The Consequences for Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License in Florida
In Florida, a judge typically has good reason to suspend or revoke a person’s driver’s license, so when that person is caught driving on a suspended or revoked license, they face a range of criminal consequences. These penalties can include up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. Because of the hefty punishment, it would be in your best interest to contact a Miami traffic offenses defense lawyer to protect your rights and your freedom if you are arrested for driving when you should not be.
Difference Between a Suspended and Revoked License
In Florida, a person may either have their license suspended temporarily, or revoked permanently. Which all depends on the severity of the civil or criminal matter that led to the sanction. Under Florida Statute § 322.01(40), Revocation means that the state of Florida takes away your rights to drive entirely. Under Florida Statute § 322.01(36), Suspension means that your rights to drive are temporarily frozen.
Suspension is the lesser of the two sanctions. As such, it is usually a civil offense that will cause your license to be suspended. For instance, if you are behind on your alimony payments, the judge may order a suspension until you get caught up. Your license may be suspended if you receive a DUI for the first time, have too many points on your record, or are caught driving excessively fast.
Revocation, on the other hand, means that your license is taken away for good. Typically, a judge will only do this if you have:
- A murder or manslaughter charge that resulted from a driving accident;
- An excessive number of DUI convictions;
- A felony conviction if a vehicle was used during the offense;
- A hit and run conviction in which someone was injured or killed;
- Three reckless driving convictions within the period of one year; or
- Prostitution charges if a vehicle was involved.
Additionally, your license may be revoked if you make false statements to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles regarding the ownership of the vehicle in which you were stopped, or if you are a routine offender of traffic laws.
Penalties for Driving Without a License
If you are caught driving on a suspended or revoked license in Florida, the penalty will really depend on whether or not this is your first offense, and what type of charge led to the suspension or revocation in the first place. Typically though, you face the following consequences:
- A second-degree misdemeanor for a first conviction, which is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine;
- A first-degree misdemeanor for a second conviction, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000; or
- A third-degree felony for a third or subsequent convictions, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Your Defense to Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License in Miami, FL
Criminal charges can have a negative impact on so many areas of your life, ranging from an inability to find gainful employment to a prolonged prison sentence. Because of this, it is imperative that you seek legal help as soon as possible after learning of the charges, as an experienced traffic offenses defense lawyer may be able to have the charges reduced or dropped entirely.
At The Baez Law Firm, our Miami traffic offenses defense lawyers are familiar with Florida traffic laws and the court system, and can help you navigate both in the most successful way possible. When you hire our team, we will do everything in our power to build a strong defense and have the charges dropped. To consult with one of our legal experts, call 800-588-BAEZ to reserve your free consultation.