Suspended License Lawyer In St. Pete and Pinellas Park
Caught driving with a suspended license?
A driver’s license is your ticket to freedom. When suspended, you become dependent upon others for transportation. The inability to go where you want, when you want is frustrating. Some drivers take a chance and get behind the wheel, thinking they won’t get caught. Driving while your license is suspended is risky behavior that can have serious consequences.
If law enforcement stops you, the possible punishment you face can affect your finances, your career, and your relationships. If you’ve been caught driving while your license is suspended, contact a Florida criminal defense attorney without delay.
Florida License Suspension
There are a variety of reasons for why a driver’s license becomes suspended in Florida. The reasons range from refusing to take a breathalyzer test to failure to pay child support. The important thing to remember is that a suspension is temporary.
A suspension by the courts typically means that at some point, the driver’s license is reinstated. This occurs after a certain amount of days or upon payment of all fines.
If law enforcement finds you driving with a suspended license, you may face the following punishments:
- First offense – Second-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, you face a maximum fine of $500 and/or 60 days in jail.
- Second offense – First-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, the maximum fine is $1,000 and/or one year in jail.
- Third offense – Possible third-degree felony charge. Possible punishment of a maximum $5,000 fine and/or up-to five years in prison.
Florida residents with suspended licenses may apply for a hardship license. This is a temporary license that, once approved, drivers may use for limited travel, like to and from work. Drivers with three or more offenses regarding driving with a suspended license face revocation of their license for a maximum of five years.
Habitual Traffic Offender
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles defines a habitual traffic offender as anyone who has accumulated a specific number of violations over a five year period. Driving while one’s license is suspended or revoked is just one of the violations. Examples of other violations include:
- The use of a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony.
- The operation of a motor vehicle that results in voluntary or involuntary manslaughter.
- Failure to stop and render aid per Florida law in the event of a crash involving injury or death of another.
- Driving a commercial motor vehicle while not qualified to do so.
A habitual traffic offender designation is not good news for your driving record. Drivers with a habitual traffic offender status must wait one year before filing for a hardship license. State law requires Advanced Driver Improvement (ADI) courses for drivers with a suspended or revoked licenses. Drivers with an alcohol-related license suspension must attend a state-approved, licensed, DUI course program.
Florida Criminal Defense Attorney
Too often a Florida driver doesn’t know their license is suspended. Court notifications are often mailed to the latest address on file—meaning the notification most likely went to an old address. Whether or not you had knowledge of your license suspension during your arrest is important—it can play a major role in your defense.
Florida law takes driving with a suspended license very seriously and you should too. If you’ve been arrested for driving with a suspended license, contact Oldham and Delcamp Trial Attorneys to schedule a free consultation. While each case is different, you may receive reduced charges and lower fines and little or no jail time.
Your driver’s license is too important to give up without discussing all your options with a criminal defense attorney. Time is of the essence, so don’t delay. The sooner we review your case, the sooner we can get to work for you. Oldham and Delcamp proudly serve the areas of Pinellas Park and St. Petersburg, Florida. Contact us today, we also offer help with theft, violation of injunction, DUI law and auto accident law as well as rear-end accidents attorney, trucking accidents attorney and premises liability lawyer.