If you wish to fight your penalties for driving on a suspended license in Ft. Lauderdale, do not hesitate to reach out to a professional defense attorney for assistance. A skilled lawyer could gather evidence, interview key witnesses, and use their experience to prepare you for your appearance in court. Read on to learn more about the penalties for driving on a suspended license in Ft. Lauderdale, as well as the ways a qualified traffic attorney could make a difference in your case.
Proving the Charges
Driving with a suspended license is a relatively easy charge for the government or prosecutor to prove. They would have to show that an individual was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while their driver’s license was suspended or revoked. It would require testimony from a Ft. Lauderdale police officer regarding whether or not the accused was actually driving or in actual physical control of the motor vehicle in the city, as well as the entry of a driver’s license record issued by the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles showing the status of that individual’s driving record on the date of the offense.
Potential Defense Strategies
There is a 20-day grace period from the date the department issues a suspension until it becomes effective. This allows the individual an opportunity to receive the notice and fix the problem before the suspension goes into effect. Occasionally, a police officer will issue a citation in that 20-day window and under that set of circumstances the case can be dismissed because the citation was issued during that time period. Normally, the elements of that charge are driving or actual physical control of the motor vehicle and proof that the driver’s license was indeed suspended or revoked at the time. Contact a qualified defense attorney to learn more.
Examples of Penalties for Driving on a Suspended License in Ft. Lauderdale
In misdemeanor cases, individuals can face potential criminal convictions, fines, court costs, probation, community service, and in severe cases, county jail time. In felony cases, the potential penalties involve felony convictions and probation. With a felony case, the individual could be looking at house arrest or longer periods of probation. The maximum period of probation on a misdemeanor case would require is 12 months. A felony charge carries the maximum period of probation of five years. In severe cases with aggravating facts where the case involved serious accidents or the accused was driving under the influence, a driver could be sentenced time in the Florida State Prison.
If the driver has a history of driving with a suspended license, that would be an aggravating factor. The usual reason for a suspension is monetary, where they missed paying a court fee or a court fine. The suspension could be a result of a DUI, unpaid child support, too many points, or an accident involved. The reason for the suspension itself could also be an aggravating factor. There is a big difference between somebody whose license was suspended because of a financial issue versus somebody who received a DUI conviction and has chosen to drive anyway and got into an accident.
Long-Term Implications of a Conviction
If an individual receives a conviction for driving on a suspended license, that would show up on their criminal record. These implications can have devastating effects regarding their overall reputation, employment opportunities, financial issues, and ability to qualify for loans or mortgages. Perspective employers and financial institutions check an individual’s driver’s license record to gauge their credibility, reliability, and ability to follow rules and meet deadlines. Any entry on an someone’s driver’s license record could have a negative impact on their future, particularly a criminal offense such as driving with a suspended license.
If you require legal representation while fighting the penalties for driving on a suspended license in Ft. Lauderdale, reach out to a skilled traffic attorney today for your initial consultation.