Driving with a Suspended License
In Florida the crime of Driving with a Suspended License occurs when someone drives a motor vehicle with knowledge that their license is suspended, canceled, or revoked. Unfortunately, too many Floridians accused of Driving with a Suspended License plead guilty to the charge without fully appreciating the consequences of their plea.
A first-time offense of Driving with a Suspended License amounts to a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in, six months of probation and $500 fine. A second charge carries penalties of up to one-year in jail, one-year of probation and a $1000 fine. A third offense can be prosecuted as a third-degree felony if the underlying suspension, cancellation, or revocation resulted from a DUI , refusal to take a DUI breath, urine or blood test, a traffic offense causing death or serious bodily injury, or fleeing and eluding and is punishable by up to five years in prison, five years of probation and a $5,000 fine. Fla. Stat. § 775.082 and 775.083. If convicted, of a felony Driving with a Suspended License the offender must serve a minimum of 10 days in jail. Fla. Stat. § 322.34.
Furthermore, three convictions for Driving with a Suspended License results in the offender being designated a Habitual Traffic Offender and thus a five-year driver’s license revocation.
There are many reasons the DMV would suspend someone’s license. Common reasons include points suspensions, failure to pay child support, failure to pay court costs, fees or fines, DUI conviction, refusal to submit to testing, theft convictions, drug crime convictions to name a few.
Numerous defenses and strategies exist to defeat or minimize potential penalties to challenge a suspended license charge. First, if possible, we try to help the accused get a valid driver’s license. If the client does so, we lobby the State to dismiss the charges, which often happens. If this solution is not available to the client, we typically look for challenges to the underlying traffic stop or to challenge the “knowledge” element of the charge. If you need help with a Driving with a Suspended License charge, call Michael today for a free consultation.