Even if you’re a skilled driver, you can lose your license over non-driving issues in Florida and several other states. Nearly 2 million of 14 million registered drivers in the Sunshine State have suspended licenses. To the surprise of many drivers, the offenses over which their licenses were suspended have zero to do with physically driving a car or understanding the rules of the road.
A license suspension is a potential penalty for a number of actions. Whether you face a criminal charge like DUI or simply forgot to pay a court-ordered fine, the state might penalize you through a license suspension. If you’re one of the millions of drivers with a suspended license, you must fight the urge to drive. Driving on a suspended license is a serious criminal offense which, if you’re convicted of it, can make it more difficult to get your license back. Instead, team up with a suspended license lawyer to increase your chances of keeping your driver’s license.
Appealing a License Suspension after a DUI Charge
If you’ve been charged with a DUI or refused to take a mandatory breath test after a DUI arrest, the State of Florida likely suspended your driver’s license and issued a 10-day permit in its place. This driving permit only lasts 10 days; after that, your license will be suspended for a period of 90 days unless you can successfully argue for an appeal of that suspension. You have just 10 days to request and prepare an appeal; it’s recommended that you work with a DUI lawyer who has handled many of these appeals throughout his career. The sooner after your DUI arrest you work with a lawyer, the stronger your case will be.
Reinstating a Suspended Florida Driver’s License
If your license is suspended before you could request a hearing to appeal the suspension, you are typically required to abstain from driving until the DMV reinstates your license. In most cases, reinstatement becomes an option only after the original suspension ends; however, an attorney might be able to work with you to have your license reinstated early.
You must follow the court’s instructions closely to have your license reinstated. Be sure to:
- Attend every mandated court date, whether it’s directly related to your license suspension or another matter.
- Pay all fines related to the license suspension, including child support payments.
- Complete court-mandated traffic or DUI school and pass all exams.
- Enroll in court-mandated drug or alcohol rehabilitation treatment.
- Receive corrective lenses and prove your vision has improved if your license was suspended for failing to pass an eye exam.
- Serve any jail time or probationary period if your license was suspended over a criminal matter.
- Be sure to work with a skilled DUI defense lawyer who will advocate for you to keep your driver’s license.
Consequences of Driving on a Suspended License
Driving on a suspended license, defined in statute §322.34, is a criminal offense whether or not you knew that your license had been suspended. This offense carries points which will work against your license, which can further extend your suspension period. You may also face steep fines and, depending on the severity of the offense, face a jail sentence.
Repeated instances of driving on a suspended license may lead you to become recognized as a habitual traffic offender in West Palm Beach, which results in a 5-year license revocation, a much more severe action than a license suspension.
Don’t take a license suspension lightly. If you suspect that your license might be suspended, look up the status of your license online or contact your local license lawyer. If you have been arrested for DUI, seek competent criminal defense right away. There are many actions an attorney might be able to take before the state files formal charges that can help you in the long-run.
Compassionate and Compelling DUI Defense in Palm Beach County
At The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel, attorney Brian P. Gabriel has resolved countless license suspensions over his 25-year career as a DUI defense lawyer. He takes pride in providing the best legal representation possible for his clients. He fights hard to receive a complete dismissal of all charges or an acquittal after a successful trial. Mr. Gabriel strives to achieve his goals by working closely with his clients and taking just the right amount of cases that enable him to pay personalized attention to each client he represents.
A consultation with Brian Gabriel is the first step toward fighting for justice whether you face a criminal matter or an administrative issue. Contact our law firm by calling 561-622-5575 or completing our online contact form for a free consultation.