An experienced Florida Habitual Traffic Offender attorney may be able to set aside your HTO status and five-year driver’s license revocation to get you back on the road legally. We all know in the Tampa Bay Area if you are going to get to work, medical appointments and school, you need to be driving. If you risk doing it without a valid driver’s license, you run the risk of arrest, fines, court costs, incarceration and having your vehicle impounded. Even if you can get a hardship you will pay costly insurance rates without getting the HTO set aside.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DMV) has an extensive electronic database that keeps track of every traffic ticket you receive and the points assessed to your unique Driver’s license number. The fines associated with traffic tickets can be costly, however they pale in comparison to the future consequences they can have on your ability to drive in Florida.
All moving violations carry points which can add up very quickly if you are adjudicated guilty. You are automatically adjudicated guilty if you simply pay your traffic citation. An experienced Tampa suspended license attorney can help you avoid those points, and keep you on the road. You should never just pay any traffic citation and never just plead guilty or no contest to a criminal traffic charge.
In some circumstances a good attorney can get the State to offer a diversion program referred to as DLAP (Drive Legal Again Program), where you can complete diversion and get your case dismissed. Additionally, there are legal defenses that can be raised to get your case dismissed. It is helpful if you obtain a copy of your lifetime driving record before calling for a free consultation to discuss your case.
Failing to pay outstanding tickets may also lead to a suspension of your Florida driver’s license and you risk being sent to collections. Reinstatement fees are costly and the penalties are severe if you are caught driving in Florida without a valid Florida driver’s license. If you are convicted of driving on a suspended license three times within a five year period you will become a Habitual Traffic Offender, lose your Florida driving privileges for five years, and face up to five years in prison. Be sure to use the drive legal again program before making inappropriate choices.
No matter what your situation may be, facing a criminal charge like Driving on a Suspended License in Florida is serious. Make sure you speak with an experienced Tampa driver’s license attorney who understands the laws and can aggressively defend your rights.
A criminal offense for Driving while License Suspended WITH Knowledge that your driver license is suspended, revoked or cancelled is a criminal offense. The degree of the crime is determined as follows:
Second degree Misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 60 days in county jail.
First degree Misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in county jail.
Misdemeanor of the first degree or may be charged as a Third Degree felony with the maximum penalty of 5 years in Florida State Prison.
It is possible in many cases to petition the court to have an old charge taken off your record if you file a post-conviction motion. The post-conviction motion is similar to an appeal, except it is filed with the trial court instead of a higher appellate court. If you are successful in clearing old offenses off of your record, then you can reinstate your driver license.
Once your driver license is valid, it is more likely that the prosecutor will drop the charges completely, or at least reduce the charges to an offense that will not cause another suspension such as, no valid driver's license.