In Florida, so many situations can lead to a suspended driver’s license that many drivers don’t realize their licenses have been disabled by the DMV. Often, drivers are surprised to discover that their licenses were suspended during a traffic stop for a subsequent infraction.
Whether you completed driving school to resolve a previous ticket and the school failed to inform the DMV that you passed the class, or you paid a ticket but the clerk filled in your information incorrectly, leaving no record that you responded to the ticket, it’s relatively easy to lose your license without even knowing it. If you’re curious about resolving a license suspension, these top 5 FAQs can help you learn more about suspended licenses and what to do about them.
What’s the Top Reason Licenses Get Suspended in Florida?
Licenses may be suspended for a multitude of reasons in Florida, and many do not involve the driver’s physical skill maneuvering a vehicle. In addition to the above scenarios, many licenses are invalidated for:
- Failing to pay child support
- Failing to pay a previous ticket or other court fees
- Failure to appear in traffic court
- Underage possession of alcohol
- Accumulating too many license points (12 or more in one year)
Most frequently, however, licenses are suspended for simple reasons. A common example is when a driver asks a relative or spouse to resolve his or her traffic ticket. If your spouse or parent forgets to pay your ticket (or contact a lawyer to fight it), you can lose your driving privilege.
What Can Happen if I’m Caught Driving With a Suspended or Revoked License?
The penalties you might face if you’re caught driving with a suspended or revoked license depend on whether you knew about the suspension before you set out to drive. If you didn’t know your license was suspended, you’ll receive a civil citation. If you knew about the suspension, or accidentally provide any indication that you knew about it to the officer conducting the stop, you can be arrested and criminally charged.
What Penalties Could I Face for DWLS in West Palm Beach?
If you knew about your license suspension at the time you were pulled over, you’ll likely be arrested and charged with Driving While License Suspended with Knowledge. This is a serious traffic offense which could lead to a sentence of up to 60 days in jail for a first-time conviction and a fine of up to $500.
Having a DWLS conviction will count toward the three “strikes” against your license that may lead to becoming an HTO, or Habitual Traffic Offender. It’s imperative to work with an attorney to remove one of these charges so you can protect your license.
How Can I Know if my Florida Driver’s License is Suspended or Revoked?
These days, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles makes it easy for drivers to check the status of their licenses online. You can go to the section of their website that allows you to check your license: https://services.flhsmv.gov/dlcheck/. From there, type in your driver’s license number. Any result besides “VALID” will require you to do more investigating to make sure your license is acceptable. Be sure to address the status of your license as soon as possible, because driving with a suspended license is a criminal offense.
The DMV makes it easy to find all kinds of useful information about your license and driving history, including allowing you to check on how many points you have and how you performed on your driver’s test. Make the most of it!
How Can I Get My License Back?
If your driving privilege has been suspended and you need to regain it, you’ve come to the right place. Attorney Brian P. Gabriel of The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel has helped many people in West Palm Beach and surrounding areas fight the circumstances that led to their license suspensions and revocations.
An attorney by your side is crucial to show the DMV that you’re serious about moving past the issues that led to your suspension. There may be several reasons the state department of motor vehicles suspended your license. Brian Gabriel strives to provide the most effective defense possible for your unique circumstance so you can walk away with your full driving privileges reinstated.
Attorney Brian Gabriel has more than 30 years of experience fighting criminal traffic charges throughout South Florida and is a member of The National Trial Lawyers’ Top 100 Trial Lawyers. Contact Brian Gabriel at 561-622-5575 for a free consultation or complete our contact form to find out what we can do to get you driving again!