Is driving with a suspended license a criminal charge?
Driving with a suspended license may be charged as a civil traffic infraction or as a criminal charge depending on whether the driver knew that his/her license was suspended. If the driver did not have knowledge, it will typically be charged as a civil infraction. If officer believes that the driver knew of the suspension, then they will likely charge the driver with a crime.
What are the penalties for knowingly driving with a suspended license?
The penalties will depend on the number of prior offenses. Knowingly driving with a suspended license carries the following maximum penalties:
1) 1st offense: Maximum of 60 days jail and $500 fine.
2) 2nd offense: Maximum of 1 year jail and $1000 fine.
3) 3rd or subsequent offense: Maximum 5 years jail and $5,000 fine.
In addition to the penalties mentioned above, the court may order probation with additional sanctions such as community service and further license revocation.
Does a previous non-criminal suspended license charge (driving without knowledge) count as a prior offense for enhancing a criminal charge?
While a prior civil infraction does not count as a prior for enhancing criminal charges, it may count as a qualifying prior towards a Habitual Traffic Offender revocation. It will not count towards Habitual Traffic Offender status so long as the driver received a “withhold of adjudication.”
What are the consequences of being designated a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO)?
Habitual Traffic Offender designation results in a five (5) year driver license revocation by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Further, HTO designation requires a full year “hard” suspension meaning that the person may not apply for a hardship license until one full year has elapsed.
What causes a Habitual Traffic Offender designation?
A person may become designated a Habitual Traffic Offender if they accumulate the specified number of convictions described below in subsection (1) or subsection (2) within a five (5) year period:
1) Three or more of convictions of any of the following offenses arising out of separate acts:
a) voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle;
b) Any violation of s. 316.193 (DUI), former s. 316.1931, or former s. 860.01;
c) Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used;
d) Driving a motor vehicle while his or her license is suspended or revoked;
e) Failing to stop and render aid as required under the laws of this state in the event of a motor vehicle crash resulting in the death or personal injury of another; or
f) Driving a commercial motor vehicle while his or her privilege is disqualified.
2) Fifteen convictions for moving traffic offenses for which points may be assigned as set forth in section 322.27, including the offenses listed in subsection (1).
Contact a Driving on Suspended License Defense Attorney
If you have been accused of driving on a suspended license in the State of Florida and would like to Contact an Attorney, please call 239-775-1004. Consultations are absolutely free and completely confidential.
The Law Offices of Verderamo Escobar are committed to providing legal representation primarily in the fields of criminal law and personal injury law. While our office is situated in Naples, Florida, we proudly represent clients throughout Collier and Lee Counties and their surrounding areas, including, but not limited to, Naples, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Estero, Cape Coral, Golden Gate, Immokalee, Lehigh, and Marco Island. The Law Office of Verderamo & Escobar is located at 2662 Airport Pulling Rd S Naples, FL 34112. For more information, call (239) 775-1004.