Driving While License Suspended

While driving a vehicle has become almost essential for a person to commute to their place of employment, school, or run important errands, it is important to remember that driving is a privilege. Because it is not a guaranteed right, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHMV) can take this privilege away if the driver has violated certain state or federal laws. Driving in Duval County with a suspended license can lead to serious consequences. However, an experienced defense attorney can help you combat these charges and perhaps even have them dismissed altogether.

JACKSONVILLE DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED LAWYER

As a defense lawyer in Jacksonville , Bill Roelke has represented hundreds of men and women in serious traffic cases across Northeast Florida. With years of experience in Florida courtrooms, he has gained a considerable amount of insight into how these cases are commonly prosecuted. He is a trial tactician who is not afraid to fight for his client's best interests rather than settle for the easiest outcome. His clients come from a variety of backgrounds in Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, St. Augustine, Fernandina Beach, Orange Park, and surrounding areas.

It is in your best interests to contact a lawyer who is experienced in driving with a suspended license cases as soon after arrest as possible. Bill Roelke provides all clients with the personal attention that they need from the moment of their initial consultation. He understands that every case is distinct, regardless if they fall under the same type of offense. Call (904) 354-0333 for your free consultation with Roelke Law today.


Florida Driving While License Suspended Information Center

Driving While License Suspended, Revoked, Canceled, or Disqualified in Florida

A person who has had their driver's license or privileges revoked, canceled, or suspended and drives a vehicle on a state highway is guilty of a moving violation. This does not include habitual traffic offenders. However, this can be a criminal offense if the person whose driving privileges has been suspended, canceled or revoked and, while knowing of said cancellation, suspension, or revocation, drives on a Florida highway.


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Penalties for Driving While License Suspended in Florida

Under Fla. Sta. § 322.34, driving awhile license suspended, canceled, or revoked can be punished as follows:

  • A first conviction is a second degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and / or $500 in fines
  • A second conviction is a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in prison and / or $1,000 in fines.
  • A third or subsequent conviction is a third degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and / or $5,000 in fines.

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Additional Penalties for Driving With a Suspended, Revoked, or Canceled License

A person arrested for driving with a suspended, revoked, or canceled license who does not have a prior forcible felony conviction, but is subject to one or more of the following situations can face additional penalties. These include if the person:

  • Failed to pay child support (listed in § 322.254 or § 61.13016);
  • Failed to pay a financial obligation under § 322.245 (aside from those in § 322.245);
  • Failed to comply with a civil penalty (listed in § 318.15);
  • Failed to maintain proper insurance;
  • Failed to comply with school attendance and other requirements for minors under § 322.091;
  • Has been categorized as a habitual traffic offender as a result of driver's license suspension for any of the above points.

He or she can face a second degree misdemeanor offense for any of the above violations while also driving with license suspended, revoked, or canceled. A second or subsequent such offense is a first degree misdemeanor.


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Driving a Vehicle under the Influence of Drugs While License Suspended

If a person drives a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and has a suspended, revoked, or canceled as a result of a prior DUI, the vehicle is subject to seizure and forfeiture. The driver may also be subject to liens for recovering, storing, or towing the vehicle.


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Habitual Traffic Offenders Driving with a Suspended Florida License

A person who has had their driver's license revoked as a habitual traffic offender (Fla. Sta. § 322.264) and drives a vehicle on a Florida highway while their license has been revoked is guilty of a third degree felony. This felony can be punished by fines up to $5,000 and / or up to 5 years in prison.


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Driving a Commercial Vehicle with License Suspended in Florida

It is unlawful for a person to drive a commercial vehicle when his or her driving privilege has been canceled, suspended, revoked or disqualified. This offense is punishable as:

  • A first degree misdemeanor for the first conviction (up to 1 year in prison and / or fines up to $1,000)
  • A third degree felony for a second or subsequent conviction (up to 5 years in prison and / or fines up to $5,000)

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Elements involved in Florida Driving While License Suspended Cases

One of the main differences between a first DWLS case that is a criminal offense and traffic offense is the element of knowledge. If a person is aware of the suspension, revocation, cancelation, or disqualification of their driver's license, he or she will be guilty of a criminal offense. Knowledge of the offense can be addressed if the person admits to having knowledge of the cancellation, suspension, or revocation of their driver's license. There is also a presumption that the person had such knowledge if they have previously appeared in the records of the Department of Highway and Motor Vehicle Safety for any case except failure to pay a traffic fine or a financial responsibility fine.

Additionally, any judgment or order that cancels, suspends or revokes a person's driver's license must also notify the person in question of such action.


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Causing Serious Bodily Injury or Death While Driving Suspended License

It is a third degree felony offense for a person to drive with a suspended, revoked, or canceled license and, through negligent driving, causes death or serious injury to another person. This is punishable with up to 5 years in a Florida state prison and / or up to $5,000 in fines.


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Factors Determined by the Arresting Law Enforcement Officer in DWLS Cases

During the arrest for driving with a suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified license, the police officer will determine the status of the person's driver's license and if the driver is the vehicle's registered owner or co-owner. The officer will also determine if the driver has had a previous conviction for driving with a suspended or revoked license and if the person is currently driving with a suspended or revoked license. In cases where the person was previously convicted of an offense requiring him or her to maintain required security (i.e. property damage liability or personal injury damage liability insurance for a vehicle) the officer will determine if such security is active.


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Vehicle Impoundment or Immobilization after Driving While License Suspended

The vehicle will be immediately immobilized or impounded if the officer determines an affirmative to the criteria listed in the above section. The registered owners of the vehicle other than the person arrested and any party with a lien against the vehicle will receive a notice of the vehicle's impoundment or immobilization within 7 days of this action. Costs for said immobilization or impoundment are paid by the vehicle's owner or leaser.

The vehicle will remain impounded or immobilized for whichever period is given by the court until the arresting law enforcement agency is presented with proof of insurance by the owner or proof of sale by the owner and proof of insurance by the buyer. A lien will be placed on the vehicle if such proof is not presented within 30 days after impoundment or immobilization.

The vehicle's owner may file a complaint in Duval County or wherever the vehicle is held if the vehicle was wrongfully withheld or taken. The owner or lien holder of the vehicle can have it released if a bond or other security deposit and fines are paid.


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Driving While License Permanently Revoked in Duval County

It is a third degree felony offense for a person to drive a vehicle if his or her driver's license has been permanently revoked. This can be punished with up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 in fines. However, if the person has been convicted of driving with a revoked license on more than 2 occasions, he or she can face increased penalties of up to 10 years in prison.


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Roelke Law, P.A. | Driving With Suspended License Attorney in Duval County

If you or a loved one is facing charges for driving with a suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified license, contact Roelke Law . These charges are not to be taken lightly, especially since they can make the existing driving restrictions last longer or result in other unfortunate consequences if convicted. Bill Roelke will help you understand all of your available legal options and the defense strategy best suited for your unique situation.

Bill has represented clients throughout Duval County, Clay County, St. Johns County, and Nassau County, Florida throughout the years. He understands the mechanics behind these cases and potential weaknesses in the prosecution's case against you. Send an online message to speak with Bill Roelke during a free consultation.

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