Driving With a Suspended License in Florida
Each year, more than one million people have their driver’s license suspended in Florida. Furthermore, of the nearly 14 million registered drivers in the state, almost two million have their license suspended at any given time. Unfortunately, many people suffer a license suspension or revocation for reasons that have nothing to do with their driving record. Though the law stipulates that a person can be held criminally liable if they are caught driving with a suspended license, many drivers continue to drive for a litany of reasons. Some of the most notable examples include those that have no other way of getting to work, people that live in areas with poor public transportation options, as well as those that need to make medical appointments.
While the aforementioned reasons are all understandable, the law does not typically see it as such. In fact, those that are pulled over by the police while their license is suspended could be facing serious criminal consequences. If you have been caught while driving with a suspended license and/or you wish to have your license potentially reinstated (even on a restricted basis), it is in your best interest to contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Orlando. Mr. Parikh can review your driving record and see if prior civil convictions may be overturned to either take points off your license or remove an HTO designation. Parikh Law may be able to help you get your license back and most certainly can help you defend yourself on any criminal charges.
Reasons For a License Suspension in Florida
Your license can be suspended for a number of reasons. Though it would make sense for a person’s license to be revoked if they are bad drivers or are not properly insured, a license can be suspended for reasons that have nothing to do with a person’s driving acumen. Listed below are some of the more common reasons for license revocation in the state of Florida.
- Delinquent child support payments
- DUI arrests and/or convictions
- Not appearing in court when ordered to do so
- Not paying fines, court costs, etc.
- Lack of auto insurance
- Some drug-related convictions
- Too many accrued points on license
- Convictions for petty theft, fleeing law enforcement, etc.
- Caught racing on the highways (or streets)
- Habitual traffic offender classification
- Felony convictions (if a vehicle was used to commit the crime)
- Hit and run accident
Penalties For Driving With Suspended License
If you are searching for terms like “driving suspended license,” then you are likely either considering driving on a suspended license or are already doing it. While your reasons are probably logical, it is important that you understand the consequences of operating a motor vehicle while your license is revoked or suspended. According to Florida Statute 322.34, you can potentially face the following consequences for operating a vehicle while your license is canceled, revoked, or suspended:
- First Conviction: The first time you are charged with driving on a suspended license, it can be charged as a second-degree misdemeanor. You can face a fine of up to $500 as well as up to 60 days in jail.
- Second Conviction: Second convictions may result in a first-degree misdemeanor. Fines can reach a maximum of $1,000 and those convicted may face up to a year in jail.
- Third Conviction (or more): This offense can be charged as a third-degree felony. Maximum fines for this offense can reach $5,000 and those convicted face up to five years in prison.
Those who have their license revoked as a consequence of labeled a “habitual offender” can potentially be charged with a third-degree felony if they are caught while driving on a suspended or revoked license. In addition to the criminal penalties, law enforcement will impound your car and may potentially arrest you on the scene if you are driving with a suspended license.
Consequences of DUI Convictions
If you are convicted or arrested for a DUI offense in Florida, one thing is for sure, your license will be suspended. The length of your license suspension will largely depend on whether or not you are convicted, how many times you have been arrested for a DUI, as well as your legal representation. If you have been arrested for a DUI but wish to continue driving to work, medical appointments, school, etc., working with a skilled DUI lawyer in Orlando will give you the best opportunity to do so. Drivers that are convicted of a DUI offense may face the following penalties:
- First DUI Conviction: Your license can be suspended for 6-12 months.
- Second DUI Conviction: Drivers face the potential of having their license suspended for up to 5 years.
- Third DUI Conviction: Third-time offenders (within 10 years of the second conviction) may have their license suspended for up to 10 years.
- Fourth or Subsequent DUI Convictions: A judge has the ability to permanently revoke a license for those convicted of their fourth DUI offense or a DUI conviction that results in serious injuries and/or death.
Obtaining a Hardship Reinstatement
If your license suspension for a DUI conviction is not overturned, you may still be able to obtain a restricted license (hardship or business purpose only license). This type of license gives drivers the ability to operate a motor vehicle under specific circumstances and timeframes. Examples can include driving to work, school, medical appointments, grocery stores, etc. Working with an experienced DUI lawyer and traffic lawyer in Orlando will give you the best opportunity for approval of a hardship license and/or having your license suspension overturned.
Why You Should Work With Parikh Law
Having your license suspended, revoked, or canceled can have serious implications on your life. Not only can it affect your familial responsibilities, but it can have a major impact on your finances and well-being. When people have their license suspended, many feel like they are left with no choice but to break the law. Fortunately, this is not the case. In most cases, you have options. Working with an experienced suspended license or DUI lawyer in Orlando can help to make them clear for you. At Parikh Law, we are focused on fighting for your right to drive. We understand the devastation that a license suspension can create within our client’s lives and work hard on every case to limit the possibility of this occurring. Furthermore, if you have already been caught while driving on a suspended license, it is in your best interest to connect with an attorney who gives you the best chance of avoiding further consequences.