Driving on a Suspended License
People who drive in Florida without a valid driver’s license commit moving violations when they are unaware of the suspension, cancellation, revocation, or disqualification. Many people who receive moving violations for driving with a license that is suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified simply pay the fines imposed, but it is important to remember that any person who pays a fine also pleads guilty to the underlying offense and thus accumulates points on his or her driving record.
Driving while a license is suspended or revoked (commonly abbreviated as DWLSR) is one of the select group of “three strikes” traffic offenses that can result in Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) designation. Driving while a license is suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified becomes a criminal traffic offense that can result in possible felony charges if the alleged offender knew his or her license was suspended, canceled, or revoked.
Lawyer for Driving on a Suspended License Arrests in Fort Lauderdale, FL
If you were arrested or cited for driving with a license that was allegedly suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified in Broward County, it will be in your best interest to not make any kind of statement to authorities until you have legal counsel. Meltzer & Bell can fight to possibly have your charges reduced or dismissed.
Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell are experienced criminal defense attorneys in Fort Lauderdale who represent clients charged with traffic crimes in communities throughout South Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Miramar, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Davie, Plantation, and many others. You can have our lawyers review your case and answer all of your legal questions when you call (954) 228-2789 to set up a free, confidential consultation.
Overview of Driving on a Suspended License Offenses in Broward County
- What are some of the reasons that driver’s licenses get suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified?
- How are these offenses classified?
- Where can I find more information about driving on a suspended license in Broward County?
Why Driver’s Licenses Get Suspended in Florida
Motorists in Florida can have their licenses suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified for any one of a number of reasons. Florida Statute § 322.245 establishes that people can have their driver’s licenses suspended for failure to comply with all of the directives of the court within the time allotted by the court in regards to traffic offenses listed under Florida Statute § 318.17 or the commission of any offense constituting a misdemeanor under Chapter 320 of the Florida Statutes.
One of the most common reasons that the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) suspends driver’s licenses is the accumulation of too many points on driving records. A driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days if a motorist accumulates 12 points within 12 months, three months if he or she accumulates 18 points within 18 months, or one year if he or she accumulates 24 points within 36 months.
Other reasons people have their licenses suspended include, but are not limited to:
- 15 unexcused school absences in 90 days;
- Being designated as an HTO;
- Convictions for certain criminal traffic offenses;
- Convictions for certain drug and theft offenses;
- Convictions for driving under the influence (DUI);
- Failing driving tests;
- Failure to appear in court;
- Failure to complete court-ordered school;
- Failure to comply with traffic summons;
- Failure to maintain automobile insurance;
- Failure to pay child support;
- Failure to pay civil judgment, court costs, or fines;
- Failure to pay traffic tickets;
- Failure to submit a vision report (Inadequate/Field of Vision);
- Having certain medical conditions;
- Non-DUI traffic violation resulting in death or serious bodily injury; or
- Refusal to submit to DUI chemical test.
Driving on a Suspended License Penalties in Broward County
When a police officer stops a motorist in Florida and runs a background check of that driver’s license, he or she will usually return to the vehicle to ask the alleged offender whether he or she was aware that his or her license was suspended, canceled, or revoked. It is always in a person’s best interest to either answer that he or she was not aware or decline to answer any questions until he or she has legal representation.
Admitting that you knew your license was suspended, canceled, or revoked can have a dramatic impact on the nature of the crime you are charged with. When a motorist drives a vehicle in Florida while his or her driver’s license or privilege is canceled, suspended, or revoked without any knowledge of the suspension, cancellation, or revocation, Florida Statute § 322.34(1) makes the offense a moving violation.
If an alleged offender drives a vehicle in Florida while knowing of a suspension, cancellation, or revocation of his or her license, driving while license suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified becomes a criminal traffic offense. Criminal charges in such cases depend on how many times an alleged offender has been convicted of this crime:
- First Conviction — Second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and/or fine of up to $500;
- Second Conviction — First-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or fine of up to $1,000; and
- Third or Subsequent Conviction — Third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or fine of up to $5,000.
A driving while license suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified offense is always a third-degree felony when an alleged offender has been classified as an HTO. The state can prove that a person knew of the cancellation, suspension, revocation, or disqualification of a driver’s license if:
- The alleged offender was previously cited for driving while license suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified;
- The alleged offender admitted to knowledge of the cancellation, suspension, or revocation; or
- The alleged offender received notice of any judgment or court order canceling, suspending, or revoking the license.
Florida Resources for Driving on a Suspended License
Driver Licenses and D6 Suspensions | Broward County Clerk of Court — D6 suspensions occur when people fails to abide by or comply with court orders on traffic tickets, usually paying fines. On this section of the Broward County Clerk of Court’s website, you can view answers to several different frequently asked questions about driver’s licenses and D6 suspensions. You can also find information about reinstatement, requirements for paying citations that caused license suspensions, and the cost of a driver license reinstatement.
Clerk of the Courts
201 S.E. 6th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Driver License Check | Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) — Visit this section of the DHSMV website to check the status of your Florida driver’s license. All visitors have to do is enter their driver license numbers and retype the characters from the CAPTCHA answer to access their driving histories. If a check shows “VALID,” it indicates that the DHSMV has already received information and cleared that individual’s record, allowing him or her to disregard any notice he or she received and print the response as his or her latest official receipt from the agency.
Meltzer & Bell | Fort Lauderdale Driving on a Suspended License Defense Attorney
Were you ticketed or arrested for allegedly driving on a suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified license in South Florida? You will want to avoid saying anything to authorities until you have contacted Meltzer & Bell.
Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell represent individuals in Sunrise, Deerfield Beach, Weston, Tamarac, Margate, Coconut Creek, Hallandale Beach, Wilton Manors, and many other surrounding areas in Broward County. Call (954) 228-2789 or submit an online contact form to have our attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.