Driving While License is Suspended
For many Florida residents, driver’s licenses are necessary for getting to and from work, school, or otherwise maintaining a basic livelihood. When a person has his or her license suspended, revoked, or otherwise canceled, it can create numerous hardships.
If a motorist drives a motor vehicle in the Sunshine State while his or her license is suspended or revoked, it can be a criminal offense punishable by possible incarceration and fines if the state can prove that the alleged offender knew that his or her driving privileges were canceled. While a person who was unaware of the suspension or revocation of his or her license will only be charged with a moving violation, paying the resulting ticket and thus pleading guilty to the alleged offense could still lead to that alleged offender being classified as a habitual traffic offender (HTO) and possibly having the license revoked for five years.Lawyer for Driving With Suspended License Arrests in Miami-Dade County, Florida
Were you cited or arrested for allegedly driving in Florida while your license was suspended, revoked, or otherwise disqualified? You should avoid saying anything to authorities until you have contacted The Hoffman Firm for legal representation.
Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Miami who represents clients in Hialeah, Opa-locka, Miami, North Miami, South Miami, Key Biscayne, Aventura, Coral Gables, and several surrounding communities in Miami-Dade County. Call (305) 249-0090 right now to have our lawyer review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free, confidential consultation.
Overview of Driving While License is Suspended in North Miami
- How can the state prove that an alleged offender knew that his or her license was suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified?
- What are some of the most common reasons that driver’s licenses are suspended?
- Where can learn more about driving while a license is suspended in Miami-Dade County?
Driving While License is Suspended Penalties in Florida
Under Florida Statute § 322.34, a motorist commits a moving violation if he or she drives a vehicle in Florida while his or her driver’s license or privilege is canceled, suspended, or revoked and was not aware of such cancellation, suspension, or revocation. If, however, the alleged offender drove while he or she knew that his or her license or privilege was canceled, suspended, or revoked, the criminal offenses are classified as follows:
- First Conviction — Second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and/or fine of up to $500;
- Second Conviction — First-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or fine of up to $1,000; and
- Third or Subsequent Conviction — Third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or fine of up to $5,000.
The element of an alleged offender’s knowledge of the cancellation, suspension, or revocation is satisfied if he or she has been previously cited for driving while license suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified, the alleged offender admits to knowledge of the cancellation, suspension, or revocation, or he or she received notice of any judgment or court order canceling, suspending, or revoking the license. If an alleged offender has been designated as an HTO, than any driving while license suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified offense is classified as a third-degree felony.
Florida Statute § 322.264 defines HTOs as motorists who, within a five-year period, accumulate 15 convictions for moving traffic offenses for which points may be assessed or three or more convictions of any combination of the following offenses arising out of separate acts:
- Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle;
- Any DUI violation;
- Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used;
- Driving a motor vehicle while his or her license is suspended or revoked;
- Failing to stop and render aid as required under the laws of this state in the event of a motor vehicle crash resulting in the death or personal injury of another; or
- Driving a commercial motor vehicle while his or her privilege is disqualified.
Common Reasons Why Driver’s Licenses Get Suspended in Miami-Dade County
Paying traffic tickets is essentially the same as pleading guilty to the alleged offenses, and certain violations result in points being added to a motorist’s driving record. When a driver accumulates a certain number of points in a specified time frame, it results in that person’s license being suspended by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV).
Points are calculated by the date people received the tickets, and the DHSMV is authorized to suspend driver’s licenses when a motorist accumulates any of the following:
- 30-day suspension for 12 points within 12 months;
- Three-month suspension for 18 points within 18 months; or
- One-year suspension for 24 points within 36 months.
A few of the other reasons that Florida residents might have their driver’s licenses suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified include, but are not limited to:
- 15 unexcused school absences in 90 days;
- Convictions for certain criminal traffic offenses;
- Convictions for certain drug and theft offenses;
- Convictions for driving under the influence (DUI);
- Failing driving tests;
- Failure to pay traffic tickets;
- Failure to appear in court;
- Failure to complete court-ordered school;
- Failure to comply with traffic summons;
- Failure to maintain automobile insurance;
- Failure to pay child support;
- Failure to pay civil judgment, court costs, or fines;
- Failure to submit a vision report (Inadequate/Field of Vision);
- Having certain medical conditions;
- HTO designation;
- Non-DUI traffic violation resulting in death or serious bodily injury; or
- Refusal to submit to DUI chemical test.
Florida Resources for Driving While License is Suspended
Driver's License Suspension information in Criminal Clerk of Courts | Miami-Dade County — On this section of the Miami-Dade County Clerk of Court’s website, you can learn more about all of the fees that need to be paid when a driver’s license has been suspended. You can also find a listing of locations for in-person assistance, including requests for payment plans. When a person makes a full payment of court costs or is placed on a payment plan, the Clerk of Courts provides an Affidavit to Reinstate Driver License Privilege to submit to the Florida DHSMV.
Clerk of the Courts
Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building
1351 NW 12th Street
Miami, FL 33125
Driver License Suspensions | Florida DHSMV — Visit this website to find the answers to several frequently asked questions about driver’s licenses suspensions and revocations in Florida. Find out how to clear unpaid tickets, reinstate a license revoked for inadequate vision, or clear a suspension for failure to comply with traffic summons, to appear on a traffic summons, or to pay fine. You can also learn how to reinstate your license after a suspension for a violation (not DUI-related) resulting in death or serious bodily injury, a revocation as an HTO, or being suspended for being delinquent in child support.
If you were arrested or ticketed for allegedly driving while your license was suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified, it will be in your best interest to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. The Hoffman Firm can fight to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case resulting in the fewest possible penalties.
Miami criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman represents clients all over Miami-Dade County, including Key Biscayne, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Homestead, Hialeah, Doral, Aventura, North Miami, and South Miami. He can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (305) 249-0090 or fill out an online contact form to take advantage of a free consultation.