The state of Florida has some of the busiest roads and highways. The transport sector contributes a significant portion of state revenue. Millions of vehicles pass through Florida’s roadways daily. For most Florida residents, a car is necessary, and it’s impossible to move from point A to point B without one. Whether it’s running errands, commuting to work, or doing deliveries, cars make the commuting process much easier and faster. That’s why if your license is revoked due to one reason or another, you can find yourself in a very frustrating situation.
A license suspension could hinder your ability to handle your daily responsibilities and commitments and can impact critical aspects of your life in ways you wouldn’t have imagined. It could place you in a sobering situation where you would appreciate the value of your driving license once it’s taken from you. To further compound the situation, if you’re caught driving while your license is revoked or suspended, you could face a possible jail sentence with high fines.
Considering the magnitude of the problems you might face, you should enlist the services of a qualified suspended license attorney if you’re caught driving in Palm Beach or counties while your license is suspended. A Florida suspended license attorney will effectively represent you, so you don’t end up with a heavier penalty.
Florida Laws And Penalties For Suspended Driving License
Under Florida state laws, driving with a revoked or suspended license is a severe criminal offense. It’s pretty standard for suspended license drivers in Florida to plead guilty to traffic violation charges without knowing the long-term consequences of doing so and the possibility of a criminal record.
The offense of driving with a revoked license may attract different penalties, including a jail term and hefty fines. Usually, repeat offenders receive the heaviest penalty. As a Florida resident, your license can be revoked for a maximum of five years depending on the circumstances leading to the suspension and whether you are a first-time or repeat offender. It also depends on the seriousness of the traffic offense. Your license can be suspended for 6 to 12 months or revoked for a minimum of five years up to the time it can be revoked permanently. However, your license can only be revoked permanently in extended and special cases. Driving with a suspended or revoked license is a criminal offense in Florida that is punishable as a felony or misdemeanor.
If you are charged with a traffic violation offense, especially a suspended or revoked license, you should consider working with experienced Florida suspended license attorneys who are conversant with the law to help you challenge the case. Your lawyer can also help you apply for a “hardship” license. A hardship license allows you to drive even if your original license is revoked until the end of the suspension period. However, this type of license restricts your movements or driving to specific places at specific times.
Florida Penalties For Driving While Your License Is Suspended
Under Section 322.34 of the Florida Statutes, if you are caught driving with a suspended license for the first time while you’re fully aware that your license has been suspended, revoked, or canceled, you can be sentenced to up to 2 months in jail. The first-time offense also attracts a fine of up to $500.00. If you are a second-time offender of the same offense, you can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor offense and be sentenced to up to 12 months in jail. Again if you are charged with the same offense for the third time, the offense will be charged as a felony that attracts a minimum of five years in jail. It also carries an additional fine of $5,000.
If you are charged with the same offense three times within five years, you will be marked as a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (Department of Motor Vehicles). An HTO status can result in your driver’s license being revoked for another five years. Furthermore, as a Habitual Traffic Offender, you cannot qualify for a hardship license until after 12 months from when your license was last revoked. You can learn more about Florida Habitual Traffic Offender status laws by visiting the Florida Habitual Traffic Offender web page.
What Can Cause Your License To Be Suspended In Florida
There are several legal reasons that can prompt the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to suspend a driver’s license in Florida. For instance, if you refuse to undergo a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test or take the test but fail to submit the results, your license can be revoked. Also, if you fail to fulfill your child support obligations, receive many points on your license, or commit other criminal offenses (driving and non-driving), you can lose your driving privileges.
Still, with the help of experienced Florida suspended license attorneys, you may have a few options, including winning your case. Besides the restricted or hardships license may have the option of having your car fired with an ignition interlock device to monitor your driving activities. Examples of reasons why your license may be revoked include:
- Lots of points in your license
- Default in child support
- DUI Refusal.
- A DUI arrest or sentence
- Habitual Traffic Offender status
- Defaulting to pay court fines, honor court judgments, or transparent court fees
- Failure to make a courtroom appearance
- Drug-related arrests
- Plea to dangerous driving on highways charge
- Petty theft charges
Experienced Florida suspended license attorneys and criminal defense lawyers can help you understand what you need to know about revoking or suspending your driving license. They can also provide you with options on how you can get the suspension lifted. If you need to know why your license has been revoked, contact us, and we’ll help you find out.
Your Options When Dealing With A License Suspension Or Revocation
Traffic laws and penalties are different in each state. However, in Florida, you may have a few options in some instances resulting in a revocation. If the revocation was due to unpaid financial obligations such as child support delinquency, unpaid fines, or traffic tickets, you could have the suspension lifted after paying the amount you owe. From there, you should follow Florida’s driving license reinstatement procedures to get your license back.
Another option is to apply for an ignition interlock device. This option only applies in a DUI-related offense and suspension. Under this option, your car will be fitted with a BAC-detecting device that allows you to drive only after confirming that you are sober. Otherwise, the car won’t start. This program is typically available to first-time DUI offenders.
Another option is to apply for a hardship license which limits your driving to the daily office commute and other essential travels. To receive this type of license, you must prove how having your driver’s license suspended would adversely affect your life, such as detailing your ability to receive healthcare or earn a living.
Legal Defenses To Driving With Suspended License
There are several defenses and tactics available that Florida suspended license attorneys can employ to help you defeat a suspended license charge or to reduce possible penalties. They include:
- Legally challenging the validity or legality of the traffic stop, whether it was legal for the traffic officers to stop your car in the manner they did. More information on this topic is available on the Florida Suspended License Traffic to Stop web page
- Proving that the accused was not driving at the time of the stop or arrest
- Proving that the accused did not know about the suspension, revocation, or cancellation
- Proving that the accused was not driving on a public roadway or busy highway, Learn more about this on the Motion to Dismiss Suspended License Charge web page;
- The vehicle the accused was driving was not a “motor vehicle” that requires a driver’s license statute;
- The accused’s driver’s license suspension had been lifted or there are sufficient reasons to show that it had been reinstated.
If there are no possible defenses available, we may negotiate with the prosecution to have your charge classified as No Valid Florida Driver’s License or a failure to display driver’s license citation. In such a scenario, there must be sufficient reasons to believe that you had a limited driving record or you obtained a valid driver’s license before taking a plea bargain.
The amendment of the charge results in lessening penalties and other revocations of driving privileges you might have faced if you had received a conviction for driving with a suspended license. In case the amendment is not possible as well, we will seek to reduce the penalties to avoid a possible jail, probation, or hefty fines sentencing.
Find Suspended License Attorneys Near Me
A suspended or revoked license can bring undue burdens and frustrations in your life. Your livelihood and even health may be detailed to a great extent. However, with the help of professional suspended license attorneys in Florida, you have a high chance of avoiding severe penalties and getting your life back on track.
At Meltzer And Bell P.A, we specialize in DUI and other criminal offenses, serving the greater Palm Beach area in Florida. If you have been accused of driving on a suspended, revoked, or canceled, revoked license, we can develop possible defenses to challenge the charge or reduce potential penalties. Contact us today at 5615578686 for a free initial case review.