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Driving While Licenses is Suspended

A frequent traffic offense people are convicted of is driving while their license is suspended. It might be a surprise to learn that many people have a suspended license and are completely unaware of it. This is because the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) can suspend your license for non-traffic violation reasons such as not paying child support or failing to submit a vision report if you have inadequate vision. 

If you or someone you know was charged with driving while license is suspended, we suggest you gain legal representation to help you avoid the statutory penalties. Depending on the situation, you could have a criminal conviction on your record and have your suspension extended even further. If you have a history of driving while license is suspended (DWLIS), then you could even be facing felony-level charges. 

Traffic Defense Attorney for DWLIS Charges in West Palm Beach, FL

Driving with a suspended license is not worth the risk due to Florida’s harsh statutory penalties. If you’ve been charged with driving with a suspended license, we recommend you have legal counsel you can trust such as Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. Our attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. understand how stressful it is to suddenly face criminal charge. Let us guide you with quality legal representation.

You can call the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. at this number (561) 500-5000. From there, we can set up your first consultation free and discuss your charges in further detail. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents people throughout the greater Palm Beach County area including West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Jupiter and Boca Raton.

Overview of Driving While Suspended in FL

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Why Did FDHSMV Suspend My License?

Your license could have been suspended, cancelled or disqualified for several reasons. Most people have their license suspended because they accumulated too many points on their driving record. However, you can have your license for a non-traffic violation related reason. For instance, violating a court order or a DUI charge will automatically lead to a suspension. 

All suspended licenses are handled by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FDHSMV). They use a points-based system to determine if your driving privileges should be suspended or not. Collecting too many points on your record in a period of time can lead to an administrative suspension and even the revocation of your license. 

Accumulating 12 points in a 12-month period will lead to a license suspension for up to 30 days. Having 18 points on your record within 18 months will result in a three-month suspension. Accruing 24 points or more within 36 months is an automatic year-long suspension. Unless a judge court ordered it, you will be notified of your suspension in the mail. Thankfully, DHSMV does give you a small 10-day window to contest your suspension with a hearing after receiving your notice in the mail.

Some common traffic violations and crimes that can lead to a suspended license include:

  • Failing driving tests;
  • Failure to comply with traffic summons;
  • Failure to maintain automobile insurance;
  • Failure to pay child support;
  • Failure to pay civil judgment, court costs, or fines;
  • Failure to appear in court;
  • Failure to complete court-ordered school;
  • Failure to pay traffic tickets;
  • Failure to submit a vision report (Inadequate/Field of Vision);
  • Having certain medical conditions;
  • 15 unexcused school absences in 90 days;
  • Being designated as an HTO;
  • Convictions for certain criminal traffic offenses;
  • Convictions for certain drug and theft offenses;
  • Convictions for driving under the influence (DUI);
  • Non-DUI traffic violation resulting in death or serious bodily injury; or
  • Refusal to submit to DUI chemical test 

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Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License in FL

Driving with a suspended license is penalized depending on the circumstances of the case. If you unknowingly drove on a suspended license, then the officer will only cite you with a moving violation and add three points on your license. However, if you were aware that your license was suspended, then you will be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. 

The penalties for a second-degree misdemeanor include: 

  • Up to 60 days in jail; and
  • A fine of up to $500

A second offense will upgrade the crime to a first-class misdemeanor. This is punishable by:

  • Up to 12 months in jail; and
  • A fine of up to $1,000 

Driving on a suspended license a third time will enhance the offense to a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony can result in the following penalties:

  • Up to 5 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $5,000

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How Do I Get My License Reinstated in Florida?

When you receive your suspension notice, you will notice a list of conditions you must fulfill before you can request reinstatement from DHSMV. This means you should thoroughly review the terms and conditions of your suspension before you even think about reinstatement. You will also be required to pay reinstatement fees and submit certain documents to DHSMV. 

Some requirements your suspension may include is:

  • Pay court and traffic fines;
  • Pay the reinstatement fee;
  • Complete your probation period;
  • Finish all court-ordered community service;
  • Finish your incarceration;
  • Undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation;
  • Take a DMV-approved traffic school; or
  • Take a drug and alcohol course 

After you’ve completed all the terms and conditions on your suspension notice you can finally request reinstatement from DHSMV. You will need proof for certain completed conditions such as a letter from the courts or a copy of enrollment for a DMV-approved traffic school. Once you submitted these, you must pay a reinstatement fee to finally regain your driving privileges. 

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Additional Resources

Driver’s License Suspensions & Revocations – Visit the official website for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). Access the site to learn more about how a person’s license can be suspended and what’s needed for reinstatement.

Florida Laws for Driving on a Suspended License – Visit the official website for the Florida Statutes and read more regarding driving while license suspended, revoked, cancelled or disqualified. Access the site to read the statutory language on DWLIS, the penalties, impoundment and the penalties for commercial drivers.

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Driving with a Suspended License Lawyer in Palm Beach County, FL

If you or someone you know has been arrested for driving with a suspended license, then it’s important you have quality legal representation ready to fight for you. Our suggestion is you contact the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. We have years of experience defending people accused of traffic crimes such as driving on a suspended license. 

To set up your first consultation free call (561) 500-5000. During your appointment, you can discuss your charges further in detail with an experienced attorney. Don’t wait another moment to protect your freedom. Contact Meltzer & Bell, P.A. today in the West Palm Beach area such as Delray Beach, Jupiter and Boca Raton, Florida. 

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Meltzer & Bell, P.A.

Lawrence Meltzer & Steven Bell

Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Super Lawyers Martindale-Hubble
Meltzer & Bell, P.A.
Palm Beach
515 N Flagler Dr #240
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561) 557-8686
110 SE 6th St Suite 1749
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
(954) 745-7457