Driving With A Suspended License In Florida – Penalties And Defenses
Driving with a suspended license is not only a crime, but it can cause administrative headaches that last months or even years. This type of offense can start with a seemingly harmless mistake that cascades into a nightmare situation. Your license can be suspended or revoked for any number of reasons to begin with, including:
- Arrest or conviction for DUI or a driving-related offense
- Refusal to submit to a roadside BAC test
- Failure to maintain car insurance
- Suspension for points accumulation
- Failure to pay court fines, judgments, or costs
- Drug convictions
- Child support delinquency
Once your license has been suspended – whether you are aware of the suspension or not – you run a risk of being charged with driving while suspended under Florida law.
Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License
If you are convicted of driving on a suspended license, the penalty for a first offense under Section 322.34 of the Florida Statutes could include:
- A second-degree misdemeanor charge
- Up to 60 days in jail
- Fines up to $500.00
Penalties for a second offense of driving while suspended can include up to 1 year in jail, and a third offense can lead to felony charges and a 5-year revocation of your driver’s license.
As you can see, the penalties escalate dramatically with each convicted offense. In addition to criminal consequences, you will face rising fines, costs, and car insurance premiums that can send you down a financial spiral. The best way to avoid lasting damage to your pocketbook and your right to drive is to avoid being convicted in the first place.
Defenses to Driving While Suspended or Revoked in Florida
Depending on the nature and circumstances of your arrest, your Orlando suspended-license defense attorney may be able to argue, for example:
- The defendant was not the person driving the car
- The defendant was not aware of the license suspension or revocation
- The arrest resulted from an unlawful traffic stop or other improper police procedure
- The defendant was not operating their vehicle on a public highway
- The vehicle was not a “motor vehicle” as defined by law
- The defendant’s license had already been reinstated, or the defendant had a good faith and reasonable belief that it had been reinstated
Even in the absence of a strong defense, an experienced Orlando area defense attorney may be able to negotiate your charge down to a lesser offense or civil infraction that doesn’t have a long-lasting impact on your driver’s license.
Many people make the mistake of pleading guilty to driving while suspended, without considering the consequences or consulting with an attorney about their rights.
Call Us Today to Discuss Your Case
At Joshi Law Firm, PA, we understand your concerns because we’ve helped many others in your situation. A charge of driving while your license is suspended can carry serious penalties, but we have the skills and resources to review your case thoroughly and prepare a strong strategy to get you back on the road. Reach out to our Orlando suspended-license defense attorneys for help.