Driving While License Suspended In Florida Second Conviction

Civil Versus Criminal Driving With A Suspended License

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

Knowledge Of The Suspension

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 Of The Suspension

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

Second Offense Driving With A Suspended License Penalties

If the ticket is for the criminal charge of driving with a suspended license then you cannot just pay a ticket.  Since it is a criminal charge you must appear in court to answer to the charge.  There can be fines associated with a criminal driving with a suspended license charge in addition to cost of investigation, cost of prosecution and court costs.  The maximum penalty for a second offense criminal driving with a suspended license is up to 1 year in jail, up to 1 year on probation and up to a $1,000 fine.

Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO)

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.

Business Purposes Only License

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.

Civil Driving With A Suspended License

If the offense is a civil infraction then the penalty is 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.

Driving With A Suspended License Lawyer

If you have been charged with driving with a suspended license please contact Chris S. Boatright, P.A. at 407-740-8300 or email chris@theorlandodefenselawyer.com 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 20 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

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.

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