Driving on a Suspended, Revoked or Canceled License

Call Our St. Petersburg DWLSR Defense Lawyer

  • Generally

In Florida, your license can be suspended, revoked or canceled for a seemingly infinite number of reasons. Many of my past clients had no idea their license was suspended, and had been suspended for quite some time. "Suspended" means that your driver's license (and therefore privilege to drive) has been temporarily withdrawn. After the applicable period of suspension, and the fulfillment of any applicable conditions precedent, the driver can reinstate his or her privilege to drive (there is usually a reinstatement fee involved). "Revoked" means that the privilege to drive has been terminated. "Canceled" means that the person's driver's license has been declared void and is not valid. The bases upon which your license can be suspended, revoked, or canceled are set forth below.

Your license can be suspended if you: (1) make a fraudulent driver's license application; (2) allow your license to be used for a purpose that is against the law; (3) are convicted in a traffic court and the court orders that your license be suspended; (4) refuse to take a test to show if you are driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs; (5) misuse a restricted license; (6) earn a certain number of points for traffic offenses on the Point System; (7) violate a traffic law and fail to pay your fine or appear in court as directed; (8) fail to pay child support; (9) fail to carry insurance on your vehicle; (10) fail to stop for a school bus; (11) Use tobacco if you are under age; (12) commit retail theft; or (13) education non-compliance (dropping out of school).

Your license must be revoked if you are found guilty of, or department records show: (1) Driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances; (2) a felony in which a motor vehicle is used; (3) not stopping to render aid when the vehicle you are driving is involved in a crash resulting in death or personal injury; (4) lying about the ownership or operation of motor vehicles; (5) three cases or reckless driving within one year (Note: failing to appear in court to avoid a reckless driving conviction counts as a conviction when the bond is estreated); (6) an immoral act in which a motor vehicle is used; (7) three major offenses for which you receive points within a five year period; (8) Drug possession; (9) vision worse than standard minimum requirements; (10) racing on a highway.

Your license can be canceled if: (1) your license was issued in error; (2) you gave false information or identification; (3) you failed to complete a required school.

In Florida, driving on a suspended license, without knowledge of the suspension, constitutes a non-criminal traffic infraction, punishable by the imposition of a fine. A first conviction for DWLSR, where the accused person has knowledge of the suspension, revocation, or cancellation, constitutes a misdemeanor of the first degree. A First degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to twelve months of probation and/or twelve months in the county jail (the total sentence cannot exceed twelve month). Like many offenses in this state, DWLSR in enhanceable, based on the number of prior convictions. The third offense for DWLSR constitutes a third degree felony, which is punishable by up to five years in state prison. For sentencing guideline purposes, a felony DWLSR offense (assuming death or great bodily harm is not a factor) is a level one which, in practical terms, means that the accused person will not score anywhere near mandatory prison time unless he or she has more serious felony offenses before the court for sentencing or a significant prior criminal history. This does not mean, however, that the court cannot impose a prison sentence. Someone with a long history of suspended license offenses may be facing prison time even where the guidelines don't require it. A person may also be charged with a felony DWLSR offense if the person drives after being designated a habitual traffic offender, or if he or she drives on a permanently revoked license.

This section provides an overview of the Florida statutes that pertain to DWLSR offenses (including the proscribed conduct and penalty provisions), applicable jury instructions (which include the elements of each offense the state must prove at trial), case law on key points related to these types of offenses, potential defenses, and helpful links to other related sources. Attorney Donald J. Kilfin is a former Pinellas county state prosecutor and Tampa Bay area criminal defense attorney with sixteen years of experience. If you have been arrested for DWLSR, contact our St. Petersburg office to discuss you case.

  • Applicable Florida Statutes

The following is a list of statutes, related to driving while license suspended or revoked offenses, as set forth in chapter 322:

  • Florida Statues section 322. 34 (Driving while license suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified), or provides as follows:

(1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2), any person whose driver's license or driving privilege has been canceled, suspended, or revoked, except a "habitual traffic offender" as defined in s. 322. 264, who drives a vehicle upon the highways of this state while such license or privilege is canceled, suspended, or revoked, is guilty of a moving violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318.

(2) Any person whose driver's license or driving privilege has been canceled, suspended, or revoked, as provided by law, except persons defined in s. 322.264, who, knowing of such cancellation, suspension, or revocation, drives any motor vehicle upon the highways of this state while such license or privilege is canceled, suspended, or revoked upon: (a) A first conviction is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. (b) A second conviction is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. (c) A third or subsequent conviction is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. The element of knowledge is satisfied if the person has been previously cited as provided in subsection (1); or the person admits to knowledge of the cancellation, suspension, or revocation; or the person received a notice as provided in subsection (4). There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the knowledge requirement is satisfied if a judgment or order as provided in subsection (4) appears in the department's records for any case except for one involving a suspension by the department for failure to pay a traffic fine or for a financial responsibility violation.

(3) In any proceeding for a violation of this section, a court may consider evidence, other than that specified in subsection (2), that the person knowingly violated this section.

(4) Any judgment or order rendered by a court or adjudicatory body or any uniform traffic citation that cancels, suspends, or revokes a person's driver's license must contain a provision notifying the person that his or her driver's license has been canceled, suspended, or revoked.

(5) Any person whose driver's license has been revoked pursuant to s. 322.264 (habitual offender) and who drives any motor vehicle upon the highways of this state while such license is revoked is is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(6) Any person who operates a motor vehicle: (a) Without having a driver's license as required by 322.03; or (b) While his or her driver's license or driving privilege is is canceled, suspended, or revoked pursuant to s. 316.655, s. 322.26(8), s. 322.27(2), or s. 322.28(2) or (4), and who by careless or negligent operation of the motor vehicle causes the death of or serious bodily injury to another human being is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(7) Any person whose driver's license or driving privilege has been canceled, suspended, revoked, or disqualified and who drives a commercial motor vehicle on the highways of this state while such license or privilege is canceled, suspended, revoked, or disqualified, upon: (a) A first conviction is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, or s. 775.083. (b) A second or subsequent conviction is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(8)(a) Upon the arrest of a person for the offense of driving while the person's driver's license or driving privilege is suspended or revoked, the arresting officer shall determine: 1. Whether the person's driver's license is suspended or revoked. 2. Whether the person's driver's license has remained suspended or revoked since a conviction for the offense of driving with a suspended or revoked license. 3. Whether the suspension or revocation was made under s. 316.646 or 627.733, relating to to maintain required security, or under s. 322.264, relating to habitual traffic offenders. 4. Whether the driver is the registered owner or co-owner of the vehicle. (b) If the arresting officer finds in the affirmative as to all of the criteria in paragraph(a), the officer shall immediately impound or immobilize the vehicle. (c) Within 7 business days after the arresting agency impounds or immobilizes the vehicle, either the arresting agency or the towing service, whichever is in possession of the vehicle, shall send notice by certified mail to any co registered owners of the vehicle other than the person arrested and to each person of record claiming a lien against the vehicle. All costs and fees for the impoundments or immobilization, including the cost of notification, must be paid by the owner of the vehicle or, if the vehicle is leased, by the person leasing the vehicle. (d) Either the arresting agency or the towing service, whichever is in possession of the vehicle, shall determine whether any vehicle impounded or immobilized under this section has been leased or rented or if there are any persons of record with a lien upon the vehicle. Either the arresting agency or the towing service, whichever is in possession of the vehicle, shall notify by express courier service with receipt or certified mail within 7 business days after the date of the immobilization or impoundments of the vehicle, the registered owner and all persons having a recorded lien against the vehicle that the vehicle has been impounded or immobilized. A lessor, rental car company, or lien holder may then obtain the vehicle, upon payment of any lawful towing or storage charges. If the vehicle is a rental vehicle subject to a written contract, the charges may be separately charged to the renter, in addition to the rental rate, along with other separate fees, charges, and recoupments disclosed on the rental agreement. If the storage facility fails to provide timely notice to a lessor, rental car company, or lien holder as required by this paragraph, the storage facility shall be responsible for payment of any towing or storage charges necessary to release the vehicle to a lessor, rental car company, or lien holder that accrue after the notice period, which charges may then be assessed against the driver of the vehicle if the vehicle was lawfully impounded or immobilized. (e) Except as provided in paragraph (d), the vehicle shall remain impounded or immobilized for any period imposed by the court until: 1. The owner presents proof of insurance to the arresting agency; or 2. The owner presents proof of the sale of the vehicle to the arresting agency and the buyer presents ​proof of insurance to the arresting agency. If proof is not presented within 35 days after the impoundment or immobilization, a lien shall be placed upon upon such vehicle pursuant to s. 713.78. (f) The owner of a vehicle that is impounded or immobilized under this subsection may, within 10 days after the owner has knowledge of the location of the vehicle, file a complaint in the county in which the owner resides to determine whether the vehicle was wrongfully taken or withheld. Upon the filing of a complaint, the owner or lien holder may have the vehicle released by posting with the court a bond or other adequate security equal to the amount of the costs and fees for impoundment or immobilization, including towing or storage, to ensure the payment of such costs and fees if the owner or lien holder does not prevail. When the vehicle owner or lien holder does not prevail on a complaint that the vehicle was wrongfully taken or withheld, he or she must pay the accrued charges for the immobilization or impoundments, including any towing and storage charges assessed against the vehicle. When the bond is posted and the fee is paid as set forth in s. 28.24, the clerk of court shall issue a certificate releasing the vehicle. At the time of f release, after reasonable inspection, the owner must give a receipt to the towing or storage company indicating any loss or damage to the vehicle or to the contents of the vehicle.

(9)(a) A motor vehicle that is driven by a person under the influence of alcohol or drugs in violation of s. 316.193 is subject to seizure and forfeiture under ss. 932.701-932.706 and is subject to liens for recovering, towing,or storing vehicles under s. 713.78 if, at the time of the offense, the person's driver's license is suspended, revoked, or canceled as a result of a prior conviction for driving under the influence. (b) The law enforcement officer shall notify the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles of any impoundments or seizure for a violation of paragraph (a) in accordance with the procedures established by the department. (c) Notwithstanding s. 932.703(1)(c) or s. 932.7055, when the seizing agency obtains a final judgment granting forfeiture of the motor vehicle under this section, 30 percent of the net proceeds from the sale of the motor vehicle shall be retained by the seizing law enforcement agency and 70 percent shall be deposited in the General Revenue Fund for use by regional workforce boards in providing transportation services for participants of the welfare transition program. In a forfeiture proceeding under this section, the court may consider the extent that the family of the owner has other public or private means of transportation.

(10)(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, if a person does not have a prior forcible felony conviction as defined in s. 776.08, the penalties provided in paragraph (b) apply if a person's driver's license or driving privilege is canceled, suspended, or revoked for: 1. Failing to pay child support as provided in s. 322.245 or s. 61.13016; 2. Failing to pay any other financial obligation as provided in s. 322.245 other than those specified in s. 322.245(1); 3. Failing to comply with a civil penalty required in s. 318.15; 4. Failing to maintain vehicular financial responsibility as required by chapter 324; 5. Failing to comply with attendance or other requirements for minors as set forth in s. 322.091; or 6. Having been designated a Habitual Traffic Offender under s. 322.264(1)(d) as a result of suspensions of hos or her driver's license or driver privilege for any underlying violation listed in subparagraphs 1.-5. (b) 1. Upon a first conviction for knowingly driving while his or her license is suspended, revoked, or canceled for any of the underlying violations listed in subparagraphs (a)1.-6., a person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. 2. Upon a second or subsequent conviction for the same offense of knowingly driving while his or her license is suspended, revoked, or canceled for any of the underlying violations listed in subparagraphs (a)1.-6., a person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(11)(a) A person who does not hold a commercial driver's license and who is cited for an offense of knowingly driving while his or her license is suspended, revoked, or canceled for any of the underlying violations listed in paragraph (10)(a) may, in lieu of payment of fine or court appearance, elect to enter a plea of nolo contendre and provide proof of compliance to the clerk of the court, designated official, or authorized operator of a traffic violations bureau. In such case, adjudication shall be withheld. However, no election shall be made under this subsection if such person has made an election under this subsection during the preceding 12 months. A person may not make more than three elections under this subsection. (b) If adjudication is withheld under paragraph (a), such action is not a conviction.

  • Florida statute s. 322.264 (Habitual Traffic Offender) provides as follows:

A "habitual traffic offender" is any person whose record, as maintained by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, shows that such person has accumulated the specified number of convictions for offenses described in subsection (1) or subsection (2) within a 5 year period:

(1) Three or more convictions for any one or more of the following offenses arising out of separate acts: (a) voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle; (b) Any violation of s. 316.193, former 316.1931, or former 860.01; (c) Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used; (d) Driving a motor vehicle while his or her license is suspended or revoked; (e) Failing to stop and render aid as required under the laws of this state in the event of a motor vehicle crash resulting in the death or personal injury of another; or (f) driving a commercial motor vehicle while his or her privilege is disqualified. (2) Fifteen convictions for moving traffic offenses for which points may be assessed as set forth in s. 322.27, including those offenses in subsection (1).

Any violation of any federal law, and any law of another state or country, or any valid ordinance of a municipality or county of another state similar to a statutory prohibition specified in subsection (1) or subsection (2) shall be counted as a violation of such prohibition. In computing the number of convictions, all convictions during the 5 years previous to July 1st, 1972, will be used, provided at least one conviction occurs after that date. The fact that previous convictions may have resulted in suspension, revocation, or disqualification under another section does not exempt them from being used for suspension or revocation under this section as a habitual offender.

  • Florida statute s. 322.341(Driving while license permanently revoked) provides as follows:

Any person whose driver's license or driving privilege has been permanently revoked pursuant to s. 322.26 or s. 322.28, and who drives a motor vehicle upon the highways of this state is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

  • Applicable Jury Instructions

The following is a list of each element, of each variation of DWLSR offense, which the State must prove as a condition precedent to a finding of guilt.

  • Florida Standard Jury Instruction 28.11 (Driving While License Suspended, Revoked, or Canceled, with Knowledge) provides as follows:

To prove the crime of Driving While [License][Driving Privilege] [Suspended][Revoked][Canceled], the State must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant drove a motor vehicle upon a highway in this state.
  2. At the time, [his][her] [license][driving privilege] was [suspended][revoked][canceled].
  3. At the time the defendant drive a motor vehicle upon a highway in this state, the defendant knew that [his][her] [license][driving privilege] was [suspended][revoked][canceled].

Whether the defendant knew of the [suspension][revocation][cancellation] is a question to be determined by you from the evidence.

Give as applicable. See § 322.251(1), (2), and § 322.34(2), (3), (4), Fla. Stat.

Proof that the exists an entry in the records of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles showing that notice of the [suspension][revocation][cancellation] was given by personal delivery is proof that such notice was given.

Proof that there exists and entry in the records of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles showing that notice of the [suspension][cancellation][revocation] was deposited in the United States mail, first class, postage prepaid, addressed to the licensee at [his][her] last known mailing address furnished to the department, is proof that such notice was sent.

If you find that the defendant had been previously cited for driving while license [suspended][revoked][canceled] and [his][her] license had not been reinstated, you may conclude that the defendant knew of the [suspension][revocation][cancellation].

If you find that the defendant admitted to knowing of the [suspension][revocation][cancellation], you may conclude that the defendant knew of the [suspension][revocation][cancellation].

If you find that the defendant had received a traffic citation that contained a provision notifying the defendant that [his][her] license had been suspended, revoked, or canceled, you may conclude that the defendant knew of the [suspension][revocation][cancellation].

Do not give if the suspension was for failure to pay a traffic fine or for a financial responsibility violation. See § 322.34(2) and § 322.251(1), (2), Fla. Stat.

If you find that the defendant had received a [judgment][order] rendered by a [court][adjudicatory body] which contained a provision notifying the defendant that [his][her] license had been [suspended], [revoked], [canceled], you may conclude that the defendant knew of the [suspension][cancellation], revocation.

If you find that the records of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles include a [judgment][order] rendered by [a court][an adjudicatory body] which contains a provision notifying the defendant that [his][her] license had been [suspended], [revoked], [canceled], you are permitted to assume that the defendant knew [his][her] license was [suspended][revoked][canceled]. This presumption, however, is rebuttable, and you may accept or reject the presumption depending on the circumstances of the crime and the facts presented at trial.

Definitions

  • § 322.01(15), Fla. Stat.

"Drive" means to operate or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle in any place open to the general public for purposes of vehicular traffic.

  • § 322.01(26), Fla. Stat.

"Motor Vehicle" means any vehicle which is self-propelled, including a "moped", but not any vehicle moved solely by human power, motorized wheelchair, or motorized bicycle.

  • § 322.01(38), Fla. Stat.

"Street or Highway" means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way or place if any part thereof is open to the use of the public for the purposes of vehicular traffic.

  • § 322.251, Fla. Stat.

"Notice" means personal delivery or deposit in the United States mail, first class, postage prepaid, addressed to the defendant at [his][her] last known address furnished to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Mailing by the department shall constitute notification.

Optional Definitions.

  • § 322.01(39), Fla. Stat.

"Suspended" means the privilege to drive a motor vehicle has been temporarily withdrawn.

  • § 322.01(35), Fla. Stat.

"Revoked" means that the privilege to drive a motor vehicle has been terminated.

  • § 322.01(5)

"Canceled" means that a license has been declared void and terminated.

"Actual physical control" of a vehicle means the defendant must be physically in or on the vehicle and have the capability to operate the vehicle, regardless of whether [he][she] is actually operating the vehicle at the time.

  • Florida Standard Jury Instruction 28.11(a)(Driving While License Revoked as a Habitual Traffic Offender) provides as follows:

To prove the crime of Driving While License Revoked as a Habitual Traffic Offender, the State must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant drove a motor vehicle upon a highway in this state.

At the time, the defendant's license was revoked as a habitual traffic offender.


Driving with a suspended, revoked, or canceled license can be as benign as a civil traffic infraction, or as severe as a third degree felony. Entering a plea to a suspended license charge, when you have priors, can result in a much lengthier suspension period. Contact our St. Petersburg office at (727) 491-5886 to discuss your case. At the Kilfin Law Firm, P.C., the provision of high quality, affordable legal representation is our hallmark.


  • Relevant Case Law

  1. State of Florida v. Mark Wayne Patterson, 938 So.2d 625 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2006). In Patterson, the appellant was charged with felony driving on a suspended license, as a habitual traffic offender. The appellant entered a plea of no contest to the charge, and reserved his right to appeal the trial court's denial of his "motion in limine to exclude prior uncounseled pleas". On appeal, the appellant argued that the pleas to his prior suspended license offenses, which ultimately resulted in his designation as a habitual traffic offender, were entered without the assistance of counsel and therefore, they could not be used to enhance his sentence or to reclassify the offense from a misdemeanor to a felony. The second district court of appeals affirmed the trial court's denial of the defendant's motion, holding that although prior uncounseled pleas could not be used to enhance a misdemeanor suspended license charge to a felony suspended license charge based on prior convictions (pursuant to s. 322.34(2)(c)), they could be used to support an HTO designation by the DHSMV and a subsequent felony suspended license charge for driving under HTO status (pursuant to s. 322.34(5)). Although both offenses constitute third degree felonies, the elements of each are different. Section 322.34(2)(c) relies upon proof of the prior convictions to support reclassification of the current offense, whereas section 322.34(5) relies upon proof of the DHSMV's designation of the defendant as a habitual traffic offender to reclassify the offense.
  • Defenses to Your St. Petersburg, Clearwater, or Tampa DWLSR Charge

Defending a suspended or revoked license charge often requires more than one strategy to be effective. The first issue your criminal defense attorney will likely address is the basis for the stop. Did it result from the officer running the tag and, thereafter, determining that the registered owner's license was suspended? Did it result from the officer purportedly observing a traffic infraction? If it was the former scenario, did the officer make any effort to determine whether the driver of the vehicle matched the description of the registered owner (based on race, gender, and/or approximate age)? While the owner's license may be suspended, often times, more than one person has access to a vehicle. If it was the latter scenario (a purported traffic infraction), your attorney will want to determine whether you actually committed the infraction (such as, for example, running a stop sign). Was anyone else in the vehicle with you who can refute that an infraction occurred? Was the driving pattern recorded? If so, your attorney will want to obtain a copy of the video. Video recordings do not lie or exaggerate; they are unbiased and have no interest in the outcome of the case whatsoever. If the stop was invalid, any evidence obtained pursuant thereto can be suppressed, including inculpatory statements made by the accused. As an initial matter, your attorney will also look to the location of the purported offense. Unlike a DUI, a person cannot be charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license if the offense did not occur on a public street or roadway.

The next determination your attorney will likely make is whether your license was in fact suspended. In a recent case, my client (a Florida resident) was stopped in Georgia for speeding. The officer erroneously determined that her license was suspended and she was formally charged. Upon providing proof to the Georgia prosecutor that her license was not suspended in Florida (or anywhere else), the charge was ultimately nolle prossed and she never had to go to court.

In Florida DWLSR cases, what separates a criminal offense from a civil infraction is the element of "knowledge". If the person has knowledge of the suspension, then the offense may be prosecuted criminally; if the person has no knowledge of the suspension, then the offense is deemed a non-criminal traffic infraction (like speeding or careless driving). In situations where the person is without knowledge, the suspension usually results from some sort of financial responsibility issue. Where the person is charged criminally, and it can be demonstrated to the prosecutor that the person probably did not have knowledge, the state may be inclined to amend the charge. Avoiding a criminal prosecution can be of tremendous benefit to a person, and for obvious reasons. This is especially the case where the person has no prior criminal history.

In some instances, the knowledge element may be satisfied based on the accused person's admission. As a general principle, a roadside traffic stop is not considered "custody" for purposes of Miranda (for more information on Miranda Warnings, see the "Resources" section below). Regardless, this is just a general principle and your criminal defense attorney will want to carefully scrutinize the circumstances under which the statement was purportedly made. If the statement was obtained unlawfully, and can be suppressed, the person may be in a position to negotiate for a reduction in charge.

Yes - you can be prosecuted for a felony suspended license charge in Florida. As indicated above, a person is typically prosecuted for a felony where he or she has two prior suspended license convictions, has been designated a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO), or is caught driving on a permanently revoked license. In situations where the person is charged based on priors, the criminal defense attorney will want to determine whether (1) the prior offenses were criminal in nature; and (2) if so, whether the pleas were counseled. If the person was without an attorney, the prior cannot be used to enhance. Several years ago, I had a person come to me who had previously pled to a felony suspended license charge based on two priors and could not get a job as a result. Upon being retained, I pulled a copy of his driver's license record and determined that one of his priors was a civil infraction. The state attorney's office allowed him to withdraw the plea; they amended the charge to a misdemeanor, and my client pled to the amended charge. This made all the difference: the stigma of a felony conviction (he had no other criminal history) was no longer a burden he would have to bear for the remainder of his life.

Where the felony is based on an HTO designation, your criminal defense attorney will want to determine whether the HTO designation was proper. If so can the the person get a hardship license? Getting a hardship license, or a full reinstatement can really go a long way with the prosecutor and the judge in securing a more favorable outcome. In a recent case, my client was arrested for a felony suspended license charge based on an HTO. She satisfied all the conditions precedent for a hardship license, which required considerable effort on her part. Even though she was ultimately denied a hardship, her efforts did not go unnoticed. The charge was filed as a misdemeanor, and she avoided an almost certain jail sentence. Of course, no two cases are like and what can be accomplished in one scenario may not necessarily be accomplished in another.

It is unlikely that a person charged with a felony suspended license offense will be scoring mandatory prison on Florida's sentencing guidelines. As indicated above, these are level one offenses which are as benign as it gets for guideline purposes. The person may score mandatory prison if there are more serious felony offenses before the court for sentencing or where the person has an extensive criminal history. Even though a prison sentence is unlikely, every effort should be made to secure an amendment in charge, especially for first time felony offenders given the unavailability of diversion programs for most traffic offenses.

This is but an overview of the types of issues that commonly arise in driving on suspended or revoked charges and the types of defenses that are utilized. No matter the circumstances, there is usually much that can be done here with the combined efforts of the attorney and client. If you have been arrested or charged with a suspended license offense in the Tampa Bay area, an experienced St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney can help.

  • Resources

The following is a list of outside sources, prior blog posts, and other website sections on topics related to the suspension of your driver's license and DWLSR offenses:

  • Links
  1. HG. Org: St. Petersburg Suspended License Defense Attorney.
  2. HG. Org: St. Petersburg DUI Attorney
  3. HG. Org: St. Petersburg Fleeing and Eluding Defense Attorney
  4. HG. Org: St. Petersburg Leaving the Scene of an Accident Defense Attorney
  5. HG. Org: St. Petersburg Drug Crimes Attorney
  6. Check the status of your driver's license: Florida DHSMV
  • Blog Posts
  1. Do I need a St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney?
  2. They Never Read Me My Rights - Can My Charge Be Dismissed?
  3. Florida's William's Rule: What Is It and What Does It Mean For My Criminal Case?
  4. Alternatives to Incarceration in Pinellas County
  5. Speedy Trial in Florida: An Overview
  • Related Sections
  1. Affecting the Filing Decision
  2. Withholding of Adjudication
  3. Plea Negotiations
  4. Defensive Motions
  5. Trial
  6. Sentencing
  7. Probation Violations
  • The Bottom Line

If you have been cited, arrested, or charged with driving on a suspended license in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, New Port Richey, Dade City, or Bradenton, contact our St. Petersburg office to discuss your case.