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DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED

The main difference between the civil traffic ticket for driving on suspended license and the criminal charge is the element of knowledge. Whenever you a charged with the criminal offense of driving on a suspended license, the State is alleging that you had knowledge of your suspension when you were driving. There are many reasons for license suspensions, which include failure to pay child support, unsatisfied judgments, insurance lapse, failure to pay traffic fine, and failure to appear on traffic summons.

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Florida's Driving While License Suspended Law:
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), any person whose driver’s license or driving privilege has been canceled, suspended, or revoked, except a “habitual traffic offender” as defined in s.322.264, who drives a vehicle upon the highways of this state while such license or privilege is canceled, suspended, or revoked is guilty of a moving violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318.

(2) Any person whose driver’s license or driving privilege has been canceled, suspended, or revoked as provided by law, except persons defined in s. 322.264, who, knowing of such cancellation, suspension, or revocation, drives any motor vehicle upon the highways of this state while such license or privilege is canceled, suspended, or revoked, upon:

(a) A first conviction is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(b) A second conviction is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(c) A third or subsequent conviction is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

A Very Common Offense
While this charge may seem trivial to you, it is important that you realize that the State of Florida considers "Driving on a Suspended License" to be a serious traffic offense. By classifying this offense as such, this charge counts for purposes of the habitual traffic offender statute. If you accumulate three or more conviction of serious traffic offenses within a five year period, your license will be suspended for a period of five years. Neither the Judge nor the State Attorney are under any obligation to inform you of this collateral consequence. This is why it is very important to be proactive and hire an attorney to fight this charge. Don't think that a disposition of adjudication withheld will save you from the HTO suspension. Your attorney must fight to have the charge amended to avoid the HTO suspension.

An experienced Tampa Traffic Lawyer may be able to get your charge dismissed, amended, or reduced to a non-criminal violation. If you have been charged with this offense, please call my office for a free consultation at (727) 260-5754.

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