Contact us

Tell us about your case. If you need immediate help, call 321-558-2704

Driving With a Suspended License in Florida

driver under influence

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 Florida driver’s 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. It may also be entirely possible that you are completely unaware of the driver’s license suspension imposed upon you.

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 for failure to follow these basic requirements by the Department of Highway Safety. If you have been caught while driving with a driver’s license under suspension and/or you wish to have your license potentially reinstated (even on a restricted basis with a hardship license), 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 Florida Suspended License

You may be wondering why your driver’s license was placed under suspension in Florida. The most common reason for the Florida Department of Highway Safety to issue a suspension is due to a traffic citation or failure to pay a fine. Once you satisfy this traffic citation, you can pay the reinstatement fee online and be issued a license reinstatement. Failure to comply with a traffic summons may be another reason you were issued a suspension. You will need to contact the traffic court in the county of this traffic summons, and then pay the reinstatement fee to get your license reinstated. Citations issued to those with driver’s licenses in other states may also affect your standing with the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. 

Your driver’s license can also be suspended for several reasons that go beyond these issues with failure to pay a ticket on a moving violation. Though it would make sense for a person’s license to be revoked if they are bad drivers who lack a total disregard for highway safety, have unpaid traffic tickets, 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.

  • Child support delinquencies
  • DUI arrests and/or convictions
  • Not appearing in court when ordered to do so, even for traffic summons
  • Not paying fines, court costs, etc.
  • Lack of auto insurance
  • Some drug-related convictions and other criminal offenses
  • 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, particularly if it results in serious injury

Penalties For Driving With a Suspended Florida Driver 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 as the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department will deem you a habitual traffic offender. According to Florida Statute 322.34, you can potentially face the following consequences for operating a vehicle while your license is canceled, revoked, or in a state of suspension:

  • 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 being 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.

Many times, the reason for suspension of driver’s licenses is due to failure to pass a breath test during a traffic stop. In the state of Florida, driving under the influence is taken very seriously. When a police officer suspects you of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they will request that you submit to breath or blood tests. They may also instruct you to participate in field sobriety tests. You should fully understand your legal rights before you agree to any request like this. If not, you may wind up arrested for drunk driving, even if you did not consume any beverages containing alcohol or ingest any type of drug. One penalty for these charges is losing the privilege of driving, though there are far more serious consequences you will face.

If you have been involved in this type of scenario, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney who can stand up for your legal rights. 

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 and you will lose your driving privileges. The length of your license suspension period 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. That’s up to one year that you will not be permitted to use your driver’s license.
  • 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 License Reinstatement

If your license suspension for a DUI conviction is not overturned, you may still be able to obtain a restricted license (hardship license 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. You can apply for a hardship license with the help of your attorney, which if approved, would grant you the ability to legally drive during this period.

Why You Should Work With Parikh Law

When your driver’s license is 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 license suspensions, 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 and will work to get reinstatement. 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. We will represent you in court and work to help you with these charges as well as any others you may be facing while protecting your legal rights. If you were driving under the influence and lost your license or you are enduring another legal situation that has led to these circumstances, contact our legal team today to discuss the particulars of your case.