Possible Penalties and Defenses for Driving With a Suspended License

      150 150 Joel Leppard

      In Florida, a driver’s license may be suspended for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to:
      • Failure to pay a traffic fine.
      • Failure to pay child support.
      • Failure to maintain insurance.
      • Reckless driving.
      • Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
      • Accumulation of traffic points.

      There are a number of driving related offences that someone could get in trouble for, such as driving without insurance. With the availability of such affordable insurance like Nationwide car insurance these days, there is no excuse for this. One of the biggest problems is people driving without a valid licence. A person who is caught driving with a suspended license may face serious consequences. A person driving under a suspended license with knowledge of the suspension can be charged with a criminal offense. Under Section 322.34, Florida Statutes, a first offense for driving with a suspended license (with knowledge of it being suspended, canceled or revoked) can result in 60 days jail and a fine of up to $500.00.

      A person driving under a suspended license without knowledge of the suspension can receive a civil citation, where they must pay a fine.

      Driving with a suspended license—either with or without knowledge—also counts as one of the “Three Strikes” toward being labeled a “Habitual Traffic Offender.” If an individual receives three convictions within five years for, among others charges: Driving with License Suspended (even if you are not arrested) Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Fleeing and Eluding that individual will be labeled a “Habitual Traffic Offender” and lose their license for five years. If charged with a subsequent Driving with License Suspended offense while a Habitual Traffic Offender, this offense is a Third Degree Felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison, 5 years probation and a $5,000 fine.

      Contact an Orlando experienced criminal defense attorney for a free consultation if you have been accused of driving on a suspended, canceled, or revoked license. You may be able to contest the charge or minimize penalties.

      Some possible defenses include:

      • Challenging the validity of the traffic stop.
      • The accused was not aware that his license was suspended (in which case, under Florida law, the charge must be reduced to a non-criminal traffic violation).
      • The accused’s Florida driver’s license had been reinstated or adequate reason existed to believe it had been reinstated.

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