Driving with a Suspended License in Orlando

As experienced criminal defense lawyers in Florida, we have helped countless clients navigate their traffic offenses with confidence and efficiency. If you were charged with driving with a suspended license in Orlando, contact our law office for help. 

In the State of Florida, it’s more than possible to have a suspended driver’s license without realizing it. According to Florida Statutes Chapter 322, various situations, including failing to maintain insurance, accumulating too many points on a driving record, or neglecting to resolve traffic tickets, can result in an automatic driver’s license suspension.

Driving on a suspended license might sound trivial, but it can lead to severe penalties and legal consequences. If you’ve been charged with driving with a suspended license in Orlando, it’s crucial to understand the laws and penalties involved. Don’t worry — Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense is here to help. 

This article will explain everything you need to know about driving without a valid driver’s license in Florida, including possible penalties, how to get your driver’s license reinstated, and more. 

Knowingly Driving with a Suspended License vs. Unknowingly Driving with a Suspended License

Driving with a suspended license in Florida is a serious offense. However, the penalties vary significantly depending on whether or not you were aware of the suspension. If you’re charged with driving with a suspended license, it’s crucial to have an experienced criminal defense attorney who can navigate the nuances of your case and build a strong defense.

Knowingly Driving with a Suspended License

Knowingly driving with a suspended license means that you knew your license was suspended and chose to drive anyway. In order to secure a conviction, the prosecution must prove that you had actual knowledge of the suspension. If they can do so, you could face the following penalties, based on whether or not you’re a habitual traffic offender:

  • First-time offense. Classified as a second-degree misdemeanor, the first offense is punishable by up to 60 days in jail, up to six months of probation, and fines up to $500.
  • Second offense. Classified as a first-degree misdemeanor, your second conviction is punishable by up to one year in jail, up to one year of probation, and fines up to $1,000.
  • Third or subsequent offense. Classified as a third-degree felony, your third offense and subsequent offenses are punishable by up to five years in prison, up to five years of probation, and fines up to $5,000.

The prosecution will use various means to prove their accusations, including previous citations, notification from the DMV, and any statements you made acknowledging the suspension.

Unknowingly Driving with a Suspended License

Unknowingly driving with your license suspended means that you were unaware of your license status when you were caught driving. This lack of knowledge can significantly reduce the severity of your penalties. If you were genuinely unaware that your license was suspended, the offense will likely be treated as a noncriminal traffic infraction. Instead of criminal charges or jail time, you will likely be punished with a civil fine.

However, you may have to prove your lack of knowledge in order to secure leniency. This could involve proving that you never received a notification from the DMV about the suspension, or showing that there was an administrative error or miscommunication that led to the suspension without your knowledge.

How a Lawyer Can Help You Get Your License Back

Losing your driver’s license can be incredibly disruptive to your daily life, but a skilled traffic violations attorney can assist you in navigating the complexities of reinstatement. Here’s how a Florida suspended license attorney can help:

  • Evaluating your situation. An attorney will thoroughly review your case and the reasons behind your license suspension, examining the details of any traffic violations, driving under the influence (DUI) charges, or administrative issues that led to the suspension.
  • Guiding you through reinstatement. Reinstating a suspended license involves several key steps, each with its own set of requirements. A traffic violations lawyer can guide you through the entire process, ensuring you complete each step correctly and efficiently.
  • Handling legal and administrative issues. If your suspension was due to more complex legal issues, such as a DUI or excessive traffic violations, an attorney can help you address these issues to ensure the best possible outcome.
  • Filing necessary paperwork. Reinstating your license involves submitting various forms and documentation to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Your attorney can ensure that all necessary paperwork is accurate, complete, and filed on time, and that your reinstatement fee is paid.
  • Advocating for a hardship license. If you need to drive for essential purposes, such as work or school, an attorney can help you apply for a hardship license. This special type of license allows you to drive under specific conditions while your regular license is suspended.
  • Preparing for DMV hearings. If a hearing is required for reinstatement or for obtaining a hardship license, your attorney will prepare you for the process, ensuring you know what to expect and how to present your case effectively.

Regaining your driving privileges after a suspension in Florida can be a long and daunting process, but Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense is up to the task. We are dedicated to guiding you through each step, addressing legal and administrative issues, and advocating for your rights.

How to Get Your Florida Driver’s License Reinstated in Florida

The driver’s license reinstatement process in Florida is difficult to navigate, which is why most people benefit from working closely with a qualified traffic attorney. An experienced traffic lawyer can guide you through the following key steps:

  • Step 1. Wait out the suspension. There’s no getting around it: You will need to wait until the suspension period has ended before you can begin the reinstatement process.
  • Step 2. Enroll in an advanced driver improvement course. Enrolling in and completing an Advanced Driver Improvement (ADI) course is often a requirement for reinstating your license.
  • Step 3. Complete the charge-related conditions. You must fulfill any conditions related to your suspension. This could include paying fines, completing community service, or attending court-ordered programs.
  • Step 4. Submit the enrollment verification letter and pay all fines. Lastly, you will need to submit proof of enrollment in the ADI course, as well as pay any outstanding fines or fees associated with your suspension.

Although the process isn’t immediate, following these steps is the fastest way to get your driver’s license reinstated in Florida. Questions? Contact our law office online for personalized guidance from a legal professional.

How to Enroll for Florida’s Hardship License

For some Floridians — particularly those who need a car to commute to work — living for a time without a driver’s license isn’t an option. These individuals may be eligible for a hardship license, which allows a person to drive for specific purposes, such as for work or school. If you want to obtain a hardship license, you will need to complete the following steps:

  • Conduct an eligibility check to verify you are eligible for a hardship license.
  • Submit an application to the Bureau of Administrative Reviews.
  • Attend a hearing to demonstrate your need for a hardship license.
  • Complete an ADI course or obtain proof of enrollment in an Advanced Driver Improvement course.

Keep in mind not everyone is eligible to receive a hardship license in Florida. If your application has been rejected but you believe it shouldn’t have been, contact one of our revoked license attorneys for legal advice.

Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense: Suspended License Lawyer in FL

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At Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense, we understand the profound impact a suspended license can have on your daily routines, goals, and personal life. Our dedicated team of suspended license lawyers in Orlando is committed to helping you navigate the legal process and regain your driving privileges. So don’t wait — contact our law firm today to get started.

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