To prove charges of driving a commercial vehicle without a valid commercial license in Florida, the prosecutor must prove you drove a commercial vehicle on a Florida highway, without benefit of a valid Florida commercial driver’s license. Florida Statute, Section 322.03 governs the crime of driving a commercial vehicle without a valid commercial driver’s license. A “valid” commercial driver’s license is a Class A, B, or C license which has not been suspended, revoked, cancelled, and has not expired.
Penalties for a Conviction of No Valid Commercial License in the State of Florida
If you are convicted of driving a commercial vehicle in the state of Florida without a Commercial Driver’s license, the penalties can depend on many factors. First, “No Valid Commercial License” is different from a charge of “Driving with a Suspended or Revoked Commercial License,” in terms of both the elements of the offense as well as the penalties and consequences for the offense. Charges of No Valid Commercial Driver’s License requires no proof of knowledge that you were driving a commercial vehicle without a valid commercial driver’s license.
The state is only required to prove you were driving a commercial vehicle and you had no valid CDL license. It is important to note, however, that when your certified driving record from the Department of Motor Vehicles is introduced as evidence of lack of a CDL license, this document does not definitively prove absence of a license. It is also important to understand that a conviction for No Valid Commercial License in the state of Florida leaves you with a criminal record, which can, in turn, have a negative impact on future employment applications, insurance premiums, college applications, and other aspects of your daily life.
Driving a commercial vehicle without benefit of a commercial driver’s license is considered a “serious” traffic violation, however it does not result in a disqualification for obtaining a CDL in the future—at least for a first violation. A second “serious” violation within three years, results in disqualification for 60 days for obtaining a CDL license, and 120 days for three “serious” offenses within a 3-year period. You could also be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor, and, if convicted, could face up to one-year in jail and a fine as large as $1,000.
Possible Defenses to Charges of No Valid Commercial License
Your Florida attorney will craft a defense on your behalf based on the circumstances surrounding your charges, however some potential defenses to charges of No Valid Commercial License include:
- The traffic stop itself was unlawful; i.e., there was no valid reason for the officer to pull you over;
- You were unlawfully detained following the stop;
- You actually do have a valid CDL license;
- You were not driving on a street, highway, or other roadway open to the general public, or
- There is no evidence you did not have a license in your possession issued by another governmental entity.
If you have been charged with No Valid Commercial License in the state of Florida, it is important that you speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The criminal defense attorneys at The Law Place have experience helping those who are facing these charges, and we will work hard to build a solid defense on your behalf. Contact The Law Place today at 941-444-4444.