All 50 states issue driver’s licenses, and conversely, all have penalties for driving with a suspended license.
Driving with a suspended license in Florida is a serious offense that extends far beyond a moving violation.
Causes For Suspension
Your license can be suspended for a number of different reasons in Florida, including:
- Accruing too many traffic violation points
- Failing to pay a traffic fine
- Failing to meet minimum vision standards
- Driving under the influence
- Failing to pay child support
- Lacking proper auto insurance
Should you have your license suspended, you will have to surrender your license to the Florida DMV. Any delay in surrendering your license could result in an extended period of suspension. The suspension can begin immediately or DMV may give you notice of a date in the future when your suspension will become effective. If you have an effective suspension, you will have to jump through plenty of hoops to reinstate your license.
The Florida Department of Highway safety and Motor Vehicles will suspend your license for a set amount of time based on the severity of your violation. The DMV will mail you a suspension notification before your suspension begins. Additionally, you can check your driver license status by ordering your Florida driving record. The length of your suspension will be printed on the notification letter you receive, but typical suspension lengths for common offenses are as follows:
- DMV point accumulation:
- 12 points in 12 months: 30 days.
- 18 points in 18 months: 3 months.
- 24 points in 36 months: 1 year.
- Failure to pay a fine, comply with a traffic summons, or appear on a summons: License suspended until you prove you satisfied the summons.
- Inadequate vision: License is suspended until you can prove your vision meets minimum standards.
- Inability to operate a motor vehicle safely: 1 year.
- Violation resulting in death or serious injury (not DUI): 3 months to 1 year.
- Failing to pay required child support: Suspended until you clear owed payments to the Florida Department of Revenue.
Reinstating A Suspended License
You may reinstate your license by visiting any Florida DMV after your suspension period has ended. You will be required to pay a minimum reinstatement fee of $45 which could be more depending on the reason for suspension (i.e. child support suspension requires an additional $60).
Depending on your offense, you may also be required to provide additional documentation such as an eye exam report if your license was suspended for inadequate vision.
The Consequences of Driving With A Suspended License
Driving with a suspended license in the state of Florida will result in either jail time or fines. The severity of punishment will depend on the number of offenses.
The first time you’re caught driving with a suspended license you will be sentenced to no more than 60 days of prison time or a $500 fine. Should you repeat the offense you will then be charged with a 1st degree misdemeanor equating to imprisonment for no more than a year or a $1,000 fine. On your third offense, you will be charged with a 3rd degree felony. You will be looking at no more than 5 years of imprisonment or a $5,000 fine and vehicle impoundment.
Do I Need A Lawyer For A Suspended License Misdemeanor?
Even though a suspended license is considered a relatively small crime, there can still be serious ramifications. Depending upon the circumstances of your arrest, you may be able to secure a reduction of your charges or even have your suspension dismissed.