Do these people look like criminals? Okay, take away the orange jump suit. Now do they? They are NOT. At least in my eyes. Its so easy to get a ticket for Driving on a Suspsned License (DWLS) in Florida. I get calls every day and the first thing most people say is “I had no idea my license was suspended.” Think it can’t happen to you, think again. Oh, you got a ticket last year and went to driving school. You better hope that that driving school sent the completion notice to the clerk. Oh, you paid that seatbelt ticket last Christmas by sending in a check to the clerk. You better hope the clerk entered the information correctly. This happens all the time. Oh, your car insurance company failed to notify the state that you have insurance and they suspended your license. Happens all the time. Of course there is a more common reason that can happen to anyone. You got a traffic ticket for say speeding last year. You thought your wife, husband or Mom took care of it. But they forgot or lost it. Now your driving on a suspended license and you didn’t even know it. Worse, you make the biggest mistake of your life for all the wrong reasons.
When you get pulled over by a cop, most people try to be nice. They want the cop to not give them a ticket. Then the cop comes back to your car after checking your license and asks you if you knew that your license was suspended. In fact, you did not. But to be nice and not argumentative, lots of people say “oh yes, for that speeding ticket I asked my wife to take care of.” You just admitted (wrongly) that you knew your were driving on a suspended license. This means you have gone from getting a ticket for driving on a suspended license without knowledge (civil and only a fine) to driving on a suspended license with knowledge (a criminal misdemeanor). You just landed yourself in jail for the day and all you were doing was trying to be nice. Don’t EVER admit you KNEW your license was suspended to a cop when you get pulled over. Here are some other FAQ people ask me all the time about Driving on a Suspended License in the State of Florida.
#1 What’s the Most Common Reason for a License Suspension? A suspended license can happen for a lot of reasons as noted above. Another common one is failing to do the driving school you agreed to do. Second, you got too many points (12) within a year. Third, you failed to pay your child support. Most common though is simply forgetting to pay or fight your last traffic ticket.
#2 What is a D-6 License Suspension? If you fail to pay a traffic ticket, the State of Florida will suspend your license. Once you pay your ticket an the fees, the State will issue a D-6 Clearance that will allow you to reinstate your license.
#3 How Can I Check if my license is Suspended? That’s an easy one. Click HERE and you can find out right now in a few seconds.
#4 What are the Penalties for DWLS in Florida? The maximum fine for driving on a suspended license in Florida the first time is 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. Second offense can get you a year in jail. A third offense can get you 5 years in prison. As you can see, DWLS in Florida should not be taken lightly.
#5 What Defenses do You Use When You Go To Court for a DWLS? That’s like asking the Coke company for the secret recipe. Just kidding. We have several but these are the most common defenses. First, we try to challenge the stop as illegal in the first place. Failing that, we try to show that you did not KNOW your license was in fact suspended. Or that it was not you who was driving, but the other person in the car. But, the best defense is to come to court with a valid license. If we show the Prosecutor and the Judge that your license is now valid and you are a law abiding person, we can usually get the case dismissed or a small fine.