Florida prosecutors take driving while your driver’s license is suspended or revoked very seriously. Entering a plea to the charge of driving while license suspended or revoked with or without knowledge can potentially make you a habitual traffic offender (HTO), which will suspend your driving privileges for five years. If you have been accused of driving on a suspended license, working with an experienced criminal defense attorney is the best way to protect your rights.
At the Orlando law firm of Moses and Rooth Attorneys at Law, our Orlando suspended license lawyers use years of experience to help our clients achieve the best possible results in Florida courts. Driving while license suspended (DWLS) is a criminal traffic offense in Orlando. If you have been accused, contact us as soon as possible to set up a free consultation to review your driving record and discuss your case.
Driving With a Suspended License in Florida: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the Penalties for Driving on a Suspended License in Florida?
Under Florida Statute Section 322.34, the penalties for operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license vary based on several different factors. Perhaps the most important factor is whether or not the driver had ‘knowledge’ of the status of their license.
If you are convicted of driving on a suspended license without knowledge, it is a civil offense that carries a maximum penalty of a $153 fine. While certainly not pleasant, that is a relatively minor penalty. On the contrary, if you are arrested for driving with a suspended license with knowledge, you will face criminal charges that carry a maximum penalty of $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail.
The other key factor that affects the penalties for driving with a suspended license is the defendant’s driving record and criminal history. If you are caught driving with a suspended or revoked license for a second or third time, you will face far harsher penalties than you will for a first-time offense.
What Should You Do If You are Pulled Over With a Suspended License?
If you are pulled over with a suspended license, you need to stop your vehicle immediately. Be polite with the responding officer and give them your license, vehicle registration, and insurance information when they request it. Do not make any statements. If you confirm that you know that your license is suspended, you will damage your own case. You need to get access to an attorney as soon as possible.
Should I Just Plead Guilty to the Offense?
No. In fact, thoughtlessly pleading guilty to a suspended license offense could be one of the biggest mistakes you make. Entering a plea to driving while license suspended (DWLS) can have unintended consequences — especially if you have been accused of multiple traffic violations or criminal traffic offenses. People who have pleaded guilty to multiple offenses may be considered habitual traffic offenders. Habitual traffic offender status, or HTO, carries serious consequences, including fines, incarceration, and the loss of your driver’s license for a five-year period. Additionally, if you are arrested for driving as a habitual offender, you may be charged with a felony.
What is a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO)?
Under Florida law, a habitual traffic offender is any person whose record, as maintained by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, shows that the person has accumulated a certain number of offenses within a five-year period. Three convictions to offenses such as voluntary or involuntary manslaughter, DUI, and driving a motor vehicle while your license is suspended or revoked (DWLS) over five years will lead to HTO status. Additionally, anyone who receives 15 convictions for certain moving violations within a five-year period will receive HTO status. You do not want to be labelled as a habitual traffic offender. It could cost you your driving privilege for a long period of time. If you are at risk of getting HTO status, or you have received an HTO notice, you need to speak to an Orlando traffic attorney immediately.
At Moses and Rooth, we understand that your driving privileges are important to your well-being. We can also take action to help you avoid HTO status. We may also be able to modify your HTO status. We have extensive experience in successfully assisting clients in removing HTO status or assist in obtaining a valid driver’s license.
Every suspended license case is different. Ultimately, our legal team will take whatever action is appropriate for your specific situation. We will work to reduce the total penalties that you are facing. This starts with keeping you out of prison. Then, our Orlando defense lawyers will determine what needs to be done to help you keep your driver’s license, limit the total length of the suspension, or put you on a path towards having your driving privileges reinstated. Do not wait to get professional help: you need a skilled attorney by your side.
How Will an Orlando Suspended License Lawyer Help?
At Moses and Rooth Attorneys at Law, we have the experience to evaluate your case. Our knowledge of the law allows us to examine the facts of your case to ensure that your rights were not violated. We carefully scrutinize every case to determine if the stop was illegal or if your Miranda Rights were violated.
Speak to a Lawyer Today: We Will Protect Your Driver’s License and Your Freedom
At Moses and Rooth Attorneys at Law, we will explore every avenue available to you in order to help you obtain a valid driver’s license. This includes assisting in resolving your criminal case levied against you by Orlando courts as well as any administrative matters that can impact your driver’s license. Taking a look at the larger picture, our lawyers also help you so that this doesn’t happen again.
If you were arrested for driving on a suspended license in Orange County, FL, our Orlando traffic violation lawyers standing by, ready to protect your legal rights. To set up a free, fully confidential initial consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us today at (407) 377-0150.