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Driving On A Suspended License

Suspended License Defence Lawyer

The events that get people caught up in the criminal justice system in real life are often much different from what is depicted in the movies and on TV. If you’ve ever watched a prison drama, most of the inmates are depicted as violent outcasts from society serving lengthy sentences for heinous crimes. The reality in the courtroom is often much more banal. While people certainly get charged with and convicted of serious violent offenses, the vast majority of criminal offenses are nonviolent in nature. This results in a criminal justice system that often targets people for the criminal offense of being poor or down on their luck.

One of the criminal offenses commonly charged in Florida that best illustrates this pattern is the crime of Driving with a Suspended License or DWLS. In the State of Florida, it is a crime to operate a motor vehicle while your license is suspended. Now many people may say, “it’s not difficult to get and keep a license,” but Florida’s legislature has devised a myriad of ways that people can end up with their license suspended or revoked. A first time suspended license case may not seem all that serious, but suspended license charges can quickly and easily spiral out of control. In order to prevent this and in order to retain your right to operate a motor vehicle, it is imperative that you contact a skilled Sarasota criminal defense attorney immediately.

Elements of Driving with A Suspended License

Driving with a suspended license is punishable under Florida Statute 322.34. Under the law, any person who either drives or is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while his or her license is canceled, suspended, or revoked commits the crime of driving with a suspended license. There is a common misconception that someone with a suspended license is permitted to operate a motorcycle or scooter so long as the engine is less than 50 ccs. This is patently false. Any vehicle with a motor requires a valid Florida drivers license to operate.

Driving with a suspended license is an offense that escalates in seriousness the more times a person is convicted of it. A first offense is often charged as a non-criminal traffic infraction. A second offense is most often a second degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of 60 days. The charges can progress up to a first degree misdemeanor and finally, a third degree felony after three offenses. While the progression of seriousness in criminal offenses is nothing new, suspended license cases are unique in that each subsequent conviction increases the difficulty of regaining one’s privilege to operate a car. The more suspended license convictions a person has, the more likely they are to receive later convictions for the same offense. If you have found yourself in this scenario, you should contact a dedicated Sarasota criminal defense lawyer immediately to help you out of the cycle of criminality.

These problems can be compounded when someone becomes a habitual traffic offender. For example, if a person has his or her license suspended due to unpaid tickets and gets a first time suspended license infraction, that person may end up picking up a criminal suspended license case when they find that they cannot afford the exorbitant fees and costs. One additional conviction will make that person a habitual traffic offender, resulting in a mandatory five year suspension. Any suspended license offense during this five year suspension will automatically be a felony offense.

Speak to Our Lawyers Today

The attorneys at Hanlon Law know that even criminal offenses that don’t seem serious at the outset can have dramatic effects on our clients lives. No matter how small the crime, you should always consult with a dedicated Sarasota criminal defense lawyer. For a consultation, call our office today at 941-462-1789.

Client Reviews
As a practicing attorney, I was shocked to hear that a family member of mine was alleged to have committed a sex crime. Knowing full well the consequences this type of allegation can have on anyone and their future, I immediately reached out to William Hanlon for help... Jerry
Was on the ball. Remembered names, events, places, situations. Never need to re explain the situation. Keeps in touch through out the entire experience and keeps you feeling safe, comforted and protected. Fights hard. Worth every single penny. Would never settle for anything less than Will. Carrie
I was facing a charge that if convicted would carry two years in prison minimally. Not only was he empathetic and listening to what I had to say but he arranged with the prosecutor for my charges not to be filed under terms of a pre trial investigation. Would highly recommend. Alec
I am very happy for what he did for me. Always there when I needed him. Explained everything well. He Fights for his clients. He got me what I needed. Hes an excellent lawyer. Mutaz
Mr. Hanlon did what no other lawyer could do. Not only did he turn my criminal history into a thing of the past so I could move on, he was a loyal associate. No matter how bad the situation is, he has miraculously cleared me on every charge since he became my lawyer 5 years ago. I have the best lawyer that the legal system has to offer. I have had other really good lawyers try to get my business, but I know that no one can do a better job than William Hanlon. Jesse