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Driving With a Suspended License
Trustworthy, Aggressive Legal Defense in Miami, Florida & Fort Lauderdale
For many Florida residents, a driver’s license is a an absolute necessity. These documents allow us to get to and from work and school, and generally help us maintain a convenient standard of living. When a person has his or her license suspended, revoked, or otherwise canceled, it can create numerous hardships.
About License Suspension in Florida
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 someone 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 cause serious repercussions. The alleged offender could be classified as a habitual traffic offender (HTO) and possibly have their license revoked for up to five years.
The Hoffman Firm Can Help You
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 our team at The Hoffman Firm for legal representation.
Evan Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Miami who represents clients throughout Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding communities in Miami-Dade County.
Overview of Driving While License is Suspended
- How can the state prove that an alleged offender knew that their license was suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified?
- What are some of the most common reasons driver’s licenses are suspended?
- Where can I learn more about driving while a license is suspended in Florida?
Under Florida Statute § 322.34, a motorist commits a moving violation if he or she drives a vehicle in Florida while their driver’s license or privilege is canceled, suspended, or revoked and the driver 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. This also applies to situations where 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, then any driving while license suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified offense is classified as a third-degree felony.
Defining Habitual Offenders
Florida Statute § 322.264 defines habitual offenders as motorists who, within a five-year period, accumulate at least 15 convictions for moving traffic offenses or three or more convictions. Applicable convictions can include of any combination of the following offenses:
- 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 with a suspended or revoked driver’s license;
- 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 the driver’s privilege is disqualified.
Common Reasons for Driver’s License Suspensions in Florida
Paying traffic tickets is much like 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 can result in a license suspension from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV).
Points are determined by the date the driver received the ticket, and the type of offense. The DHSMV is authorized to issue the following periods of suspension in the following circumstances:
- 30-day suspension: 12 points within 12 months;
- Three-month suspension: 18 points within 18 months; or
- One-year suspension: 24 points within 36 months.
Florida residents might have their driver’s licenses suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified for several other reasons, including:
- 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
- Miami-Dade County Clerk of Courts: On this section of the Miami-Dade County Clerk of Court’s website, you can learn more about all of the fees associated with a driver’s license suspension. You can also find a list 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.
- FLHSMV: Visit the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles 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.
Let Our Firm Defend Your Rights
If you were arrested or ticketed for allegedly driving while your license was suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified, it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. Our attorney at The Hoffman Firm can use his ample legal experience to help you pursue the most favorable outcome for your case. We understand what’s at stake, and we want to help find the best solution resulting in the fewest possible penalties.
Miami criminal defense attorney Evan Hoffman represents clients all over Miami-Dade County, including Miami and Fort Lauderdale. He can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case and help establish a customized legal strategy to best suit your case.
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