In Florida, just like every other state in the U.S., driving is a privilege not a right. Pursuant to Florida Statute §322.03(1), a person may not drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in Florida without a valid, unexpired driver’s license. The penalties for driving without a valid license in Florida depend on the reason why the driver doesn’t have a valid license.
Driver has Never Obtained a Driver’s License from the Florida DMV/License is Otherwise Invalid
In cases where the driver has never obtained a Florida driver’s license from the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles or the driver has an invalid driver’s license, violation of Florida Statute §322.03 is a second degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or up to a $500 fine.
Driver’s License has been Expired for Six Months or Less
Driving with a license that has been expired for six months or less is a civil traffic offense in Florida. Pursuant to Florida Statute §322.065, “A person whose driver license has been expired for 6 months or less and who drives a motor vehicle upon the highways of this state commits an infraction and is subject to the [monetary] penalty provided in s. 318.18.”
Driver’s License has been Expired for More than Six Months
Driving with a license that has been expired for more than six months is a criminal traffic offense in Florida. Florida Statute §322.03(5) states that, “It is a violation of this section for any person whose driver’s license has been expired for more than 6 months to operate a motor vehicle on the highways of this state.” This criminal traffic offense is a second degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.
Driver’s License has been Cancelled, Suspended, or Revoked (Without Driver’s Knowledge)
Sometimes a driver has a license that is cancelled, suspended, revoked or cancelled license, but does not have knowledge of such a status on his license. Pursuant to Florida Statute §322.34, any person who drives his vehicle in Florida while his license is canceled, suspended, or revoked has committed a civil traffic offense and is guilty of a moving violation, which is punishable by a fine and the assessment of three points on his driver’s license.
Driver’s License has been Cancelled, Suspended, or Revoked (With Driver’s Knowledge)
Driving on a cancelled, suspended, or revoked driver’s license with knowledge of such cancellation, suspension, or revocation, is a criminal infraction in Florida. A first conviction of this offense is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or up to a $500 fine. A second conviction is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by up to one year in prison and/or up to a $1000 fine. A third or subsequent conviction is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to five years in prison and/or up to a $3000 fine.
If you have been charged with driving without a valid driver’s license, driving with an expired license, or driving on a cancelled, suspended, or revoked license in Florida, it is in your best interests to obtain representation from a local traffic ticket attorney. At the South Florida law firm of Galanter Law, an experienced Miami ticket attorney or Fort Lauderdale ticket attorney can help you navigate this oftentimes confusing area of the law, determine if you are eligible for a clerk’s withhold, and aggressively advocate on your behalf to get your charges dismissed or reduced, if possible.
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