Driving While License is Suspended
One of the most common traffic crimes people commit is driving while their license is under suspension. Driving on a suspended license in Florida can be classified as a civil traffic violation or a criminal offense depending on the circumstances. For some offenders, they only learn of their suspension because they had their record pulled up by a law enforcement officer.
Many alleged offenders understand the potential consequences of criminal charges, but people should also be aware of the possible long-term impact of simply paying a civil citation. Pleading guilty to the civil charge can mean that an alleged offender could have his or her license revoked for five years if he or she receives two more similar or related convictions within five years. If you or someone you know has been charged for driving with a suspended license, then it’s important you seek experienced legal representation.
West Palm Beach Attorney for Driving While License is Suspended in FL
Were you recently cited or arrested for driving with a suspended license in South Florida? If so, it’s within your best interest to gain legal representation. We recommend you get in contact with Meltzer & Bell, P.A. to learn more about your possible legal options. Our attorneys will work tirelessly to get the best possible results for your case.
Our driving under suspension attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. help get these types of charges reduced or dismissed for clients in communities such as West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Riviera Beach, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Jupiter, Delray Beach, Wellington, Palm Beach Gardens, Greenacres, and Royal Palm Beach. We also represent people throughout the greater St. Lucie County, Martin County and Broward County, FL. You can have our firm review your case when you call (561) 557-8686 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Overview of DWLIS in FL
- Is My Florida License Suspended?
- What Are the Penalties for DWLIS?
- How Do I Get My License Reinstated in FL?
- Additional Resources
Is My License Suspended in FL?
There’s a multitude of reasons why your license may have been suspended by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). You could have too many points on your driving record in a certain period, violating a court order, if you’re facing DUI charges and even if you haven’t paid your child support payments in a monthly manner.
For the majority of suspended cases, it’s because the driver had too many points on their license. DHSMV utilizes a points-based system that determines whether a person’s license should be suspended or not. Accumulating a certain amount of points in 12 months will result in an automatic administrative suspension or possible revocation of your license.
Drivers who have 12 points in a yearlong period will receive a license suspension for up to 30 days. When a person has collected 18 points on their record within an 18-month period will automatically undergo a three-month suspension. Accumulating 24 points or more within 36 months will result in an automatic year-long license suspension. DHSMV does give drivers a chance to contest their license suspension within 10 days after they receive their notification of suspension in the mail.
Some common traffic violations and crimes that could lead to a license suspension include, but are not limited to the following:
- Failing driving tests;
- Failure to comply with traffic summons;
- Careless driving;
- 15 unexcused school absences in 90 days;
- Being designated as an HTO;
- Fleeing to elude;
- Convictions for certain criminal traffic offenses;
- Convictions for certain drug and theft offenses;
- Failure to pay traffic tickets;
- Failure to submit a vision report (Inadequate/Field of Vision);
- Leaving the scene of an accident;
- Having certain medical conditions;
- Driving with a suspended license;
- Convictions for driving under the influence (DUI);
- Non-DUI traffic violation resulting in death or serious bodily injury;
- Refusal to submit to DUI chemical test;
- Failure to maintain automobile insurance;
- Failure to pay child support;
- Failure to pay civil judgment, court costs, or fines;
- Failure to appear in court
What Are the Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License in FL?
It’s imperative that you understand the penalties for driving with a suspended license before you enter a courtroom. DWLIS is penalized based on the facts of the case. If you unintentionally and unknowingly drove with a suspended license, then the officer will likely give you a citation with a moving violation and add three points on your license.
The consequences become criminal if you drove with the understanding your license was under suspension. If you drive purposely while your license is suspended, you will face a second-degree misdemeanor. The maximum penalties for a second-degree misdemeanor include:
- Up to 60 days in jail; and
- A fine of up to $500
Having a prior DWLIS conviction will mean your crime will be reclassified to a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by:
- Up to 12 months in jail; and
- A fine of up to $1,000
If you have two prior DWLIS convictions on your record, then your penalties will be enhanced drastically to a third-degree felony. Having a third DWLIS conviction will result in:
- Up to 5 years in prison; and
- A fine of up to $5,000
How Do I Get My License Reinstated in FL?
If your license is suspended, you will receive a notice that explains both the suspension and how to get your license reinstated. It should contain a list of conditions you are required to fulfill before you can request reinstatement from DHSMV. You must complete those conditions even if you have finished your suspension term. Once you have, you will be required to pay reinstatement fees and submit specific documents to the DHSMV to get your license reinstated.
Some possible conditions your suspension may include, but are not limited to:
- Pay court and traffic fines;
- Pay the reinstatement fee;
- Complete your probation period;
- Undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation;
- Take a DMV-approved traffic school; or
- Finish all court-ordered community service;
- Finish your incarceration;
- Take a drug and alcohol course
Driver’s License Suspensions & Revocations – Visit the official website for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). Access the site to learn more about how a person’s license can be suspended and what’s needed for reinstatement.
Florida Laws for Driving on a Suspended License – Visit the official website for the Florida Statutes and read more regarding driving while license suspended, revoked, cancelled or disqualified. Access the site to read the statutory language on DWLIS, the penalties, impoundment and the penalties for commercial drivers.
Lawyer for Driving with a Suspended License in Palm Beach County, FL
If you have been charged with driving under a suspended or revoked license in South Florida, it is in your best interest to immediately get legal representation. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. fights to defend the rights of clients all over Palm Beach County including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Wellington, Jupiter and Delray Beach. We also serve other counties including St. Lucie County, Martin County and Broward County.
Our firm has more than 20 years of combined experience handling these types of cases. Our driving under suspension attorneys will provide an honest evaluation of your case during a free legal consultation as soon as you call (561) 557-8686 today.