Driving without a valid driver’s license in Florida, often simply referred to as a no valid driver’s license offense, can have serious consequences. These include fines, the possibility of serving 60 days in jail, and having a criminal record which can significantly affect one’s life for years.
If you have been arrested or cited for this offense, contact an experienced West Palm Beach unlicensed driver’s lawyer to discuss the charges against you. Your determined traffic attorney can determine what legal defenses may be available to you, and get the information needed to make an informed decision about what is best for you.
Consequences of Driving Without a License in Florida
Driving without a license in Florida is considered a second-degree misdemeanor and carries penalties of up to a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail.
Although most driving without a license charges do not result in serving any jail time, they will create a permanent criminal record which can significantly affect someone’s ability to rent an apartment, obtain a job, get a record sealed or expunged and take out a loan.
According to Florida Statue Sec. 322.03(1), it is a criminal act for a person to drive any motor vehicle on a Florida street or highway unless that person has a valid driver’s license issued by an appropriate governmental authority.
The above terms are in quotation marks for a reason as their definitions can often negate charges. For example:
- Driver: A driver is someone who operates or is in the actual physical control of a motor vehicle in any place open to the general public for vehicular traffic. So, not being in physical control of the vehicle might be a defense to the charge
- Motor vehicle: A motor vehicle is generally any vehicle which has a motor or engine, including a moped. This definition is important as there are many types of vehicles on the road today, so if something does not fit this description, it could be a defense to the charge
- Street or highway: A street or highway essentially encompasses the entire width between the boundary lines of every way or place, or any part thereof, which is open to the public. That is a very broad definition, but driving on private property or areas not open to the public can be a defense to the charge
Possible Defenses Against Driving Without a License Charges
There are several defenses to charges of driving without a license, including unlawful traffic stops, unlawfully being detained after the traffic stop, actually having a valid license, having a valid out of state license (which is common for those who do not live in Florida for the entire year), having a valid license from another country, and many more.
Every case is unique, but an unlicensed driver attorney in West Palm Beach can review the facts and circumstances of the situation and determine how best to fight the charges and potentially having them dismissed or mitigated through a plea bargain.
Contact a West Palm Beach Unlicensed Driver Attorney to Learn More
If you have been arrested or cited for driving without a license, you should work with an experienced West Palm Beach unlicensed driver lawyer to review the charges against you and determine what legal defenses and courses of action you might have at your disposal. There are many ways that our team members could help, so reach out today to learn more about your options.