Can You Go To Jail For Driving On A Suspended License In Florida?
YES! Every day people go to jail for knowingly driving with a suspended license. A first offense for knowingly driving with a suspended license is a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail, 6 months probation and a $500 fine. A second offense for knowingly driving with a suspended license is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail, 1 year on probation and a $1,000 fine. A third or subsequent offense for driving with a suspended license is a third degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison, 5 years probation and a $5,000 fine.
If you get 3 driving while license suspended convictions within a five year period the Florida Department Of Highway Safety And Motor Vehicles(DHSMV) will classify you as a habitual traffic offender and, consequently, will revoke your driving privilege for 5 years. So basically 3 strikes in 5 years and you sit the bench for 5 years in the driving game. You cannot even apply for a hearing for a hardship license for 1 year and just because you apply for a hardship license after 1 year does not mean DHSMV is going to give it to you. So no driving for at least 1 year and then maybe DHSMV will allow you to drive for the next 4 years for business or employment purposes only.
A driving privilege restricted to “business purposes only” means a driving privilege that is limited to any driving necessary to maintain livelihood, including driving to and from work, necessary on-the-job driving, driving for educational purposes, and driving for church and for medical purposes. A driving privilege restricted to “employment purposes only” means a driving privilege that is limited to driving to and from work and any necessary on-the-job driving required by an employer or occupation.
The officer does not have to arrest you and take you to jail for driving with a suspended license. An officer can just issue you a citation to appear in court but even though you were not arrested and taken to jail this is still a criminal charge and all the above-mentioned information still applies so you can still go to jail or prison when you appear in court to answer to the knowingly driving with a suspended license charge.
If the officer believes that you did not know your license was suspended then the officer will not arrest you and take you to jail and instead will give you a ticket for unknowingly driving with a suspended license which is a civil infraction. It is important to know that a conviction for unknowingly driving with a suspended license still counts as a strike towards being classified as a habitual traffic offender and losing your license for 5 years.
If you have been charged with driving with a suspended license please contact Chris S. Boatright, P.A. at 407-740-8300 to discuss your case. Chris is a former driving with a suspended license prosecutor who has been defending people charged with driving with a suspended license for over 18 years. If driving is important to you then put his knowledge and experience to work protecting your driver’s license and your record.
Driving with a suspended license charges can be beaten in court for many reasons. Chris has beaten them for many clients and he may be able to beat them for you. Call 407-740-8300 for a free consultation.