In Florida, the crime of driving while license is suspended, revoked, cancelled or disqualified is governed by Statute 322.34, Florida Statutes. Any person that knowingly operates a motor vehicle upon the streets or highways of the State while having a suspended or revoked driver’s license can be convicted of Driving on a Suspended/Revoked License.
If a person does not know that his/her license is suspended they may receive a civil citation rather than a criminal charge. The requirement that the person “know” about the suspended license is satisfied either by the individual admitting that she knew her license was suspended; a prior recent citation or charge for driving on a suspended license, or by the Department of Motor Vehicles showing proof that notice of suspension was sent to the driver’s last known registered address.
Driver’s licenses can be suspended or revoked for many different reasons including lapses in insurance coverage; unpaid traffic tickets; point suspensions for receiving too many moving violations; court required suspensions such as after a conviction for Driving under the Influence; or failure to renew an expired driver’s license.
A first conviction for Driving on a suspended or revoked license is a second degree misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 60 days in jail, 6 months of probation, and/or a $500 fine. Courts often require the defendant to return to court with a valid driver’s license within a set amount of time. A second conviction for driving on a suspended or revoked license is a first degree misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in jail, one year of probation and/or a $1,000 fine. A third or subsequent offense can be a third degree felony, which is punishable by up to 5 years in prison, 5 years of probation and/or a $5,000 fine. Depending on the dates of prior convictions a third or subsequent violation can also result in a five year revocation of the driver’s license as a “Habitual Traffic Offender.” Driving under a “Habitual Traffic Offender” suspension is a third degree felony.
Florida Statutes make it a crime to operate a motor vehicle on the streets of Florida without first obtaining a valid driver’s license under 322.03, Florida Statutes. Driving prior to obtaining a license is the crime of “No Valid Driver’s License.” Driving without first obtaining a valid driver’s license is a second degree misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 60 days in jail, 6 months of probation and/or a $500 fine.