Law and Penalties for Driving with a Suspended Driver License

  • Under Section 322.34, Florida Statutes:
  • A first offense for driving with a suspended license (with knowledge of the suspension, revocation, or cancellation) can result in 60 days jail and a fine of up to $500.00. 
  • A second offense may be charged as a first degree misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail. 
  • A third offense in Florida may result in felony charges, with up to 5 years in prison and maximum fine of $5,000.
  • If its your third offense and two previous offenses occur within a five year period (or a combination three with a DUI or Leaving the Scene of Accident with Injury), you will be labeled by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (Department of Motor Vehicles) as a Habitual Traffic Offender. Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) status in Florida results in a five-year driver’s license revocation. A person classified as a Habitual Traffic Offender cannot even obtain a hardship license until a full year has elapsed from their most recent conviction. 

Reasons for License Suspension

There are a number of reasons for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to suspend a Florida driver’s license. Common examples can include the following:

  • Points suspensions;
  • Failure to pay fines, court judgments, or court costs;
  • Drug-related convictions;
  • DUI arrest or conviction;
  • Child support delinquency;
  • Petit theft convictions;
  • Habitual Traffic Offender classification;
  • Failure to appear in court;
  • Failure to maintain continuous insurance;
  • Plea to a racing on highways charge;
  • DUI Refusal.

Defenses to Driving with a Suspended License

There are many defenses and strategies available to defeat a suspended license charge or to minimize potential penalties. Common examples include:

  • Legal challenges to the validity of the traffic stop; For additional information on this topic, visit our Florida Suspended License Traffic Stop web page;
  • The accused was not driving;
  • The accused did not know of the suspension, cancellation, or revocation;
  • The Court is without jurisdiction due to improper service;
  • The vehicle is not a “motor vehicle” for purposes of the driver’s license statute;
  • The accused’s Florida driver’s license had been reinstated or adequate reason existed to believe it had been reinstated;
  • Vacating prior Driving with Suspended License convictions so as to secure the State’s agreement to amend the charge to No Valid Driver’s License. 

No Defense or Already a Habitual Traffic Offender? We Can Still Help

We can negotiate with the prosecutor to get you a great deal, even a dismissal at a later time if certain conditions are met.  We can also have the charges amended avoiding the three within five rule and potentially saving your driving privileges.

If you are already classified as a Habitual Traffic Offender, we can also help you.  We may be able to petition the Court to reopen the cases that resulted in the HTO or find errors in your record and correct them.  Call Us Today!