Driving On A Suspended License Without Knowledge

In Florida there are two types of driving with a suspended license charges.  Driving with a suspended license without knowledge of the suspension is a civil infraction.  Driving with a suspended license with knowledge of the suspension is a criminal charge.

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.

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.

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 ca not 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 penalties for driving with a suspended license without knowledge of the suspension include a fine and points on your record.  Points on your driving record can lead to a license suspension in addition to increased car insurance costs.  It is important to know that a conviction for the civil infraction of 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.

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