One of the ways that the state of Florida penalizes individuals for a number of issues, ranging from a criminal arrest to an unpaid fine, is through the suspension of their driver’s license. Most of the time, a person receives an in-person notification or a letter from the state advising them of the suspension and how long it will last.
Unfortunately, such a suspension can have a drastic impact for those who must travel to earn income or to care for their families. Public transportation may not be an option, and taxis or similar services may cost too much to be a reasonable solution.
While wanting to comply with the law, some people may feel like they have no choice but to continue driving on a suspended license in order to perform the necessary tasks of daily life. Those who get caught while driving with a suspended license will have to deal with more consequences and penalties, which could exacerbate their current situation.
How does Florida punish those who drive on a suspended license?
The penalties for driving on a suspended license vary depending on a number of factors at the time when you were caught driving during the suspension. If it was the first time you’ve ever had such an issue and you did not know about the suspension of your license, the only consequence may be a fine.
However, in most cases, the state can reasonably show that you knew about the suspension. In that case, you will face either misdemeanor or felony charges. A first-time offense will result in second-degree misdemeanor charges that carry 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
If someone gets caught a second time driving with a suspended license, they will face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 as a penalty for a first-degree misdemeanor charge. Any following arrest will result in a third-degree felony that could carry up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
You can push back against charges and suspensions
When a civil or traffic issue impacts your license, you have certain rights. Before you plead guilty and potentially create more issues for yourself in the future, such as higher insurance costs, you may want to explore all of your options when facing allegations of driving on a suspended license.