There are many reasons why a person would risk driving with a suspended license. There’s also a plethora of drivers who have a suspended license but don’t know about it. Driving with a suspended license is a criminal offense in Florida, and getting caught can lead to fines, jail time, and an extended period of suspension. If you are pulled over for a traffic offense and the cop discovers your license is suspended, there are a few things you should do to give yourself the best chance at a successful outcome.
Responding to the Officer’s Inquiry
It doesn’t take long for a police officer issuing a traffic ticket to realize that the driver’s license is suspended. The officer might then ask the driver if he or she knew about the suspension. Did you know about your license suspension before you got caught?
Keep it Brief
Driving with a suspended license with knowledge is a severe traffic violation that typically results in an arrest. If you knew your license was suspended and drove anyway, it’s crucial to keep this information to yourself. It’s important to never seem guilty to an officer because that could lead to an on-the-spot arrest and imprisonment. What you should do is save the details of your case for your criminal defense lawyer.
On the other hand, driving on a suspended license without knowledge is a civil traffic infraction for which a person usually receives a monetary fine. If you didn’t know about the suspension, it’s OK to let the officer know this — assuming it is the truth. You don’t want to give the officer false information — such as stating you didn’t know about the suspension if you actually did — since it could hurt your case.
Keep it Courteous
If you are being investigated for a crime, responding to officers courteously goes a long way toward creating a favorable impression of yourself. Being polite can sway the officer to treat you with respect. He may even give you a ticket to appear in court rather than arresting you physically or impounding your vehicle.
Why Was My License Suspended?
If you didn’t know about your license suspension, it may be because the suspension has little to do with a previous traffic violation. There are many non-traffic related reasons for license suspensions in Florida, including:
- Falling behind on child support
- Failing to make a court appearance
- Failing to keep the necessary auto insurance policy
- A conviction of petty theft
- Refusing a DUI breath, blood, or urine test
The sooner you find out about your license suspension, the more an attorney might be able to do for you in order to lift the suspension and get you driving again. If you’re not sure about the status of your Florida driver’s license, look up your license on the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle website.
Hiring the Right Defense Lawyer in West Palm Beach
Hiring the right defense lawyer also goes a long way toward helping you avoid the worst consequences of driving with a suspended license. At The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel, attorney Brian P. Gabriel has defended countless people throughout Palm Beach County facing traffic charges, including numerous suspended license charges.
Allow Mr. Gabriel to put his more than 30 years of experience to work on your case. Contact Brian Gabriel by calling 561-622-5575 or completing an online contact form to set up a free consultation.