Have you been driving on a suspended license? You may want to think twice…
The Florida legislature just enacted a new statute 322.34 that came in effect on October 1, 2019. What this new law provides for is more enhanced and almost mandatory penalties for driving on a suspended license. You can be charged for driving on a suspended license for a multitude of reasons which includes:
- License was suspended
- License was canceled
- You didn’t have driving privileges in the first place
If you have knowledge that you shouldn’t be out driving because of a suspended or canceled license, you can be stopped by the police and charged criminally.
The first driving with a suspended license charge is typically a misdemeanor.
A second charge is now able to be charged as a 1st-degree misdemeanor.
- Note: a 1st-degree misdemeanor in Florida has a maximum fine up too $1,000 or a year incarceration in the County Jail.
According to the new law in the state of Florida, if you are caught driving with a suspended license on a third offense, you are sentenced with 10 days in County Jail. The way the law is written makes it difficult for state attorneys and the judge to have discretion in administering that jail sentence.
What you need to look out for is, once you have one or two charges, you need to keep in mind that if you are caught a third time, even for something simple, you ARE going to be looking at 10 days in county jail.
There is an additional requirement for this law and that there must be the knowledge that you have a suspended license. If you knew you were driving on a suspended license or should have known you are driving on a suspended license, then this law applies. The excuse of “I don’t check my mail so I didn’t know” will not apply in these situations.
Reasons why your license could be suspended:
- Unpaid child support in a way that is prescribed by the state
- Old unpaid tickets
- Criminal reasons (DUI, possession charges, etc.)
- Court fines and outstanding costs
It is important to keep in mind that since this change in the law, there is a much larger penalty to that offense of driving with a suspended license.
How to avoid jail time:
Stay on top of payments and costs
Whenever a fine goes unpaid for an amount of time, the initial total can go up to 40% on top of collection fees and being turned into a creditor, once you reach that point, it can be a tricky web in cleaning up these incurred costs.
Avoid driving with a suspended license
Even if you are making a short trip down the street, there is always the possibility of being pulled over and stopped by law enforcement.
The attorneys at Busciglio Sheridan Schoeb have a great deal of experience in dealing with these cases and would be more than happy to provide more information on how we can help your case. Give us a call at (813) 225-2695 if you or someone you know is driving on a suspended license and want to avoid jail time.