Driving without a driver’s license can result in some pretty serious consequences. In Florida, you can be arrested, your car can be impounded, and you could suffer a criminal conviction. Driving on a suspended license is not an infraction like a speeding ticket. It’s a crime that is taken very seriously by prosecutors and judges alike.
Driving on a Suspended License
Your driver's license can be suspended or revoked for a number of different reasons including a DUI, reckless driving, and negligent operation, which is when you receive a certain number of points in a timeframe. Your license can also be suspended for failing to pay fines or child support, and your suspension won’t be lifted until you pay.
Suspended License Defense
If the prosecutor wants to obtain a conviction for driving on a suspended license, they must prove the following three facts beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You drove a motor vehicle
- Your driver's license was suspended or revoked at the time of driving
- You knew that your license had been revoked or suspended when you drove
One of the major defense issues in cases such as this is whether or not the driver knew that his or her license was suspended. Although the DMV may have mailed you a notice of the suspension of your license, you may not have received that mail because you moved or someone discarded your mail.
Through plea bargaining, it may be possible to obtain a lesser charge than driving on a suspended license, which can carry a minimum jail time of 10 days, as well as mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. If you are charged with driving without a license in your possession, that is an infraction and it means you avoid heavy fines and time in county jail. Additionally, you may have a valid defense based on the fact that the officer who stopped you did not have a sufficient legal basis for the stop.
If you have been arrested for driving without a license and fear going to jail, contact our Clearwater criminal defense lawyers at Tinny, Meyer & Piccarreto, P.A. today. Call (727) 245-9009 or contact us online to make an appointment.