Florida Statute 322.03 defines “no valid driver’s license” (NVDL) as a criminal charge. It is unlawful for a person to physically control a vehicle and drive in a place, which allows the public to drive vehicles if you have no state-issued driver’s license that authorizes you to drive a motorized vehicle. This applies to all drivers in Florida. Regardless of whether you are a Florida resident or a tourist, the State of Florida can charge you with driving without a valid license.
At first, these charges may seem unimportant, but those convicted will face short and long-term repercussions and be left with a permanent criminal record, which can impact the rest of your life.
This is why it’s crucial that, if you’re facing charges of driving without a valid driver’s license, you contact a criminal defense attorney. Here at The Law Place, our criminal defense lawyers have over 75 years of combined experience in dealing with the Florida legal system and helping clients just like you battle their charges. We believe that you shouldn’t be so harshly punished for such a small mistake, and you can trust we’ll do everything we can to guarantee you a favorable outcome. So contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Call us at (941) 444-4444. Phone lines are open 24/7.
Why Am I Getting Charged With Not Having a Valid Driver’s License in Florida?
If you have been charged with not having a valid driving license, it will likely be because of the following:
- You don’t have a valid driver’s license at all – Regardless of if you’re a minor, visiting from another country or state, or otherwise, if you don’t have a driver’s license, then you could face criminal charges in Florida.
- Your license has been canceled – This is similar to, but not the same as, a suspended license. If your license has been canceled, but you have been caught by law enforcement driving, you could be subject to criminal charges.
If you have been charged with driving without a valid driver’s license for the reasons above, or others, then you should contact The Law Place immediately to talk one-on-one with a qualified criminal defense attorney. Our law firm is ready to help you fight your charges and secure the best result possible, so don’t hesitate! Call us now to schedule a free case evaluation.
What Is the Difference Between a Suspended License and No Valid License?
The charges of driving without a valid driver’s license and driving on a suspended license are different, meaning that the penalties associated with the offense also differ.
One of the main differences between the two charges is that, in the State of Florida, there is no element of proof of knowledge for the charge of driving without a valid driver’s license. Instead, the prosecutor only needs to prove that you were driving with no valid license. However, with the charge of driving on a suspended license, there is an element of proof of knowledge.
Furthermore, a conviction for driving with a suspended license counts towards classifying you as a habitual traffic offender, whereas a conviction for driving without a valid license does not.
Common Penalties for Driving Without a Valid Driver’s License in North Porth, FL.
In Florida, if you are convicted of driving without a valid driver’s license, you face a second-degree misdemeanor and the following penalties:
- A fine up to $500.
- Up to 60 days in jail.
You may also be eligible for a pre-trial diversion program. If you complete this, the charges might be dismissed, and you could then seek to have the charges removed from your record.
Are There Exceptions to the Requirement of Having a Valid Florida Driver’s License?
There are a few exceptions to the requirement of having a valid driver’s license, as stated in Florida Statute 322.04. These are listed below:
- You are a non-resident, over 16 years old, and have a valid, non-commercial driver’s license from another state or country, and are operating a vehicle that requires a Florida Class-E driver’s license.
- You are a non-resident, over 18 years old, and have a valid, non-commercial driver’s license from another state or country, and are operating a non-commercial vehicle.
- You are operating a golf cart.
- You are temporarily driving tractors, road machines, and farm-related machinery on public roads.
- You are a government employee and are operating a non-commercial vehicle that is owned or leased by the government for official purposes.
If you believe it’s possible that when you were arrested for driving without a valid license, you were actually following the law and one of these exceptions applies to you, it’s important that you contact The Law Place so we can assess your case and help you as best we can. So contact us today for a free consultation.
Common Defenses Against the Charge of Driving Without a Valid Driver’s License
If you have been charged with driving without a valid driver’s license, your criminal defense attorney will build a strong defense specific to your case. Some of the most common defenses that are used are listed below:
- You weren’t driving on a street that was open to the public.
- You possessed a valid driver’s license.
- You were unlawfully stopped or unlawfully detained after the stop.
- There is not sufficient evidence to prove you didn’t have a valid driver’s license.
The Law Place
If you have been charged for driving without a valid driver’s license in North Port, then it’s crucial that you contact our law firm as soon as possible. Our criminal defense lawyers will spend as much time as necessary to build a solid defense on your behalf, so contact us as soon as possible to give us enough time to prepare before your trial.
We know that it’s easy to make mistakes, and we don’t believe that you deserve to be sentenced to such harsh penalties. Don’t hesitate. Call us now to schedule a free consultation. Our phone lines are open 24/7, so call us at (941) 444-4444!