In Clearwater, as in the State of Florida, it is against the law to drive on the road without a valid driver’s license. It is extremely dangerous to make the decision to take to the roads without a valid driver’s license as you may not know what you are doing. This presents a risk not only to yourself and any passengers in the vehicle but also has the potential to cause harm to other road users and greatly increases the chances of an accident.
Florida holds very strict laws against driving without a valid license, and if caught, the penalties and punishments can be devastating. If you or someone you know has been arrested or caught driving without a valid driver’s license, then it is important to seek legal advice and information from an experienced traffic defense attorney as soon as possible.
At The Law Place, we have a team of highly skilled criminal defense lawyers with over 75 years of collective experience in defending those caught in traffic-related cases similar to yours. At our law firm, we offer all our customers a free consultation where a lawyer will assess your case and offer valuable, no-obligation legal advice and guidance on the next best steps to take. At our Clearwater offices, our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we can be on hand to help and support you at any time of day. Call us today at (941) 444-4444 and speak to a skilled traffic defense lawyer.
What Does Driving Without a License Mean?
Florida Statute 322.03 outlines the rules and regulations for driving licenses, as well as the penalties that can be issued if you are caught driving without a license. One of the main laws stated is that a person may not drive any motor vehicle upon a road in the State of Florida unless they have a valid driver’s license.
It is important to note that licenses that have been canceled, expired, suspended, or revoked are not valid. In addition, the driver must ensure they possess the correct license for the vehicle that they are driving. To ‘drive’ means that the defendant has to have been in actual physical control of the motor vehicle. Furthermore, a motor vehicle includes all common types of road vehicles but excludes motorized bicycles and wheelchairs.
Contact The Law Place today to receive a free consultation with a knowledgeable lawyer. Our lawyers can offer help and support, as well as valuable legal advice on the next best steps to take.
Exemptions for Driving Without a License in Clearwater
In Clearwater, there are a few exemptions to the law that states that drivers must be in possession of a valid driver’s license in order to drive on the roads in Florida. These exemptions include:
- Those who operate farming machinery such as tractors.
- Those who operate golf cars and buggies.
- Those who are at least 16 years of age but are not a resident of Florida have a non-commercial driver’s license from their own state or country and is operating a vehicle that requires a Class E driver’s license.
- Those who are at least 18 years of age but not a resident of Florida and who are in possession of a valid non-commercial driver’s license from their own country or state.
Penalties for Driving Without a License in Clearwater, FL.
If you are caught driving in Clearwater with no valid driver’s license, and it is your first offense, then it is likely that you will be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. Penalties for a second-degree misdemeanor could include a fine of up to $500 and up to sixty days in jail. If you have no previous convictions, then it is less likely that you will receive a jail sentence.
In addition, if you are caught driving with an expired license that has yet to be renewed, then it is likely that you will still face a second-degree misdemeanor charge. However, if you do not have a valid license at all, then you will face further legal complications.
It is worthwhile noting that even if a driver has a valid driver’s license, if they fail to physically show their license to a police officer when they are stopped, then they could still be liable for criminal charges. Every driver must be prepared to show their driver’s license when they are stopped by a traffic officer, which is why it is so important a driver keeps their license on them at all times while driving.
Penalties for Being a Habitual Traffic Offender in Clearwater
If you are caught on the road without a license in Clearwater for a second or third time, then you will likely face more severe punishments and penalties. If you are caught driving with a suspended or revoked license for a second time, penalties can increase to up to a year in jail and $1000 payable in fines. Additionally, the vehicle will be impounded.
If you are caught for the third time or for any subsequent offenses, then your criminal charges will be elevated to a felony charge. Penalties for a felony charge can include up to 5 years in prison and up to $5000 payable in fines. However, if you commit three or more offenses within 5 years, then you may be seen as a habitual traffic offender. This may mean facing increased fines, jail time, and 5-year license revocation.
If the driver is not aware that their license has been suspended or revoked, then the offense is considered to be a moving violation, and they will be required to pay a $60 fine.
If you are caught driving without a valid driver’s license in Clearwater, FL., then it is highly recommended to seek legal advice as soon as possible. A skilled criminal defense lawyer will be able to assess your case and help to guide you through the legal process to ensure you receive the best possible outcome that may see your charges dropped or reduced.
Possible Defenses for Driving Without a License in Clearwater
At The Law Place, our skilled criminal defense attorneys have a wealth of experience in defending those that are caught driving without a license in Clearwater, FL. At our law firm, your lawyer will work to gather crucial evidence and information for your case that can help build a strong defense strategy. Some of the most common defenses include:
- The driver was not driving on a public road, highway, or street when they were stopped.
- The driver was stopped or detained unlawfully by police officers.
- The driver did possess a valid driver’s license, but it simply wasn’t in their possession when they were stopped.
- The defendant possessed a valid license, but it was an out-of-state or foreign license.
- The prosecutor does not have sufficient evidence to reasonably prove that the defendant was operating a vehicle with no valid license.
The sooner you contact a criminal defense attorney, the greater your chances of having your penalties reduced or even dropped. Contact The Law Place today for a free consultation with a skilled lawyer.
Contact The Law Place in Florida Today!
If you are facing charges for driving without a license in Clearwater, FL., then you should seek the advice of a lawyer as soon as possible. At The Law Place, our team has an abundance of collective experience in dealing with traffic-related cases similar to yours.
We understand how terrifying and worrying facing criminal charges can be, which is why we pride ourselves on developing a positive attorney-client relationship built on trust and honesty. Your lawyer will be on hand to offer relevant legal information and support to help you every step of the way. Many of our attorneys are AVVO rated 10.0, so you can rest assured that your case will be in competent hands.
Our phone lines are open around the clock, call us at any time of day, and an experienced lawyer will be on hand to help and offer valuable legal information when you need it most. Call us today at (941) 444-4444 and receive a free consultation with a knowledgeable Florida attorney.