Many criminal, civil, or other matters could cause a Floridian’s license to be suspended or revoked. Suspension is a temporary withdrawal of your license. (Fla. Stat. § 322.01(40.) Revocation means Florida terminates your privilege to drive. (Fla. Stat. § 322.01(36). If you drive with a suspended or revoked license, you could face a range of criminal penalties.
Certain driving offenses, felony convictions, or civil matters may cause your license to be suspended or revoked. For example, your license may be suspended or revoked for up to two years if you are convicted for certain controlled-substance offenses. (Fla. Stat. § 322.055(1).) It may be suspended in certain cases if you are delinquent in child support payments. If you fail to pay obligations(such as restitution) from certain criminal convictions, your license may be suspended. (Fla. Stat. § 322.245.)
The state of Florida may also suspend your license if you accumulate points on your driving record for driving or traffic violations. Points accumulate through driving violations such as speeding or illegally passing a school bus (Fla. Stat. § 322.27(3)(d).) Suspensions begin at 12 points. (Fla. Stat. § 322.27(3).)
Additionally, your license may be revoked for certain criminal convictions, including, but not limited to:
Your license may be also revoked if the state of Florida considers you a habitual offender of certain traffic laws. (Fla. Stat. § 322.27(5).)
You should not get behind the wheel if your license is suspended or revoked. After your period of suspension or revocation, you will need to apply for reinstatement before you may drive again. You may need to apply for a new license if your license was revoked.
The reinstatement fee for a suspended license is $45. The fee is $75 for a revoked license, plus the application fee for a new license. (Fla. Stat. § 322.21(8).)
If your revocation or suspension was due to DUI or refusing to submit to a test to determine whether you are intoxicated, you may be charged another $130. (Fla. Stat. § 322.21.) In some situations, such as if your suspension or revocation is due to a false or fraudulent insurance claim, you may be charged an additional $180 for reinstatement. (Fla. Stat. § 322.21.)
If you are charged with driving after suspension or revocation in Florida, the type of charge may depend on whether you have previous convictions for driving after suspension or revocation. The following apply to many, but not all, situations:
If your license is revoked because the state of Florida considers you a habitual offender, you may be charged with a third-degree felony for driving after revocation. The maximum penalties noted above for a third-degree felony (or other penalties) may apply. (Fla. Stat. § § 322.24(5), 775.083(c), 775.082(3)(d), 775.084.)
In some situations, your vehicle may be impounded. (Fla. Stat. § § 322.34(8).)
If you are charged with driving after suspension or revocation in Florida, consider hiring a lawyer to represent you. A conviction may result in fines or even a jail sentence. You may experience problems keeping employment, traveling to school, obtaining insurance, and going about your daily life. Although the law provides specific penalties for a conviction, your sentence will depend on how prosecutors and the courts view the crime. An attorney who is familiar with how these cases are handled in your area will be able to provide guidance about your individual situation.