Unlicensed driving in Ft. Lauderdale means that an individual never went through the process of obtaining a valid Florida driver’s license. It is normally called driving or operating without a valid driver’s license. It is classified in Ft. Lauderdale as a first-degree misdemeanor. Ft. Lauderdale unlicensed driving offenses can have serious consequences.Driving without a valid driver’s license in Ft. Lauderdale subjects an individual to a maximum penalty of up to 364 days in the Broward County Jail. If you have been stopped and arrested for operating without a valid driving license, consult a knowledgeable traffic attorney that could build a solid defense for you.
Laws Regarding Possession of a Valid License
In the State of Florida, if an individual is given a valid driver’s license by the State of Florida, that individual is required to have the driver’s license in their possession at the time that they are driving. That offense is a civil traffic infraction.
As an example, an individual has a valid driver’s license but does not have it in their possession at the time that they were stopped by law enforcement. The police officer can issue a civil traffic infraction or a traffic ticket for failing to have the driver’s license in the individual’s possession.
Those penalties would be civil in nature and more often than not, monetary penalties or court fees will be assessed. This is called a secondary offense, e.g., somebody is pulled over for a moving violation and receives that type of charge as a second or multiple charges that stem from some type of other violation.
Impact a Prior Record Can Have on a Person’s Case
Most criminal cases hinge on prior record, if any, and whether or not the alleged criminal behavior has been corrected. In cases involving operating without a valid driver’s license in Ft. Lauderdale, the outcome is dependent on whether or not an individual has been accused, charged, or caught driving in the past. There is a big difference between whether or not it is a first offense or a fourth or fifth offense. The outcome is also dependent upon whether or not an individual is able to obtain a valid Florida driver’s license prior to the conclusion of the case. The outcome is dependent upon those factors.
Consequences for Driving Without a License
An individual might be looking at a nominal court fee for Ft. Lauderdale unlicensed driving offenses. On the other end of the spectrum could be a situation where the individual cannot get a valid Florida driver’s license because they are not old enough or they do not qualify (immigration issues). If the judge fears that the individual might continue to drive without a valid driver’s license moving forward, the individual may be placed on probation to make sure that they do not continue to drive without a valid Florida driver’s license with the understanding that they would take the individual off of probation once they are able to obtain a valid Florida driver’s license.
In most severe cases, an individual who has been through the system and in front of a judge several times for multiple prior offenses of driving without a valid driver’s license in Ft. Lauderdale and the court fees, probation, and community service did not work in terms of punishment, then it is possible that the judge might consider imposing a period of incarceration, but that is only in extreme cases.
Obtaining a Valid Driver’s License
If an individual is pulled over by a police officer in Ft. Lauderdale for speeding and it is discovered that they never obtained a valid Florida driver’s license, they are issued a ticket. The individual might obtain a valid Florida driver’s license prior to the resolution of the court case. It is possible, in this situation, that a judge or prosecutor in Ft. Lauderdale would agree to drop or dismiss the charge as a result of the individual coming into compliance.
Usually, it is a situation where an individual can come into compliance and obtain a driver’s license before the case is over or they are placed on probation to make sure that they will not drive. For most offenders, either they get their license right away or if for some reason they cannot and if it is the first offense and the judge feels that the individual is not going to drive again, the individual will be assessed a nominal court fee. This is a best-case scenario for those facing charges for Ft. Lauderdale unlicensed driving offenses, and often does not occur without the assistance of a qualified traffic attorney. That is why individuals facing unlicensed driving offenses should work with local attorneys who can help.