Many people who are pulled over and charged with driving on a suspended license (DWLSR) had no idea that their license was under suspension. You may never have received a notification of suspension if you moved, or if the traffic incidence causing the suspension occurred out state. Or you may not have understood the terms and duration of a suspension. But it’s happened to you, and suddenly you are facing a criminal charge. So what do you do next? It almost always is in your best interest to fight the charges. You do not want to get stuck with a permanent criminal record for a minor traffic violation or a paperwork mistake, and you do not deserve one. Do not plead guilty, and do not make any statements that you were aware of the suspension to the police, court officers, or anyone. Remain silent! Please call and speak to our attorneys to find out what you can do to protect your freedom to drive and keep your record clean.
Yes, absolutely. The most common defense is that you did not know that your license was under suspension. We may have to establish lack of notification with evidence that you have moved, or other information, but this is generally the way to win. If we can convince the judge that you were not aware of the suspended license, then under Florida traffic laws, they must reduce the charge to a non-criminal traffic violation. Ref: Florida Statute §322.34(1) and 318.14
If you are found guilty of operating a motor vehicle while your license is under suspension, you will be convicted of a second degree misdemeanor penalty under Florida criminal law. A 2nd degree misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
A second offense suspended license charge is a first degree misdemeanor (up to 1 year and $1000 fine.
A third or subsequent offense driving on a suspended license charge is a third degree felony, which brings the maximum penalty up to 5 years in prison and $5000 in fines.
Additional license suspension periods will also likely be added to any conviction. The prosecutor needs to prove that you were aware of the suspension to convict you. Evidence could be statements that you’ve made, proof that you received the notification, or a prior conviction is also sufficient proof that you were aware that your driver’s license was under suspension. Penalties for driving on a revoked license are even more harsh.
Please call to discuss any criminal traffic or other criminal charges in Florida. We offer a free case evaluation and some advice on your situation, before you even have to make a decision to hire us. There’s no obligation, so call now at ( ) or contact us and we’ll set up a time to talk about your case.
For over twenty years, the law firm of Allen & Abaray, P.A. has provided exceptional statewide representation for injury victims, and the families of those who are injured or killed by the conduct of others. While our personal injury lawyers are based in Lakeland, we represent clients throughout the State of Florida.
Allen & Abaray, P.A. offers a free consultation in all personal injury cases. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in any type of accident, call (863) 669-9999 or toll-free at (877) 669-6899 today to speak with a Lakeland personal injury attorney about your case. We won’t charge an attorney’s fee unless we recover money for your injuries.*