As a Daytona Beach suspended license attorney I frequently see the problems a suspended license can cause. Driving is not a right in Florida but it is difficult to function without a driver’s license. With a tough economy and a constant increase in the cost of traffic tickets, insurance and other fees associated with maintaining a valid license it’s no surprise that thousands of people are charged with driving on a suspended license in Volusia County, Seminole County, Orange County and Flagler County. Driving on a suspended license is an offense that can get more serious after each conviction.
Driving While License Suspended is an enhanceable offense in Florida. This means that the maximum penalties increase if you have been previously convicted of this offense. When the driver does not have knowledge of the suspension a non-criminal traffic infraction will be issued. Even a suspended license without knowledge will count towards becoming a habitual traffic offender. If it is your first driving while license suspended case with knowledge you will be charged with a second degree misdemeanor. This means it is punishable by up to sixty 60 days in jail and/or six 6 months of probation. The second offense of Driving While License Suspended or Revoked will be charged as a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and/or one year of probation. The second offense will be charged as a first degree misdemeanor regardless of whether one received a withhold of adjudication on the previous offense. A third offense or more will be charged as a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in state prison and/or five years of probation with the Department of Correction.
In addition to the criminal ramifications described above, a collateral consequence of driving while license suspended is a qualifying offense for making one a habitual traffic offender or HTO. If you have three qualifying offenses, you may be designated a habitual traffic offender and lose your license for a period of five 5 years with no ability to get a hardship license for the first year. If you are arrested for driving on a habitual traffic offender suspension you can be charged with a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in state prison and/or five years of probation with the Department of Correction. Attorney Kevin J. Pitts also handles Seminole County suspended license cases and Orlando suspended license cases.