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Driving With Suspended License- Florida
Jacksonville Suspended or Revoked Driver’s License Attorney
In Florida, Driving With Suspended or Revoked Driver’s License (DWLS) is a serious
criminal offense. Often, Florida drivers plead to Suspended License charges without
even being aware of the long-term consequences for their driving privileges. If you
are facing a charge of Driving with a Suspended or Revoked Driver's License in Jacksonville,
FL, contact an experienced Jacksonville Suspended License Attorney for a free consultation.
What Are the Penalties in Florida for Driving With a Suspended License?
Under Florida law, if a prosecutor succeeds in proving that the accused knew of the
suspension, revocation, or cancellation, a first time offense can result in 60 days
jail and a fine of up to $500.00. A second offense may be charged as a first degree
misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail. A third offense
in Florida may result in felony charges, with up to 5 years in prison and maximum
fine of $5,000.00.
If this third offense and two previous offenses occur within a five year period,
you will be labeled by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (Department
of Motor Vehicles) as a Habitual Traffic Offender. Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO)
status in Jacksonville results in a five-year driver’s license revocation. A person
classified as a Habitual Traffic Offender can not even obtain a hardship license
until a full year has elapsed from their most recent conviction. For additional
information about Habitual Traffic Offender status in Florida, visit our Florida
Habitual Traffic Offender Attorney web page.
Why is My Florida Driver’s License Suspended?
There are a number of reasons for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
to suspend a Florida driver’s license. Common examples can include the following:
child support delinquency,
DUI arrest or conviction,
Habitual Traffic Offender classification,
failure to pay fines, court judgments, or court costs;
failure to appear in court
failure to maintain continuous insurance
plea to a racing on highways charge;
petit theft convictions;
An experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer is an invaluable resource for
explaining the reasons for the suspension or revocation and opening options to have
the suspension / revocation lifted. If your Florida license is suspended, call us
today to find out why.
Are There Defenses to a Suspended License Charge in Florida?
There are many defenses and strategies available to defeat a suspended license charge
or to mitigate potential penalties. Common examples include:
Legal challenges to the validity of the traffic stop;
the accused was not driving;
the accused did not know of the suspension, cancellation, or revocation;
the accused was not driving on a public highway;
the vehicle is not a “motor vehicle” for purposes of the driver’s license statute;
the accused’s Florida driver’s license had been reinstated or adequate reason existed
to believe it had been reinstated.
Where there are no viable defenses available, we seek to negotiate with the prosecution
to have the charge amended to No Valid Florida Driver’s License or, in some cases,
to a civil citation (failure to display). This most often occurs in cases where
there is a minimal driving record, or where the individual obtains a valid Florida
driver’s license prior to entering a plea or going to trial.
An amendment of the charge dramatically lessens the penalties and driver’s license
consequences a person would have faced had he or she been convicted of driving on
a suspended license. Where amendment is not a possibility, we seek to minimize the
penalties so as to avoid jail, probation, and debilitating fines.