Defending A Driving On A Suspended License Charge In Florida
Pinellas County has specialized courts that deals strictly with traffic citations, DUIs and license suspension, like driving while license suspended issues. Attorneys Nicholas Dorsten and Rex Blake have more than 25 years of combined experience in prosecuting and defending these types of cases.
The good thing about that is they have handled hundreds of motions, and literally thousands of traffic citations throughout their career. This is the type of experience you need when looking for a Pinellas DWLSR defense attorney. As former prosecutors, they know what the state needs for a conviction and also how to best defend your charge.
Is There A Difference Between Knowingly Driving On A Suspended License And Without Knowledge?
The difference between knowingly driving and not knowingly driving on a suspended license is a difference between a criminal and a civil citation. It’s an expensive traffic ticket if you’re driving without knowledge that your license was suspended. If you’re driving with knowledge, it is a criminal offense and if you’ve done it multiple times in the past, it is actually a felony. As a felony DWLSR charge, you can go to prison for up to 5 years for multiple driving suspensions.
The state of Florida determines “knowledge” in part by a variety of ways. The government can charge you with knowingly driving with a suspended license if the driver himself admits they knew the license was suspended and/or if he or she previously received a citation showing the license was suspended among others. In Florida there’s actually a statute called a Rebuttable presumption of knowledge if a previous judgment was ordered.
In other words, if the judge ordered the license to be suspended, by law, it’s presumed that you had knowledge of that, which makes it very scary for people who are driving around where they think their license is fine, if it turns out that’s not the case!
Scenarios That Could Possibly Lead Someone To Drive On A Suspended License
Not so long ago, in the old days, it was much simpler. If someone got a traffic ticket and they didn’t pay it, then their license would get suspended; or if they have a DUI, their license is suspended for a certain period of time. Unfortunately, there’s been so many law changes that now even non-driving offenses can result in your license being suspended.
For example, if you’re convicted of a drug charge, even a misdemeanor marijuana charge, your license will be suspended for one year.
After a certain period of time, you can get a business purpose license, meaning you can drive to school, to work, to religious services, but again, even if you have a drug conviction that was nowhere near your vehicle and you weren’t driving while you had the drugs in your possession, your license will STILL be suspended upon a conviction!
In addition, there are certain civil courts such as family law court that can suspend ones driving privileges. A judge can order your license suspended if you don’t pay child support or even if you get too many points on your license from traffic tickets!
How Common Is It For Someone To Not Be Aware That Their Driver’s License Was Suspended?
Unfortunately, it’s a lot more common than you think. If somebody gets a traffic infraction and pays the fine, they assume they paid the ticket. Yet if the check gets lost in the mail and they don’t do a follow-up, their license would be suspended. If someone gets too many traffic tickets, they receive too many points on their driver’s license and the end result is a suspended DL. It is so common that monthly people that come to our office having no idea that their license was in fact actually suspended.
If you have more questions about Driving On A Suspended License In Florida, call the law office of Blake & Dorsten P.A. for a free initial consultation at (727) 286-6141 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.