If you’ve been arrested for a criminal offense in Florida, the consequences can not only take a toll on your mental health, social life, finances, and job, but you may also have to endure court appearances, fines, and a suspension or revocation of your license. The latter, license suspension, is one of the most dreaded penalties after a criminal conviction.
If a license suspension is issued, offenders must continue to operate their daily lives without the ability to drive, which is a major inconvenience for most people. After all, it’s nearly impossible to get around Florida without the use of a vehicle, whether you’re going to school, running errands, seeing family, or heading to and from work. Fortunately, an experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to reinstate your license using a number of tested and deliberate defense strategies.
From the offenses that commonly lead to a license suspension to the ways in which you may be able to defend yourself, here’s what you need to know.
7 Reasons Your Driver’s License May Be Suspended in Florida
There are various reasons why your Florida driver’s license may be suspended, some of which are related to specific driving violations, while others may be the result of breaches of other state laws. The length of time your driver’s license will be suspended depends on the offense. Here are a few of the most common reasons why a Florida driver’s license is suspended:
Driving Under the Influence
Florida law allows a police officer to take your driver’s license after placing you under arrest on suspicion of DUI. The suspension can be extended if you’re eventually convicted. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol could result in your license being suspended for six months to a year for a first-time offense.
If you’re convicted of a drug crime—such as possession, sale, or trafficking of illicit drugs—you could lose your driver’s license for up to a year or until you complete court-ordered treatment programs.
Refusing a Breath Test or Blowing Over the Limit
If you’re stopped for DUI, refuse to take a breath test, or take a test that results in an unlawful breath alcohol limit, it may result in a suspension of your license.
Failure to Appear in Traffic Court or Pay a Traffic Ticket
All too often, individuals receive a simple traffic ticket, set it aside, and forget to pay it or fail to appear in court to fight it. Whether you disregard a traffic ticket because you can’t afford the fine or you overlook the offense, traffic courts in Florida take a failure to appear very seriously. They may suspend your driver’s license and even issue a warrant for your arrest.
Failure to Pay Child Support
One of the foremost methods of child support enforcement is a suspension of your driver’s license issued by the Florida Department of Revenue. Your license may remain suspended until you’ve come to a payment agreement with the DOR or pay the balance of the amount past due on your child support payments.
Traffic Points or Habitual Traffic Offenders
Under the point system in Florida, if you’re convicted of any moving traffic violation, points will get added to your driver’s license. If you accumulate a certain number of points, your license can be suspended. These point accumulations include the following designations:
- 12 points within 12 months: 30-day suspension
- 18 points within 18 months: 90-day suspension
- 24 points within 36 months: 1-year suspension
In addition, if you have three “strikes” for leaving the scene of an accident, DUI, or driving while suspended within a five-year period, you may face a five-year license suspension.
Driving without Insurance
In Florida, state law mandates that all drivers must carry valid auto insurance and have their vehicles properly insured. Driving without insurance is considered a serious offense in Florida, and those found to be in violation may lose their license. Unlike many others on this list, this type of suspension is immediate, meaning that The Department doesn’t warn you with a letter of an impending suspension.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in West Palm Beach
If your license is suspended for any reason, it’s crucial to seek out knowledgeable legal counsel so your driving privileges can be successfully reinstated. Fortunately, Brian Gabriel at the Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel may be able to help. After meeting with you one-on-one to discuss your case and any potential roadblocks along the way, a member of Brian Gabriel’s legal team may be able to help determine the most effective strategy to execute based on the circumstances of your case.
Attorney Brian Gabriel has served the community of West Palm Beach for more than 30 years as a criminal defense attorney. He understands the complexities that are involved in these cases and can help protect your reputation and future. You can be assured that you’re in good hands and that attorney Brian Gabriel will fight for your rights. Call (561) 622-5575 or complete our contact form for a free consultation.