Suspended license criminal defense

Driving While License Suspended

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Driving while your driver’s license is suspended is a serious offense in Florida. We represent people who have been charged with ➠ Driving While License Suspended and ➠ Habitual Traffic Offender.

Driving While License Suspended

On October 1, 2019, Florida amended section 322.34, Fla. Stat., significantly. Today, the issuance of a driving while license suspended [DWLS] ticket is more complex and the penalties include a minimum mandatory jail sentence.

There are still two types of tickets, civil and criminal. You should always contact a lawyer if you receive either one.

Civil Infraction

  • Unknowingly
  • Considered a ticket
  • Minimal fine
  • Easy to get dismissed
  • Counts towards HTO if not handled correctly

Criminal Infraction

  • Knowingly
  • Criminal offense
  • Typically easy to resolve
  • Counts toward HTO if not handled correctly
  • Multiple Cases can lead to jail

Never enter a plea of guilty to a driving while license suspended offense without first consulting with a lawyer. Being found guilty of this offense will cause:

  • higher insurance rates,
  • a black mark on your driving record that will exist forever and accumulate for higher penalties in the future
  • potential serious criminal penalties,
  • potential collateral penalties including up to a 5-year driver’s license suspension,
  • vehicle impoundment and liens, and
  • possible mandatory jail (10 days).

⚖ Why Your Driver’s License is Suspended page

NOTE: Whether a ticket is issued as “knowingly” or “unknowingly” has nothing to do with whether you actually knew your license was suspended. It is totally up to the law enforcement officer that issues the ticket. However, the truth of the matter can be your defense.

Anderson v. State, 87 So.3d 774 (Fla. 2012): For purposes of the crime of Driving While License Suspended, proof that the DMV mailed notice to the last known address that the defendant provided is sufficient to prove knowledge. The State is not required to prove “actual knowledge.”

Other Potential Offenses

  • Driving Without a Valid License
  • Failure to Display License
  • Attached Tag Not Assigned
  • Fleeing/Eluding Law Enforcement
  • Expired Driver’s License
  • Driving with a suspended license due to HTO
  • False Identification
  • Grand Theft Auto

The Penalties For Driving With a Suspended Driver’s License

Driving with a suspended license can be a crime under Florida law. There are several forms of this crime; driving with a suspended license, driving with an expired license, or no driver’s license at all. Each is unique and each carries serious penalties that you should avoid at all costs due to the potential long term ramifications they can cause.

As of October 1, 2019, Florida law also requires a minimum mandatory jail sentence for multiple DWLS offenses. This is why each of these tickets, whether civil or criminal, needs to be handled by an experienced attorney.

Possible Resolutions

Depending on the charge and your prior driving history, possible resolutions include:

  • dropping charges,
  • amending to a civil infraction,
  • payment of costs and/or costs and fine,
  • probation,
  • incarceration.

Fees and Costs

As long as these offenses are minimized, typically due to the representation of an attorney, the fees and costs can be kept to a minimum.

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