Summary of DWLS Penalties
The criminal offense of driving with a suspended or revoked driver license can result in a civil infraction, or a criminal charge for a second degree misdemeanor, a first degree misdemeanor, or even a third degree felony.
Even police officers are sometimes confused about the proper way to charge the offense at the roadside.
The penalties and punishments depend on the number of prior convictions, whether the driver is a habitual traffic offender, the reason why the driver’s license was suspended, or sometimes whether the driver has a prior “forcible felony” conviction.
Attorneys for DWLS Penalties in Florida
The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm are experienced in representing clients charged with driving while license suspended or revoked. We help our clients fight for the best result which might including getting the charge dismissed outright or at least reduced to a less serious offense.
Contact us to talk with an aggressive and experienced attorney for any driving while license suspended or revoked case in Tampa or Plant City in Hillsborough County, New Port Richey or Dade City in Pasco County, or St. Petersburg or Clearwater in Pinellas County, FL.
Penalties for DWLSR under Florida Law
The penalties for driving with a suspended driver’s license depend on whether the defendant has:
- any prior convictions for a forcible felony under Florida Statute Section 776.08; and
- a current status as driving while license suspended or revoked was caused by any of the following:
- failure to maintain vehicular insurance under Chapter 324;
- failure to pay a civil penalty as provided in Florida Statute Section 318.15 by failing to pay following a payment plan, failure to appear, or failure to attend a driver improvement school (the four or eight hour advance driver improvement class);
- failure to pay a financial obligation as provided in Florida Statute Section 322.245;
- failure to pay child support; or
- failure of a minor to attend school as provided s. 322.091.
If you are convicted of DWLS, you might be subject to the following penalties and punishments:
- First Conviction – Upon a first conviction the driver commits a misdemeanor of the second degree punishable as provided in Florida Statute Section 775.082 and 772.083 (up to 60 days in jail and a fine not exceeding $500); or
- Second Conviction – Upon a second conviction, the driver commits a misdemeanor in the first degree punishable as provided in Florida Statute Section 775.082 or 775.083 (12 months in jail and a fine not exceeding $1,000).
Adjudication Withheld for DWLS
Florida law provides that if the adjudication is withheld, then the action shall not be deemed a “conviction.” However, for purposes of determining whether the driver is a habitual traffic offender, even a withhold of adjudication counts as a “conviction” for any criminal offense of DWLS with knowledge.
On the other hand, a “withhold of adjudication” on a civil traffic citation for DWLS without knowledge does not count toward the three strikes that trigger the 5 year HTO revocation.
This article was last updated on Wednesday, January 14, 2021.