Driving with a Suspended License
Fighting for Drivers in Fort Lauderdale
Any person whose driver license or driving privilege has been canceled, suspended, or revoked and drives a vehicle on state highways is in violation of the law in Florida. However, the severity of your charge depends on your knowledge of your license suspension and whether you have committed such an offense before. As a result, it is critical that you contact an experienced traffic violation attorney as soon as possible to defend your case. With over 16 years of experience, the Ticket & License Center fights for drivers throughout Florida and holds a 99% success rate*. You can trust our attorney at the firm to assess the facts of your charge and aggressively defend your case in trial.
A first-time offender who has no knowledge of their license suspension will be charged with a non-criminal traffic infraction. Under Florida law, a non-criminal violation is a moving violation punishable by no more than a fine and is not considered a crime by the state.
For a first offender who has knowledge of the suspension, however, the offense is considered a second-degree misdemeanor. In Florida, this is the least severe degree of criminal offense. It is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and/or 6 months of probation, as well as a fine up to $500.
Note that the under Florida law, a person satisfies the knowledge requirement if they:
- have been previously cited for driving on a suspended license,
- admit knowledge of the cancellation or suspension, or
- receive notice from a court or other adjudicatory body.
A second offense with knowledge constitutes a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail, 1 year of probation, or a combination of the two.
Third and Subsequent Offenses
A third offense with knowledge is charged as a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000. Under most circumstances, you will not face a mandatory prison sentence for a suspended license felony offense unless you have a lengthy criminal history.
You may also be charged with a felony suspended license offense if you are designated a habitual traffic offender or your license has been permanently revoked. For more information on who is considered a habitual traffic offender, visit our page on habitual traffic offenders.
Driving with No License
Be aware that driving without a valid license in general is a misdemeanor in Florida. A conviction carries up to $500 in fines and up to 60 days in jail.
Defenses Against Driving Under Suspension
An attorney can take on a few different strategies to fight your suspended license charge or to minimize potential penalties. Common arguments in your defense include:
- Legal challenges to the validity of your traffic stop
- You did not know of the suspension, cancellation, or revocation
- You were not driving on a public highway
- Your vehicle is not a “motor vehicle” as defined under the driver’s license statute
- Your license had been reinstated or you had adequate reason to believe it had been reinstated
Another strategy for minimizing your potential penalties could be expunging or vacating prior Driving with Suspended License convictions.
Let the Ticket & License Center Help
If you have been charged with driving with a suspended license, the severity of your penalties weighs heavily on whether you had knowledge of the suspension and whether you hold prior convictions of the same offense. The attorney at the Ticket & License Center can provide the aggressive and reliable representation in your case that you deserve.