DWLS with Knowledge
In Florida, there are several possible penalties for driving with a suspended license (DWLS). The severity of the penalties depends on whether or not there was prior knowledge of the suspension. While it is common for drivers to be unaware of their suspended license, the harshest penalties for DWLS are reserved for drivers who know about the suspension and continue to drive. Knowingly operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license is a criminal offense.
Driver’s licenses are frequently suspended for a variety of reasons, some of which have nothing do with the physical act of driving. Driving is considered a privilege, not a right, and therefore a driver’s privileges can be taken away when he fails to to act lawfully or comply with certain duties, such as paying child support or appearing in court for a hearing. The following list includes the top reasons for driving license suspension in West Palm Beach:
- Accumulation of too many points on your driving record
- Failing to pay child support or late payments
- A DUI arrest or conviction
- Refusal to submit to DUI testing
- Failure to pay fines, court costs, or failure to appear in court
- Lack of car insurance or failing to keep car insurance
- Drug-related convictions
- Accumulating too many traffic violations such as speeding tickets
- Failure to meet required vision standards
Penalties for DWLS with Knowledge
Drivers who have prior knowledge of their suspended license see their traffic violation elevated from an infraction to a misdemeanor offense if it is the first conviction. A misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail, along with other consequences. For DWLS with knowledge, drivers can face heavy fines, possible community service, and an extension of the time his license is suspended. In Florida, a driver could stay up to 60 days in jail for a first-time DWLS with Knowledge conviction.
DWLS is one of the 3 convictions for which you can be found guilty that eventually lead to HTO (habitual traffic offender) status in West Palm Beach. Habitual traffic offenders have their licenses revoked for a period of 5 years. At this point it becomes even more challenging to get your driving privileges back.
If you have been arrested for DWLS with Knowledge it is important to avoid incriminating yourself by remaining silent until you have an attorney present. Now is the time to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney such as Brian Gabriel to develop a strategy to have the suspension lifted. Call The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel today at 561-622-5575 for a free legal consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions About DWLS in Florida
What happens if I am arrested for driving on a suspended license?
The charge of driving a suspended license can range from a misdemeanor offense all the way to a felony crime. Again, that’s dependent upon how many times in the past you’ve been caught driving under a suspended license. If the offense is an infraction here, it’s like a speeding ticket. And a lot of times a monetary fine will be exacted. If it’s a misdemeanor offense, an individual could be sentenced to probation or even jail time. Once it gets to the level of a felony offense, the courts are going to be dealing with that much more serious. And an individual can be sentenced to up to five years in prison in certain circumstances for the simple crime of driving under a suspended license.
How do I fix a suspended driver’s license?
A person’s driver’s license could be suspended for numerous reasons in Florida. If it’s monetary problems, the individual has to go to the Clerk of Court and pay those obligations. Paperwork will then be gathered that can be taken to DMV, and that person can then have the Department of Motor Vehicles reinstate the driving privilege. Other issues can become with insurance. Again, if that individual gets the proper insurance and provides that to the Department of Motor Vehicles, again, the driver’s license can be reinstated. As long as the individual fixes the problem that the Department of Motor Vehicles says exists, then they can have reinstatement.
What happens to my driver’s license if I get a DUI ticket?
When an individual is ticketed with a DUI in Florida, that DUI citation itself acts as a notice that your license has now formally been suspended if you’ve refused a blood, breath, or urine test, or if you have submitted to those tests and have shown the illegal amount of a substance, either alcohol or drugs in your system. So again, the DUI citation generally is the notification that your license at this point in time is under suspension and that there are certain steps that must happen before you can apply for any type of work permit.