According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there are over 17.5 million licensed drivers in the state. While some of them drive for a living, others acquire their license so they can carry out necessary travel that can’t be done on foot.
If your Florida driver’s license has been suspended, it can complicate your life and that of your family. You may rely on your driving privileges to get you to work or school, attend medical appointments, and run essential errands, all of which can make it impossible to abide by the suspension.
If you have been charged with driving in and around Tampa while your license is suspended, Sulte Law Firm can help. Attorney Ryan Sulte has years of experience defending criminal law and traffic cases and understands the challenges you face without a valid driver’s license. He will provide you with assertive and experienced defense representation so that you stand an ideal chance of putting the charges behind you.
Penalties for Driving While Your License is Suspended
If you are caught driving while your license is suspended, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances.
Florida Statute Section 322.34 states the following:
- A first conviction will be for a second-degree misdemeanor, which can subject you to a maximum fine of $500 and up to 60 days in jail.
- A second conviction will raise the charge to a first-degree misdemeanor, which can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and a maximum of one year in jail.
- Any third or subsequent convictions result in you being found guilty of a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
If you are designated a habitual traffic offender (defined as anyone who has accumulated a specific number of related convictions within a five year period), your driving privilege will be suspended/revoked for a five years. If this happens, you won’t even qualify for a hardship license within the first year after your license is suspended. This is one of the many reasons why you should contact a Tampa traffic lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact a Florida Suspended License Lawyer Today
Although some people trivialize traffic offenses, they can result in serious penalties that are especially severe for repeat offenders. Don’t face your suspended license charges alone: contact Sulte Law Firm in Tampa Bay at 813-223-4343 right away to schedule a consultation.
What are the Grounds for Suspending Your Driver’s License in Florida?
Under Florida Statute Section 322.27, the DMV can suspend your license without a preliminary hearing if you committed acts like the following:
Violating a traffic law, followed by a crash that resulted in property damage exceeding $500 or led to the personal injury or death of another person;
Knowingly obtained the license through fraud or misrepresentation or allowed it to be used illegally;
Committing a driving offense in another state that would be grounds for suspending your license in Florida
Being arrested for DUI in Tampa will result in an immediate and automatic suspension of your license, in addition to the penalties for driving under the influence. Other grounds for losing your license include:
Failure to appear in traffic court or pay a previous ticket
Failing to pay child support
Possessing alcohol while underage
Getting 12 or more license points in a one-year period
What is the Difference Between License Suspension and Revocation?
When your license is suspended in Florida, it is usually a temporary measure, and you will get it back after a certain period of time passes or you take required steps to lift the suspension. License revocation, on the other hand, means that your license is taken away. If you are designated a habitual traffic offender, the DMV will revoke your license and you may not be eligible for relicensing for at least five years.
If you are caught driving while your license is suspended or revoked, don’t take chances- contact a suspended license attorney for a timely and assertive defense.
How Can an Attorney help with a Suspended License Violation?
If you’re arrested for driving while your license is suspended, a lawyer will protect your rights and pursue all viable defenses. Perhaps you genuinely weren’t aware that your license was suspended, or you had adequate reason to believe it had been reinstated. Maybe you weren’t even driving in the first place.
Even if there is no valid defense, your experienced suspended license defense lawyer can negotiate with the prosecution to have the charge dismissed, amended or strive to minimize the penalties so that you avoid jail time, excessive fines or even get the suspension or revocation removed. At Sulte Law Firm, we know what’s at stake for you and will use our experience and knowledge of Florida traffic law to achieve the best outcome for your case.