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Can You Go to Jail for Driving with a Suspended License in Florida?

Do you have a suspended driver’s license in Florida yet continue to drive your car? If so, it's time to take your suspension seriously. Driving with a suspended license in Florida can carry serious legal consequences. Even if you were unaware of the suspension or were confused about why your license was suspended in the first place, the reality is that driving without a valid license can result in jail time and hefty fines.

In this article, we'll explore just how serious the penalties for driving on a suspended license are in Florida. If you or someone you know is facing a driving with a suspended license charge, you need an experienced attorney by your side. Call the Law Offices of R. David Williams today at (954) 522-9997 to schedule a FREE consultation and discuss your legal options with an experienced driving with a suspended license lawyer.

What Is the Punishment for Driving with a Suspended License in Florida?

In Florida, knowingly driving with a suspended license is considered a serious offense and can result in significant penalties and jail time. According to Florida statutes, driving with a suspended license can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony criminal offense, depending on the circumstances under which you were operating your motor vehicle.

First Offense

If this is your first offense, driving on a suspended license is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor with penalties of up to 60 days in the county jail or six months probation, and carries a fine of up to $500.

Second Offense

If this is your second offense, the crime is charged as a first-degree misdemeanor with penalties of up to one year in the county jail, and carries a fine of up to $1,000.

Third Offense

The expression “the third time’s a charm” doesn’t apply if this is your third offense. This offense can be charged as a felony, punishable by five years in Florida State Prison. It also carries a fine of up to $5,000.

Ultimately, whether you go to jail for driving on a suspended license depends on the offense's severity and any prior criminal records you may have. It is important to note that the consequences of driving with a suspended license are even more severe if you have caused serious injury or death while doing so. In such cases, jail time is almost inevitable and can result in stiff fines and license suspension.

Hardship License

A driver's license suspension can seem like a difficult hurdle to overcome. However, in many cases, you may still be able to apply for a hardship license that grants limited privileges to travel to work and school during your driver’s license suspension.

Habitual Traffic Offender

If you are found guilty of three serious driving offenses, including operating a vehicle while your license is suspended, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has the authority to suspend your driver's license for five years as a habitual traffic offender – even if you were unknowingly driving with a suspended license in Florida. If you have been designated as a habitual traffic offender, you are ineligible to apply for a hardship license.

What Are Some of the Common Reasons for a License Suspension in Florida?

In Florida, common reasons for license suspension include the following:

  • Traffic violations such as speeding or reckless driving
  • Failure to appear in court
  • Failing to pay fines, court judgments, or court costs
  • DUI/DWI offenses
  • Drug-related offenses
  • Certain criminal convictions

Sometimes, a driver's license may also be suspended due to non-payment of child support or failure to have the minimum required auto insurance.

How a Lawyer Can Help You if Charged for Driving with a Suspended License

You have options if charged with driving with a suspended license in Florida. Your Florida driving with a suspended license lawyer could argue that:

  • You were not the person driving the vehicle
  • You were unaware that your license was suspended
  • The traffic stop was illegal
  • The vehicle you were driving did not fall under the state’s definition of a motor vehicle
  • You believed your driver's license had been reinstated

Even if these defenses do not apply in your case, a skilled Florida driving with a suspended license lawyer might be able to negotiate with prosecutors to reduce your driving with a suspended license charge.

Are You Facing Charges for Driving with a Suspended License in Florida?

If you're facing charges for driving with a suspended license in Florida, call attorney David Williams for personalized service and the best possible defense tailored to your unique needs. At the Law Offices of R. David Williams, P.A., we care about our clients and know that good people can make bad mistakes.

Mr. Williams has been practicing criminal defense in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and other counties throughout Florida for over 25 years. Let him help you get your life back on track. Call us today at (954) 522-9997, or complete our online form to schedule your FREE consultation.

Copyright © 2023. Law Offices of R. David Williams, P.A. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (post) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Law Offices of R. David Williams, P.A.
15 Southwest 10th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315
(954) 522-9997
https://dwilliamslaw.com/

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