In Florida, many people cannot imagine their everyday lives without driving. The distances here are huge, and public transportation is not as flexible as a personal car. Furthermore, buses tend to be slower as they have to make stops along the way. Therefore, many families depend on their cars to get their children to school and arrive at work in time.
However, this necessity can also lead to risky situations. You might need to get somewhere urgently, so you jump into your family car, not realizing that you do not have a valid driver’s license at the moment. This is very dangerous not only to yourself but also to your surroundings. There is a reason why the State of Florida requires drivers to have their driver’s license in their possession while driving. Without having proof that you received proper training and passed the necessary exams, law enforcement cannot know whether you can operate a vehicle safely.
So, if a police officer caught you driving without a valid license in Venice, keep calm and call The Law Place as soon as possible. We hire professional criminal defense attorneys who have vast experience in handling traffic-related cases similar to yours. We also offer a non-binding, free consultation. This means that we evaluate your case, describe your options to you, and then you can decide whether you wish to be represented by us. There is nothing to lose, so don’t hesitate to contact us today at (941) 444-4444. Our lawyers are ready to pick up the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Driving Without a License in Venice, FL.
Florida Statute 322.01 defines a driver’s license as a certificate that enables individuals to legally drive a motor vehicle. It also sets the definition of ‘driving’ as actual physical control of a motor vehicle. A ‘motor vehicle’ is then defined as any self-propelled vehicle operated on a road. Motor vehicles do not include vehicles powered by human force, electric bicycles, or wheelchairs. Additionally, Florida Statute 322.03 determines that it is forbidden to drive without a valid driver’s license, outlines the rules and regulations for driving in Florida, and describes the consequences of driving without a driver’s license.
It is also important to have a valid and correct license in your possession when the police stop you. Be mindful that your license can be restricted, suspended, or revoked. It can also simply expire. Do not forget to check the validity of your license regularly or set a reminder for its renewal. This way, you can save yourself a lot of trouble since driving without a valid driver’s license is considered a criminal offense in Florida.
Types of Driving Without a License and Related Penalties in Venice, FL.
As explained earlier, it is essential to always drive with a valid driver’s license in your possession. Otherwise, you might be facing serious consequences. There are two types of offense you can commit while driving without a license:
Driving Without a Valid License
Driving without a valid license means either that you do not have a driver’s license at all, or that your license has been suspended or revoked, or it has expired. If you are stopped by law enforcement and cannot present a valid license, it is considered a misdemeanor in Florida. The penalties for this type of misdemeanor include up to a $500 fine and a 6-month jail sentence. However, forgetting to renew your license will usually be punished less severely than driving without ever receiving one.
Driving Without a License in Possession
Driving without a license in possession relates to cases when you do have a valid driver’s license, but you do not have it with you when the police stop you (for example, when you forget your wallet at home). This, too, is against the law in Florida. If you fail to show your license, you will be required to pay a fine.
Driving With a Suspended or Revoked License in Venice, FL.
If the police catch you driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, you will likely find yourself facing criminal charges. These can include high fines, a jail sentence, or impoundment of your vehicle, depending on the severity of your offense. The following list indicates the general system of the penalties:
- First offense – If you are caught driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license for the first time, the penalties can go as high as a $500 fine and 60 days in jail. However, you may be able to participate in a pre-trial division program. If you complete it successfully, you might have your charges lowered or even dropped entirely.
- Second offense – If it is the second time that you are caught driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, you could be facing up to a $1,000 fine and one year in jail. Moreover, this offense already includes the impoundment of your vehicle.
- Third offense – Getting caught driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license for the third time is recognized as a felony. The penalties for such an offense include up to a $5,000 fine and a 5-year jail sentence. However, if the driver commits three offenses in less than five years, they might be labeled a habitual violator. This can lead to a prolonged jail sentence and revocation of their license for up to 5 years.
- Without knowledge – If your license has been suspended or revoked, but you were not aware of it at the time, it will be considered a moving violation, and you will be given a fine.
Exemptions for Driving Without a License in Venice, FL.
In Florida, there are several exemptions for driving without a license:
- Drivers of golf cars and buggies.
- Drivers of farming machinery (e.g., tractors) temporarily moving on a public road.
- Drivers of vehicles that require a Class E driver’s license who are at least 16 years old and are not residents of Florida but have a valid non-commercial driver’s license issued by their home state or country.
- Drivers who are at least 18 years old and are not residents of Florida but have a valid non-commercial driver’s license issued by their home state or country.
Possible Defense for Driving Without a License in Venice, FL.
If you are facing penalties for driving without a license or driving with a suspended license, we highly recommend you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. Firstly, you will have the advantage of professional legal support, and secondly, you will increase the likelihood that your charges will be lowered or dropped entirely. At The Law Place, we have vast experience defending our clients all over Florida. You will be assigned an experienced defense lawyer who will gather relevant evidence and create a strong defense tailored to your particular case. The most common criminal defense arguments include:
- The client had a valid license, but they did not have it with them when they were stopped by the police officer.
- The client was not on a public street, road, or highway when they were stopped.
- The client had a valid foreign or out-of-state license.
- The police officer stopped or detained the client in contradiction with the laws of Florida.
- There is not enough evidence to prove that the client was operating a vehicle without a license.
How Does Cooperation With The Law Place Work?
Were you caught driving without a license or driving with a suspended license and are facing criminal charges for it? Then you should call The Law Place and schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys as soon as possible. We will ask you for details, evaluate your case, and discuss your options with you. After that, you can decide whether you want to be represented by us or not. If we agree on representation, you will be assigned your own criminal defense lawyer, who will become your advocate. However, our lawyers always work together, which means that you will have the experience of the whole team on your side for the price of one attorney.
Your personal criminal defense attorney will gather all the necessary evidence, build a strong criminal defense, and provide you with legal support through the whole process. At The Law Place, we believe in good communication. This means that we will make sure that you understand the whole legal process. This also means that all our communication will be kept absolutely discreet and confidential. Moreover, we think that there is no shame in asking for help. Do not hesitate to contact us just because you feel ashamed for getting caught without your license. Everybody makes mistakes, and we are here to help!
We really believe in honesty, so there will be no hidden costs or unpleasant surprises with our services. One of our attorneys will explain our fee system to you during your free consultation, so you will still be able to say no and walk away before committing to anything.
Call The Law Place Today for a Free Consultation
At The Law Place, we have a team of professional lawyers with more than 75 years of combined experience in Florida law. We have successfully resolved many traffic-related cases that were similar to yours, and our clients were very happy with the outcome.
The Law Place has an office in almost every county in Florida, including Venice. So, contact us today and schedule a free consultation with us at the time and place most convenient for you. Our phone lines are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (941) 444-4444.