdemeanor or a felony.
Unfortunately, many Florida drivers do not realize the seriousness of a charge of driving with a suspended license. They do not take the charges seriously, do not hire an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney, and plead guilty to the charge of driving with a suspended license without being fully aware of the long-term consequences for their driving privileges and their criminal record.
What are the Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License in Florida?
Under Florida Statute §322.34, a first offense for driving with a suspended license can result in up to 60 days of jail time and a fine of up to $500.
A second offense can be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor with penalties of up to 1 year in jail.
A third offense can result in felony charges, with penalties of up to 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Even if you are convicted of driving with a suspended driver’s license, in most cases you can apply for a hardship license, which would grant you limited driving privileges to travel to work and school during the period of suspension.
If you receive a third charge of driving with a suspended license in Florida within a five-year period you will be labeled as a Habitual Traffic Offender, which can result in a 5-year revocation of your driver’s license. If your license is revoked and you are labelled a Habitual Traffic Offender you cannot apply for a hardship license within the first year after the most recent conviction.
Why Your Florida Driver’s License Might Be Suspended?
Your Florida driver’s license might have been suspended for any number of reasons, including:
- Points suspensions
- Child support delinquency
- DUI arrest or conviction
- Classification as a Habitual Traffic Offender
- Failure to pay fines, court judgments, or court costs
- Failure to appear in court
- Failure to maintain continuous car insurance
- Drug related convictions
- Conviction for racing on a highway
- Petit theft conviction
- DUI refusal
Should I Hire a Lawyer if I was Charged for Driving with a Suspended License?
If you were charged with driving with a suspended license, you have options.
In the best-case scenario, a Florida criminal defense lawyer might be able to have your case thrown out.
Otherwise, a skilled and experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer may be able to minimize the penalties associated with a conviction for driving with a suspended license.
For example, a Florida criminal defense lawyer could argue that:
- The traffic stop was invalid
- You were not actually driving
- You did not know that your license was under suspension
- You were not driving on a public highway
- The vehicle was not a “motor vehicle” under the driver’s license statute
- Your driver’s license had been reinstated or you had reason to believe it had been reinstated
Even if you do not have any of these defenses available, a skilled and experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer may still be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to have the charge amended to Driving Without a Valid License, or to a civil infraction such as failure to display your driver’s license.
By hiring a criminal defense attorney who can work with the prosecutor to amend the charges against you, you have a better chance of reducing the penalties to avoid jail time, probation, fines, and further suspension of your license.
Charged for Driving with a Suspended License in Florida? The Law Office of Jody L. Fisher Can Help
If you have been charged for driving with a suspended license in Florida, a skilled and experienced Florida criminal defense attorney can can help.
As a former prosecutor, I know how the system works, and can use my skill and experience to help reduce the charges against you, or even have your DUI case dismissed.
Based in Leesburg, the Law Office of Jody L. Fisher defends people throughout central-Florida who are facing charges of driving with a suspended license. Contact me today by calling (352) 503-4111, email, or complete our online form.