If you have been been arrested or given a ticket for driving with a canceled, suspended, revoked or disqualified license you should immediately contact a lawyer who handles suspended license cases. Early involvement is crucial, in certain cases prior to an arraignment, there is an option for resolving the case without being convicted or receiving any points on your license. If your case is a criminal matter you should avoid a plea to this charge and consult with a suspended license lawyer who will discuss how these charges may be eligible to be amended or even dismissed.
Driving with a suspended license can be a civil penalty only punishable by a fine or a criminal matter that is punishable by a fine and jail. The difference between a person charged with a civil penalty versus a criminal charge is if the person has knowledge of the license suspension when they were stopped and caught. Having knowledge or lack thereof is not as simple as one might think. Florida Statute 322.251 explains that 20 days after being mailed notice by the DMV the element of knowledge is proven, regardless if you actually received anything in your mailbox. There are many defenses available despite this statute, contact a lawyer who handles suspended license cases who can explain these defenses and handle the case properly.
Many drivers ticketed for this offense mistakenly pay the fine instead of contacting a lawyer who handles suspended license cases.When you pay the ticket you are automatically admitting the civil infraction and depending on your driving record, if you three driving related offenses within a 5 year period you are labeled by the DMV as a habitual traffic offender or HTO. This designation of HTO will result in your license being suspended for a 5 year period and you will be ineligible for any type of license, including a hardship license for at least one year. Don’t make the mistake of paying that ticket without consulting with a suspended license lawyer. If you are already a habitual traffic offender there are steps that can be taken to undo your status and regain your license in certain cases. Contact our office today to discuss if we can assist you in removing the HTO status in your case.
If you have been charged with a criminal matter resulting from driving with a suspended, revoked canceled or disqualified license, Florida statute 322.34 provides the following penalties:
- A first conviction is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
- A second conviction is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $1000 fine.
- A third or subsequent conviction is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5000 fine.
If caught driving a commercial motor vehicle the penalties for this crime are:
- A first conviction for this crime is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $1000 fine.
- A second or subsequent conviction is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5000 fine.
If caught driving with a canceled, suspended or revoked license and by careless or negligent operation of the motor vehicle cause the death of or serious bodily injury to another human being, the crime is a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5000 fine.
If you have been charged with a civil infraction or a criminal matter call our office today to discuss how we can help. We provide free consultations and have offices available in Clearwater, New Port Richey, Dade City and Brooksville.
Don’ t make the mistake that can last a lifetime, call our office for a free consultation.