Driving While License Suspended
Driving while license suspended, cancelled or revoked lawyer in Florida
Lack of knowledge is a defense to driving while license suspended, cancelled or revoked in Florida
If you did not know your driver's license was suspended, that is a valid defense under Florida law.
How does the State of Florida attempt to prove your knowledge?
-If you have previously been cited or arrested for driving while license suspended, cancelled or revoked.
-You admit you knew it was suspended or received proper notice.
Driving while license suspended, cancelled or revoked is an enhancement crime. The more you do it, the worse the penalties get. If you are convicted 3 times within 5 years, there is a mandatory 5 year driver's license revocation. Note that withhold of adjudications count for the enhancement. So, even if you got a withhold of adjudication on each of the DWLS cases, they count for purposes of enhancement.
What are the penalties for knowingly driving while driver's license was suspended, cancelled or revoked?
First time: 60 days jail, $500 fine
Second time: 1 year in jail, $1,000 fine
Third or subsequent conviction or habitual traffic offender: 5 years prison, $5,000 fine.
What are the penalties for commercial drivers in Florida charged with driving while license suspended, cancelled or revoked?
First time: 1 year in jail, $1,000 fine
Second or subsequent time: 5 years prison, $5,000 fine.
What are some common reasons a driver's license may be suspended, cancelled or revoked in Florida?
Failure to pay a ticket – driving while license suspended charge
Driver's license suspension for failure to pay a ticket may be the most common reason a person gets a driving while license suspended charge in Florida. Knowledge is key. If you did not know your driver's license was suspended, that is a valid defense under Florida law. It is typically a stronger defense as to lack of knowledge in a failure to pay a ticket case as opposed to a drug conviction revocation or a DUI suspension. In those cases, the prosecutor may pull up the prior plea agreement and sentence to prove you had knowledge of the prior suspension.
Driver's license revocation for 893 (possession, sale, trafficking in drugs)
If a person is convicted of a drug offense – regardless of whether it is a possession, sale, or trafficking of a controlled substance, there is a 2 (two) year driver's license revocation. However, a person may apply for a hardship after 6 (six) months. Note that a withhold of adjudication does not count for purposes of the driver's license revocation under chapter 893. This is applicable to all felony drug offenses and even to misdemeanor possession of marijuana cases.
Driving while license suspended or revoked for DUI
Driving while license suspended or revoked for DUI is more serious than a suspension based on failing to pay a ticket.
The length of driver's license revocation for DUI depends on a number of factors. Is it your first, second, third or fourth DUI? Was there a crash? Damage to persons or property? A child in the car at the time of the offense? Was anyone seriously injured?
Generally, the driver's license revocation periods for DUI are:
1st time DUI
6 months to 1 year
2nd DUI within 5 years of last DUI
5 year revocation
3rd DUI within 10 years
10 year revocation
There are two potential driver's license suspensions for every DUI case. One is for the criminal case. The other is an administrative suspension from the department of highway safety motor vehicles.
Administrative DHSMV DUI driver's license suspension
Generally, these are the suspensions/revocations at the DHSMV:
1st DUI, blow
6 months suspension (May be eligible for a hardship after 30 days and sign up for the DUI class)
1st DUI refusal to blow
12 month suspension (May be eligible for a hardship after 90 days and sign up for the DUI class)
2nd or subsequent DUI refusal to blow
18 month suspension
Information on a DUI hardship license and the process of the DHSMV (department of highway safety motor vehicles is covered here.
See my book “Avoiding or Surviving a Florida DUI” on www.amazon.com for more details on driving revocations for DUI, how to get a hardship driver's license in Florida for DUI if you are eligible, how to beat a DUI, among other topics.
Failure to pay child support
Driver's license suspension for failure to pay child support (support delinquency) is another common reason for a driving while license suspended charge in Florida.
Conviction in another state
The DHSMV can suspend or revoke a Florida resident's driver's license if they get notice of a conviction in another state or foreign country of an offense, that if committed in Florida, would be grounds to revoke or suspend your license here in Florida.
Failure to pay a judgment
Let's say you got into a car accident. It was your fault. A judgment was entered against you. You owe the money, but didn't pay it. That could be grounds for the DHSMV suspending your driver's license. Sometimes the judgment amount is huge. I have helped people get their driver's licenses back by negotiating a payment plan with the victim and submitting that agreement to DHSMV.
Permanent revocation of a driver's license in Florida
Murder as a result of a motor vehicle, DUI manslaughter where the conviction represents a subsequent DUI related conviction of a 4th DUI, failure to stop and render aid as required by law after a crash resulting in death or personal injury of another, conviction of three charges of reckless driving committed within a period of 12 months, all require a permanent driver's license revocations.
“Law is not black and white, it's Grey”
Board certified criminal trial lawyer serving clients all over Florida with driving while license suspended, cancelled, revoked charges. Main office is in West Palm Beach, Florida. We have satellite offices in Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Estero, Florida.