Driving on a suspended license is a crime that should be taken very seriously in the state of Florida. You can receive penalties that include large fines and the possibility of a jail sentence. These penalties only worsen if this was not your first time being pulled over for driving on a suspended license. Depending on the circumstances, a traffic offender can expect a misdemeanor or perhaps even a felony charge.
If you have found yourself in this position in Sarasota, FL., the wisest thing to do would be to hire a criminal defense lawyer to minimize the disruption to your life and future. The Law Place has a proven tack record of successfully defending those with charges related to driving on a suspended license, with 75 years of accumulated experience under the belts of our criminal defense team.
We are able to offer you a free consultation with an experienced Sarasota criminal defense lawyer, which will be under no obligation and entirely protected by the stipulations of the attorney-client relationship. By telephoning our office at any time of the day or night, you can find out how we would be able to assist you in your specific case.
How to Handle Being Pulled Over While Driving on a Suspended License in Sarasota, FL.
The first thing a Sarasota police officer is likely to do with any suspected traffic offender is to ask them to produce their license for checking. If you have been driving with a suspended license, this is the moment in which they will find out. Their database will contain details about your suspended license.
At this point, the most likely course of action will be for them to enquire as to whether you were aware of the fact your license was suspended. If you wish to avoid a charge, it is important that you do not admit to any knowledge of your license suspension, as this will be mean you automatically qualify for a misdemeanor criminal charge.
While there will still be consequences for driving with a suspended license, even if you did not know about it, these will be are less severe. The less you say without the presence of your lawyer, the better.
However, it pays to bear in mind that this attitude should not get in the way of being reasonable and polite to the officers pulling you over and any other police staff you interact with. Becoming argumentative and rude will only further damage your case.
Common Reasons for a License Suspension in Sarasota
There is a multitude of ways the driver of a motor vehicle could have had their license suspended.
Some common reasons for license suspension in the state of Florida would include:
- Refusal of a breathalyzer or other roadside sobriety test following being pulled over by law enforcement on suspicion of driving under the influence.
- Being arrested or convicted for driving a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
- Accumulation of enough driving license points to warrant a suspension.
- Penalties for delinquency on child support.
- Penalties for failing to appear in court following a mandatory summons.
- Penalties for a drug-related conviction or convictions.
- As a result of failing to pay any fines, judgments from a court, or other court costs.
If you have had your driving license suspended for any of these reasons and then have subsequently been pulled over again, get in touch with our team of criminal defense lawyers at The Law Place as soon as possible. We will be able to talk you through your potential avenues of defense and give you a solid idea of how to move forward with your case.
Common Defenses Employed Against a Driving With a Suspended License Charge
A good criminal defense lawyer in Sarasota will always tailor your specific defense to the personal details you have shared with them. However, there are a number of common defenses that have proven useful in defending those accused of driving with a suspended license in the past.
Your attorney may be able to argue:
- The defendant was not the person driving the motor vehicle.
- The defendant was unaware of the license suspension.
- The defendant’s license was reinstated, or they had a reasonable defense for believing that it had been reinstated when it, in fact, had not been.
- The defendant was not operating their vehicle on the highway.
- The law enforcement officers involved in the traffic stop acted in a way that was illegal.
Even if none of these examples apply to your specific case, a driving attorney from The Law Place may be able to locate some means of mitigation. If it is impossible to get your charge dropped, your attorney will still be able to employ their negotiation skills to amend the charge or lower your penalties.
Is It Possible to Receive Jail Time for Being Caught Driving With a Suspended License in Sarasota?
The specific laws surrounding being caught driving motor vehicles while in possession of a suspended license are covered in Florida Statute 322.34.
Unfortunately, you can receive a jail sentence for knowingly driving with a suspended license, for up to five years for multiple repeated offenses. You will also be at risk of harsher sentencing if you have been deemed a habitual traffic offender for accumulating a number of criminal traffic offenses within a five year period.
The jail time specifics of Sarasota suspended license driving punishments are as follows:
- Your first offense may be punishable by an amount of up to sixty days in jail.
- Your second offense may be punishable by an amount of up to one year in jail.
- Your third or subsequent offense may be punishable by up to five years in jail.
Obviously, five years in jail seems a far cry from the sixty days punishable for a first offense. However, it goes without saying that any time spent in jail is best avoided, and each subsequent offense brings you closer to that substantial sentence of five years imprisonment.
If you have been caught driving with a suspended license in Sarasota and wish to avoid any possibility of a five-year sentence, the best thing to do is to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney at The Law Place. We will listen to the specifics of your case and build you the most solid case possible for getting the charges against you dismissed or minimized.
Additional Consequences for Driving With a Suspended License in Sarasota, FL.
In addition to the jail time consequences for being found guilty of knowingly driving on a suspended license in Sarasota, there are a number of other potential consequences to be aware of.
These consequences are as follows, broken down by the number of times you have been caught driving motor vehicles with a suspended license:
- First offense – In addition to 60 days of jail time, you may face up to $500 in fines.
- Second offense – The offense may now be categorized as a first-degree misdemeanor. From this point onwards, you may also classify for designation as a habitual traffic offender, which would mean increased penalties on any further driving violations.
- Third or subsequent offense – In addition to the five-year potential jail sentence, these offenses carry a maximum $5,000 fine. These offenses also carry an increased risk of designation as a habitual traffic offender.
If you would like the best chances possible of avoiding these consequences, get in contact with one of the experienced and knowledgeable attorneys at The Law Place today.
Is It Possible to Get Your Driving License Unsuspended?
While having your license suspended can be an inconvenience when completing the daily responsibilities of work, childcare, and the day-to-day tasks, we cannot implore you enough not to risk driving while your license is suspended. If you get caught, this will mean an extension of your current inconvenient circumstances.
It is possible to get your driving license reinstated. To do this, you must wait, offense-free, until the period of suspension you have been assigned has elapsed. Following this, you must then apply for a driving license reinstatement before you can drive freely again. If your driver’s license has been revoked instead of suspended, you will have to apply or re-apply for another driver’s license.
What Are the Costs Associated With Getting a Suspended Driver’s License Reinstated?
The usual fee for getting your suspended driver’s license reinstated is $45, as designed in Florida Statute 322.21.
However, there are circumstances that can increase this price. If you had your license suspended for a driving under the influence (DUI) charge or because of your refusal to submit to a breathalyzer or other roadside sobriety test following accusations of driving under the influence, you can expect to pay an additional $130 charge before your suspended driver’s license can be reinstated.
If you have any further queries about the reinstatement of a suspended driver’s license or are having any difficulties with your specific reinstatement, a knowledgeable traffic offense attorney from The Law Place will be able to look at your specific case. From there, the attorney will be able to give you information and assistance to help you to get your driver’s license reinstated.
Sarasota driving with suspended license lawyer, FAQ
What causes a driver’s license suspension in Sarasota, Florida?
In Sarasota, several reasons can lead to a driver’s license suspension, including accumulating too many traffic violation points, driving under the influence, failure to pay traffic fines, or being involved in a motor vehicle crash without adequate insurance.
If someone gets caught driving with a suspended license, will he or she automatically go to jail?
Not necessarily. The consequences for driving with a suspended license can vary depending on the circumstances and prior offenses. However, repeated violations can increase the chances of serving a maximum jail sentence.
What is the difference between a second-degree misdemeanor and a third-degree felony when it comes to driving with a suspended license?
A second-degree misdemeanor is typically the charge for first-time offenders driving with a suspended license without knowledge of the suspension. A third-degree felony charge usually applies to those who knowingly drive on a suspended license and have previous convictions for the same offense.
Can my vehicle be impounded if I’m caught driving with a suspended license?
Yes, if you’re caught driving during a driver’s license suspension, the authorities can impound your vehicle, especially if it’s a repeated offense.
What is the maximum jail sentence for driving with a suspended license?
For a second-degree misdemeanor, the maximum jail sentence is typically up to 60 days. For a third-degree felony, the maximum jail sentence can be up to 5 years, depending on prior offenses and the circumstances leading to the suspension.
Can I apply to get my driving privileges restored after a suspension?
Yes, after serving the suspension period and fulfilling any other mandated requirements, you can apply to reinstate your driving privileges. In some cases, individuals may also apply for a hardship license that allows limited driving, such as for work or medical appointments.
What is a hardship license, and how can I obtain one?
A hardship license is a limited license that allows individuals with a suspended license to drive for specific essential purposes, like work, school, or medical reasons. To obtain a hardship license, you must apply through the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and demonstrate a genuine need.
Contact an Attorney at The Law Place Today
If you have been accused of operating your motor vehicle while knowingly in possession of a suspended driver’s license in Sarasota, time is of the essence. Contact a traffic offense attorney from The Law Place as soon as possible for the best chances of getting the charges held against you diminished or dismissed.
Operating a car with a suspended driver’s license in Sarasota can carry heavy penalties, including fines and jail time, which scale up depending on how many times you have committed a similar traffic offense in the past. These penalties will become even harsher if you have already been designed for habitual traffic offenses by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Luckily, The Law Place can draw upon a wealth of knowledge and experience to defend you from your specific accusations. Our team has amassed 75 years of experience defending others like you and can apply all of this to your case. Unlike other law firms, we operate all of our cases as a team so that you can benefit from all of the accumulated wisdom and experience of each attorney belonging to our team. Return your lifestyle to normality in the quickest time possible by seeking legal representation with our law firm.
We are able to offer each of our would-be clients a free consultation over the telephone at any time that agrees with their busy schedule. Each no-obligation telephone consultation will be entirely protected by attorney-client confidentiality so that you can be sure that you are not shooting yourself in the foot by divulging the specifics of your offense. Contact us as soon as possible for the best chances of beating your traffic offense allegations.
For a free initial consultation, call our office at any time of the day or night!