Suspended License Attorney in Orlando & Lake County
Almost everyone has received a traffic citation at one point or another, in their life. These typically include traffic offenses such as speeding, failure to maintain lane, violation of a right of way, following too closely, driving with no insurance, or driving on a suspended license. Unfortunately, under Florida Law, many of these types of ordinary traffic offenses can have serious consequences on your driving privileges and your car insurance. Before simply paying an outstanding traffic violation, call the best Orlando suspended license attorneys at the Law Office of Conan & Herman, P.A. today and see how we can help.
If you have received a ticket for Driving While License Suspended, Revoked or Canceled (either with or without knowledge) you need to immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss the consequences this ticket might have on your driving history, insurance rates, and criminal record. In many instances, a valid defense to this charge results in the charges being dropped by the prosecutor or dismissed by the court. In other cases, we can use mitigating factors to convince the prosecutor to reduce the charges to a less serious offense, such a Driving with No Valid Driver’s License, thereby allowing you to avoid a conviction, points on your license, or other disposition that might cause another suspension of your driver’s license.
Even people charged with Felony Driving While License Suspended or Revoked because it is their third offense or because they drove as a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) may be able to get their driver’s license back by collaterally attacking the underlying offenses that caused the suspension. Sometimes, an old charge on your driving record can be vacated (or taken off your record) if you file a post-conviction motion. A 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 ask the DMV to reinstate your driver license. Once your driver license is valid, it is a lot easier to an attorney to ask prosecutor will drop the charges completely, or at least reduce the charges to an offense that will not cause another suspension. Stop driving, and contact an experienced Driving While License Suspended or Revoke attorney to assist you today.
If you do not have a copy of your driving record, we can obtain a copy of your driving record from the DHSMV or the clerk of court. From our initial free consultation, we can help you develop a strategy to best protect your driving privilege.
Florida Statutes Section 322.34 provides for two types of offenses for Driving While License Suspended or Revoked in Florida:
a. Driving while License Suspended WITHOUT Knowledge (a civil infraction);
b. Driving while License Suspended WITH Knowledge (a criminal offense).
Driving while License Suspended WITHOUT Knowledge
Most people do not realize that a civil infraction ticket for Driving while License Suspended Without Knowledge can count as one of the three offenses in Florida that cause a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) suspension if the person was adjudicated guilty of that offense. A Habitual Traffic Suspension takes away a person’s privilege to drive for five (5) years. If you paid the ticket without requesting and obtaining a withhold of adjudication, then you were convicted of a Driving While License Suspended Offense. On the other hand, if you hire an attorney to go to court to obtain a withhold of adjudication or to have the infraction formally dismissed, then the civil infraction for Driving While License Suspended Without Knowledge does not count toward one of the three offenses that cause a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) suspension. Even if you have already been adjudicated for the offense, an experienced attorney may be able to file a Motion for Rehearing within 30 days, a Motion to Withdraw the plea within 60 days or a Motion to Vacate within 2 years of when you went to court or paid the ticket. Since this procedure is civil in nature, it is entirely up to the discretion of the Judge that your case is assigned to. Attorneys Mark Conan and J. Scott Herman, have successfully withdrawn pleas in dozens of civil DWLS infraction cases, contact the Law Office of Conan & Herman, P.A. to speak with the best Orlando suspended license attorneys!
Driving while License Suspended WITH Knowledge
It is also possible to get criminal offenses for Driving While License Suspended with Knowledge overturned making you eligible for a driver’s license. After you obtain the driver’s license, we can often go back to court to resolve the case for a “no valid” driver’s license, or other offense that will not result in a suspension of your driver’s license. Even if you have already been adjudicated for the offense, an experienced attorney can file a Motion to Withdraw the plea within 60 days or a Motion to Vacate within 2 years of when you went to court or paid the ticket.
A criminal offense for Driving while License Suspended WITH Knowledge that your driver license is suspended, revoked or canceled is a criminal offense. The degree of the crime is determined as follows:
-First offense – Misdemeanor of the second degree
-Second offense – Misdemeanor of the first degree
-Third offense- Misdemeanor of the first degree
-Third offense – Felony of the third degree (if previously convicted of a forcible felony)
New Florida legislation passed in 2008 attempts to lessen the punishment for the third offense of driving with a suspended license from a felony to a misdemeanor if the individual has no prior conviction of a forcible felony. The change in the law resulted from the absurd result of having persons with little criminal history serving Florida State Prison sentences for a victimless crime. The new suspended license law became effective on July 1, 2008.
The push for the legislation came after the Florida Criminal Justice Impact Conference (CJIC) found that passage of the bill would cause 129 fewer prison sentences per year, saving Florida taxpayers more than $1.3 million dollars each year. Although this 2008 legislation is a step in the right direction, it does not address other selectively enforced and overly harsh laws concerning the prosecution of suspended license cases throughout Florida.
If you have a failure to pay or a failure to appear after receiving certain traffic tickets, citations, or infractions, the Court can issue a Florida D-6 suspension of your Driver License. Additionally, other types of Suspensions Imposed by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) can including the following:
|Habitual Traffic Offender ……………………………..||Five Year Suspension|
|Failure to Appear in Court …………………………..||Suspended Indefinitely|
|Failure to Pay Citation ………………………………..||Suspended Indefinitely|
|Failure to Pay Child Support ………………………..||Suspended Indefinitely|
|No Insurance …………………………………………….||Suspended Indefinitely|
|DUI Arrest ………………………………………………….||Six Months to Eighteen Months|
|DUI Conviction ………………………………………..||Six Months to Lifetime|
|Possession of a Controlled Substance ……………||Two Years|
|Theft or Shoplifting …………………………………..||Six to Twelve Months|
|Fraudulently Obtaining a Driver License ………..||One Year|
Your driver’s license can be suspended if you accrue too many points within a specified period. Under Florida Law, a point system has been established where certain traffic infractions have certain points assigned for that infraction depending on the seriousness of the traffic offense. In determining the points and suspensions, the department of motor vehicles uses the conviction date for any particular infraction.
The best way to avoid the imposition of points is to request a court hearing to contest the ticket or to request a withhold of adjudication. If you simply pay the ticket or if you are adjudicated guilty by the court, then the following points will be assessed to your Florida driver license:
Points Assigned for Each Traffic Offense
6 points — Crash caused by speeding violation
6 points — Leaving the scene of a crash with property damage greater than $50
4 points — Crash caused by any other moving violation
4 points — Reckless driving
4 points — Running a red light
4 points — Driving during restricted hours
4 points — Passing a stopped school bus
4 points — Unlawful speed more than 15 miles per hour over the speed limit
3 points — Driver in possession of open container of alcohol
3 points — Child restraint violation
3 points — All other moving violations
3 points — Parking on a highway outside the city limits
3 points — Unlawful speed 15 miles per hour or less over the speed limit
3 points — Toll Violations
|Points Assigned||Length of Suspension|
|·12 points within a one-year period||30 Days|
|·18 points within a one and a half year period||90 Days|
|·24 points within a three year period||1 Year|
One of the easiest ways to avoid points after receiving a ticket for a moving violation (and a possible suspension for excessive points) is by attending attend traffic school pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 318.14(9). The traffic school election can be made one a year. The traffic school election can only be made five (5) times within any ten (10) year period. You can attend traffic school either before or after paying the ticket, however, the ticket must be paid within thirty (30) days after you receive the citation. Before you pay the fine notify the clerk of court for the county in which you received the ticket of your intention to take the traffic school election. Many times the clerk of court will require you to fill out an affidavit showing that you elect to take traffic school and showing that you are eligible for such an election. Unfortunately, the traffic school election to avoid the conviction and points is not available to anyone with a commercial drivers license. You can take the traffic school by attending a live class or by completing an on-line class.
You are eligible for a hardship license after a point suspension if you take an examination, complete a twelve (12) hour Advanced Driving Improvement (ADI) Course, pay a fee for reinstatement, and pay additional fees for the hardship license.
If you have already received the points because you simply paid the ticket without receiving a withhold after the traffic school election, or by going to court to fight the ticket, then you may still be eligible to hire an attorney to file a motion to vacate or set aside the conviction. At Conan and Herman, P.A.., we have successfully helped clients vacate certain moving violations in order to remove the conviction and points. Once the conviction is vacated, then the driver license suspension or revocation for excessive points may also be vacated.
If you fail to pay child support your driver’s license can be suspended indefinitely until you present an affidavit from the clerk of court or child support agency demonstrating that you have come into compliance with your child support obligations and pay a reinstatement fee of $25.
If the court orders you to attend traffic school and you fail to do so within the time allotted by the court, then you must contact the court that issued the requirement, comply with the traffic summons, and show a certificate of successful completion of the traffic school course, and pay a reinstatement fee of $25. You are allowed to attend traffic school only once a year with a maximum of five lifetime opportunities.
If you are found incapable of operating a motor vehicle you will receive a 12-month suspension without any opportunity to apply for a hardship license. Once the one-year hard suspension is completed, you can request a hearing and apply for reinstatement.
Your driver’s license can be revoked for a period of six months to a lifetime revocation. If you have received a Notice of Revocation of your Driver’s License from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), contact the Law Office of Conan and Herman immediately, to inquire of the potential to contest that suspension. A revocation can occur for any of the following reasons:
- Conviction for possession of a controlled substance;
- Conviction for vehicular manslaughter;
- Conviction for a felony in which a vehicle was used;
- Conviction for being involved in an act of prostitution in a motor vehicle or other lewd act;
- Conviction for leaving the scene of a crash when another person was injured or died;
- Conviction for perjury in a court of law;
- Conviction for a similar crime in another state;
- A court order of suspension for certain traffic offenses;
- Failure to meet minimum vision requirements; or
- Certain medical conditions until the medical condition improves.
Your driver’s license can be canceled for any of the following reasons:
- Supplying fraudulent information on a driver license application;
- Failing to comply with a court-ordered requirement;
- Failure to comply with a DUI requirement; or
- Failure to complete a four-hour traffic school course after being responsible for a crash involving serious injury of another.
Any ticket for driving while license suspended, whether civil or criminal is serious. Whether you have received a ticket for driving while license suspended, revoked or canceled in Orange County, Lake County, Osceola County, Seminole County, Polk County, or any of the surrounding counties throughout Central Florida, contact the premier Orlando suspended license attorneys at the Law Office of Conan & Herman, P.A. – we are well-versed in the traffic laws of the state of Florida and are able to assist you today.