Driving with a Suspended License in Florida: Complete Guide
Published November 15, 2023
Driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license is a criminal offense in Florida. And it is a serious one.
Over one million individuals have their driver’s licenses suspended in Florida annually. What’s more, of nearly 14 million listed drivers in the state, almost two million have their licenses suspended. It is at any given time. And those pulled over by the police could face serious criminal consequences.
Let’s discuss everything you need to know about driving with a suspended license in Florida. We’ll explore all the relevant topics. We’ll explain the reasons, penalties, and defenses for driving with a suspended license.
Unknowingly Driving With a Suspended License in Florida
Driving with a suspended license in Florida is illegal. There’s no way around it. You should refrain from driving during the time your license is suspended. It is under any circumstances. The first time you’re caught, it’s a second-degree misdemeanor. It comes with a 60-day jail sentence and a fine of up to $500.
Can You Go to Jail for Driving With a Suspended License in Florida?
Driving with a suspended license in Florida can lead to jail time. The severity of the offense and potential consequences will depend on various factors. For example, the number of prior offenses. Also, whether the person was aware of the license suspension.
Reasons for License Suspension in Florida
Your license can be suspended for numerous cases. It makes sense to revoke a license due to impaired driving skills or inadequate insurance. Yet, a license can be suspended for reasons that do not influence a person’s driving acumen.
- Points suspensions
- Child support delinquency
- DUI conviction and arrest
- Habitual traffic offender classification
- Failure to pay fines, court judgments, or court costs
- Failure to appear in court
- Inability to sustain continuous insurance
- Drug-related convictions
- Plea to racing on highways charges
- Petit theft convictions
- DUI refusal
- Hit-and-run accident
Penalties for Driving With a Suspended License
It is critical that you understand the consequences of operating a motor vehicle without a revoked or suspended license. Via Florida Statute 322.34 , you can potentially face the following consequences for driving a vehicle while your license is canceled, revoked, or suspended:
1. First Conviction
The first time you are accused of driving on a suspended license, it can be filed as a second-degree misdemeanor. It comes with a fine of up to $500. You can face up to 60 days in jail.
2. Second Conviction
Second convictions may result in a first-degree misdemeanor. Fines can reach $1,000 maximum. You can end up with up to a year in jail.
3. Third Conviction (or more)
A third conviction or more is considered a third-degree felony. The maximum fine for this offense is $5,000. You may also face up to five years in prison.
Those who have their license revoked as a result of the label “habitual offender” can potentially be charged with a third-degree felony. It is if they are caught while driving on a revoked or suspended license. In addition to criminal penalties, law enforcement will impound your car. Additionally, they may arrest you on the scene if you are driving under such conditions.
Defenses for Driving With a Suspended License
There are many defenses and strategies accessible to defeat a suspended license charge. They also work to minimize potential penalties. Common examples are:
- Legal difficulties to the validity of the traffic stop.
- The accused was not driving.
- The accused is not aware of the suspension, cancellation, or revocation
- The arranged was not driving on a public highway.
- The vehicle is not acknowledged as a motor vehicle for reasons of the driver’s license statute.
- The indicted’s Florida driver’s license had been reinstated, or there was adequate reason to believe it had been reinstated.
- Vacating prior driving with suspended license convictions so as to secure the state’s agreement to amend the charge to no valid driver’s license.
Frequently Asked Questions About Driving With a Suspended License Florida
1. What happens in Florida if you get caught driving with a suspended license?
A first offense of knowingly driving with a suspended license is a second-degree misdemeanor. It can end up with 60 days in jail. It may come with six months of probation. And it may deal with settling a fine of up to $500.
2. How long does a suspended license last in Florida?
- Suspension for traffic violations. Three months to 1 year.
- Suspension for DUI. Six months to several years. It will depend on the number of prior DUI convictions and other factors.
3. How much does it cost to unsuspend a Florida license?
The standard fee for reinstating a suspended license in Florida is $45.
4. How much is it to reinstate a suspended license in Florida for no insurance?
- First offense. The state can defer your license until you give proof of auto insurance and pay a fee of $150.
- Second offense within three years. You may be required to pay a reinstatement fee of $250.
- Third offense. The reinstatement fee can increase to $500.
And it’s a wrap for everything you need to know about driving with a suspended license in Florida. Awareness is key. Yet, what matters more is that you always do your part to do the right things by the law. Share this insightful article with your loved ones who may be in need.
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