Orlando Driving With A Suspended License Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with driving with a suspended license in Orlando please contact Chris S. Boatright, P.A. at 407-740-8300 to discuss what options may be available to get your driving with a suspended license  charge dismissed or reduced.  A conviction for driving with a suspended license may cause your drivers license to be revoked for 5 years.

Former Driving With A Suspended License Prosecutor

As a former driving with a suspended license prosecutor Chris has an understanding of what can be important to the prosecutor in your Orlando driving with a suspended license case.  It is important to understand how the other side works.  Chris uses this understanding to determine what needs to be done to get the best possible outcome in your driving with a suspended license case.  

Orlando Driving With A Suspended License Defense Lawyer Since 1999

Chris has been defending individuals in Orlando charged with driving with a suspended license since 1999.  Being an Orlando driving with a suspended license defense lawyer for so long has given Chris the opportunity to spend a lot of time working with the judges and prosecutors in Orlando that handle driving with a suspended license cases like yours.  Experience dealing with those judges and prosecutors is important in achieving the best results in your driving with a suspended license  case.  

Different Orlando Driving With A Suspended License Defense Lawyers Get Different Results

When you have been charged with driving with a suspended license in Orlando you need an aggressive, experienced, and knowledgeable lawyer like Chris to defend you.  A driving with a suspended license conviction will stay on your record forever, therefore, it is important to be represented by the right lawyer.  The better prepared you are for your court appearance the more likely it is you will get a favorable outcome.  The best results possible are rarely obtained by just hoping for them.  Get the help you need at Chris S. Boatright, P.A. to get the best results possible.  

Information About Orlando Driving With A Suspended License Charges

Driving With a Suspended License

Any person whose driver license or driving privelege has been suspended, who knowing of such supsension, drives any motor vehicle upon the highways of Florida while such license is suspended, is guilty of a criminal offense. 

Driving With a Suspended License is categorized into three degrees. Therefore, you may face more severe penalties for multiple prior convictions.

  • A first offense is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of 60 days in jail and/or 6 months probation and/or a $500 fine.
  • A second offense may be classified as a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of 365 days in jail and/or 12 months probation and/or a $1,000 fine.
  • A third offense may be classified as a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison and/or 5 years of probation and/or a $5,000 fine.

DEFINITIONS

“Drive” means to operate or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle in any place open to the general public for purposes of vehicular traffic.

"Actual physical control" of a vehicle means the defendant must be physically in or on the vehicle and have the capability to operate the vehicle, regardless of whether they are actually operating the vehicle at the time.

“Motor vehicle” means any vehicle which is self-propelled, including a “moped,” but not any vehicle moved solely by human power, motorized wheelchair or motorized bicycle.

“Street or Highway” means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way or place if any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular traffic.

“Notice” means personal delivery or deposit in the United States mail, first class, postage prepaid, addressed to the defendant at [his] [her] last known address furnished to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.  Mailing by the department shall constitute notification.

“Suspended” means the privilege to drive a motor vehicle has been temporarily withdrawn.

KNOWLEDGE

The element of knowledge is satisfied if the person has been previously cited for driving with a suspended license; or the person admits to knowledge of the suspension, or the person received notice of the suspension. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the knowledge requirement is satisfied if a judgment or order appears in the department’s records for any case except for one involving a suspension by the department for failure to pay a traffic fine or for a financial responsibility violation.  In any proceeding for a violation of this section, a court may consider evidence that the person knowingly drove with a suspended license.  Any judgment or order rendered by a court or adjudicatory body or any uniform traffic citation that suspends a person’s driver license must contain a provision notifying the person that his or her driver license has been suspended.

PROOF OF KNOWLEDGE

(1) All orders of cancellation, suspension, revocation, or disqualification issued under the provisions of this chapter, chapter 318, chapter 324, or Florida Statute 627.732627.734 shall be given either by personal delivery thereof to the licensee whose license is being canceled, suspended, revoked, or disqualified or by deposit in the United States mail in an envelope, first class, postage prepaid, addressed to the licensee at his or her last known mailing address furnished to the department. Such mailing by the department constitutes notification, and any failure by the person to receive the mailed order will not affect or stay the effective date or term of the cancellation, suspension, revocation, or disqualification of the licensee’s driving privilege.

(2) The giving of notice and an order of cancellation, suspension, revocation, or disqualification by mail is complete upon expiration of 20 days after deposit in the United States mail for all notices except those issued under chapter 324 or sFlorida Statute 627.732–627.734, which are complete 15 days after deposit in the United States mail. Proof of the giving of notice and an order of cancellation, suspension, revocation, or disqualification in either manner shall be made by entry in the records of the department that such notice was given. The entry is admissible in the courts of this state and constitutes sufficient proof that such notice was given.

(3) Whenever the driving privilege is suspended, revoked, or disqualified under the provisions of this chapter, the period of such suspension, revocation, or disqualification shall be indicated on the order of suspension, revocation, or disqualification, and the department shall require the licensee whose driving privilege is suspended, revoked, or disqualified to surrender all licenses then held by him or her to the department. However, should the person fail to surrender such licenses, the suspension, revocation, or disqualification period shall not expire until a period identical to the period for which the driving privilege was suspended, revoked, or disqualified has expired after the date of surrender of the licenses, or the date an affidavit swearing such licenses are lost has been filed with the department. In any instance where the suspension, revocation, or disqualification order is mailed as provided herein, and the license is not surrendered to the department, and such license thereafter expires, the department shall not renew that license until a period of time identical to the period of such suspension, revocation, or disqualification imposed has expired.

(4) A person whose privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle is temporarily disqualified may, upon surrendering his or her commercial driver license, be issued a Class E driver license, valid for the length of his or her unexpired commercial driver license, at no cost. Such person may, upon the completion of his or her disqualification, be issued a commercial driver license, of the type disqualified, for the remainder of his or her unexpired license period. Any such person shall pay the reinstatement fee provided in Florida Statute 322.21 before being issued a commercial driver license.

(5) A person whose privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle is permanently disqualified may, upon surrendering his or her commercial driver license, be issued a Class E driver license, if he or she is otherwise qualified to receive such license. Any such person shall be issued a Class E license, valid for the remainder of his or her unexpired license period, at no cost.

(6) Whenever a cancellation, suspension, revocation, or disqualification occurs, the department shall enter the cancellation, suspension, revocation, or disqualification order on the licensee’s driver file 20 days after the notice was actually placed in the mail. Any inquiry into the file after the 20-day period shall reveal that the license is canceled, suspended, revoked, or disqualified and whether the license has been received by the department.

(7)(a) A person whose driving privilege is suspended or revoked pursuant to Florida Statute 832.09 shall be notified, pursuant to this section, and the notification shall direct the person to surrender himself or herself to the sheriff who entered the warrant to satisfy the conditions of the warrant. A person whose driving privilege is suspended or revoked under this subsection shall not have his or her driving privilege reinstated for any reason other than:

1. Full payment of any restitution, court costs, and fees incurred as a result of a warrant or capias being issued pursuant to Florida Statute 832.09;

2. The cancellation of the warrant or capias from the Department of Law Enforcement recorded by the entering agency; and

3. The payment of an additional fee of $10 to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to be paid into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund; or

4. The department has modified the suspension or revocation of the license pursuant to Florida Statute 322.271 restoring the driving privilege solely for business or employment purposes.

(b) The Department of Law Enforcement shall provide electronic access to the department for the purpose of identifying any person who is the subject of an outstanding warrant or capias for passing worthless bank checks.

NOTICE

.“Notice” means personal delivery or deposit in the United States mail, first class, postage prepaid, addressed to the defendant at [his] [her] last known address furnished to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.  Mailing by the department shall constitute notification.

WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE

Any person whose driver license or driving privilege has been suspended, who without knowing of such suspension, who drives a vehicle upon the highways of Florida while such license is suspended is guilty of a moving violation, which is a non-criminal civil citation.  

“Vehicle” means every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway or operated upon rails or guideway, except a bicycle, motorized wheelchair, or motorized bicycle.

HABITUAL TRAFFIC OFFENDER (HTO)

Any person who has three convictions for driving with a supsended driver license within 5 years is defined by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) as a habitual traffic offender.  According to Florida Statute 322.27(5) DHSMV shall revoke the driver license of any person designated as a habitual traffic offender for a minimum of 5 years. 

IMPOUNDMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLE 

Upon the arrest of a person for the offense of driving while the person’s driver license or driving privilege is suspended or revoked, the arresting officer shall determine:

1. Whether the person’s driver license is suspended or revoked.

2. Whether the person’s driver license has remained suspended or revoked since a conviction for the offense of driving with a suspended or revoked license.

3. Whether the suspension or revocation was made under Florida Statute 316.646 or Florida Statute 627.733, relating to failure to maintain required security, or under Florida Statute 322.264, relating to habitual traffic offenders.

4. Whether the driver is the registered owner or coowner of the vehicle.

(b) If the arresting officer finds in the affirmative as to all of the criteria in paragraph (a), the officer shall immediately impound or immobilize the vehicle.

(c) Within 7 business days after the date the arresting agency impounds or immobilizes the vehicle, either the arresting agency or the towing service, whichever is in possession of the vehicle, shall send notice by certified mail to any coregistered owners of the vehicle other than the person arrested and to each person of record claiming a lien against the vehicle. All costs and fees for the impoundment or immobilization, including the cost of notification, must be paid by the owner of the vehicle or, if the vehicle is leased, by the person leasing the vehicle.

(d) Either the arresting agency or the towing service, whichever is in possession of the vehicle, shall determine whether any vehicle impounded or immobilized under this section has been leased or rented or if there are any persons of record with a lien upon the vehicle. Either the arresting agency or the towing service, whichever is in possession of the vehicle, shall notify by express courier service with receipt or certified mail within 7 business days after the date of the immobilization or impoundment of the vehicle, the registered owner and all persons having a recorded lien against the vehicle that the vehicle has been impounded or immobilized. A lessor, rental car company, or lienholder may then obtain the vehicle, upon payment of any lawful towing or storage charges. If the vehicle is a rental vehicle subject to a written contract, the charges may be separately charged to the renter, in addition to the rental rate, along with other separate fees, charges, and recoupments disclosed on the rental agreement. If the storage facility fails to provide timely notice to a lessor, rental car company, or lienholder as required by this paragraph, the storage facility shall be responsible for payment of any towing or storage charges necessary to release the vehicle to a lessor, rental car company, or lienholder that accrue after the notice period, which charges may then be assessed against the driver of the vehicle if the vehicle was lawfully impounded or immobilized.

(e) Except as provided in paragraph (d), the vehicle shall remain impounded or immobilized for any period imposed by the court until:

1. The owner presents proof of insurance to the arresting agency; or

2. The owner presents proof of sale of the vehicle to the arresting agency and the buyer presents proof of insurance to the arresting agency.

If proof is not presented within 35 days after the impoundment or immobilization, a lien shall be placed upon such vehicle pursuant to Florida Statute 713.78.

(f) The owner of a vehicle that is impounded or immobilized under this subsection may, within 10 days after the date the owner has knowledge of the location of the vehicle, file a complaint in the county in which the owner resides to determine whether the vehicle was wrongfully taken or withheld. Upon the filing of a complaint, the owner or lienholder may have the vehicle released by posting with the court a bond or other adequate security equal to the amount of the costs and fees for impoundment or immobilization, including towing or storage, to ensure the payment of such costs and fees if the owner or lienholder does not prevail. When the vehicle owner or lienholder does not prevail on a complaint that the vehicle was wrongfully taken or withheld, he or she must pay the accrued charges for the immobilization or impoundment, including any towing and storage charges assessed against the vehicle. When the bond is posted and the fee is paid as set forth in Florida Statute 28.24, the clerk of the court shall issue a certificate releasing the vehicle. At the time of release, after reasonable inspection, the owner must give a receipt to the towing or storage company indicating any loss or damage to the vehicle or to the contents of the vehicle.

Driving as a Habitual Traffic Offender

Driving with a driver’s license that has been revoked for being classified as a habitual traffic offender can be a misdemeanor or felony.  Whether the charge is a misdemeanor or felony is determined by the reason for the suspension of your driver’s license that caused your driver’s license to be revoked as a habitual traffic offender and if you have ever been convicted of a prior forceable felony.

Driving With a Permanently Revoked License

Driving with a permanently revoked license is a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison and/or 5 years probation and/or a $5,000 fine.

Evidence

In order for the State of Florida to prove you committed the crime of driving with a suspended or revoked license, the State need’s evidence.  Normally, the law enforcement officer’s report contains a statement of the evidence against you.  However, there may be other evidence in your case which the law enforcement officer failed to document in the report.  In a criminal driving with a suspended license case, the State must be able to prove you knew your license was suspended at the time you were driving.  It is essential for you and your attorney to review all of the evidence in your case before preparing your defense.

Constitutional Rights

The United States Constitution and the Florida Constitution both contain protections for the people.  One protection is against unreasonable searches and seizures.  A traffic stop may constitute a seizure.  An unlawful traffic stop may cause evidence in your case to be inadmissible which may cause the dismissal of your charge.  Another protection is against incriminating statements.  The failure of law enforcement officer to read your Miranda rights prior to statements by you may cause those incriminating statements to be inadmissible which may cause the dismissal of your charge.

Orlando Driving With A Suspended License Penalties

A conviction for driving with a suspended license can result in many different penalties.  It is important for you to know what penalties you may be facing.  Some of the penalties for a driving with a suspended license conviction may include:

  • Time in Jail or Prison
  • Probation
  • Community Service
  • Classes
  • Extended Loss of Driving Privileges
  • Fines
  • Cost of Investigation
  • Cost of Prosecution
  • Court Costs
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