Don’t Risk Driving Without A License Or Insurance In The Sunshine State
Car insurance is expensive. Every time a driver receives a parking ticket, speeding citation or is involved in a collision, it’s possible that rates increase substantially. Florida drivers are also notorious for aggressive driving. Some people are tempted to drive without insurance, because what’s the worst that can happen? Driving on a suspended license, driving with a revoked license, or driving without insurance are all costly, serious offenses. Combined, if a driver is pulled over without insurance or a valid license, the car would be impounded and that driver would likely be charged. It’s simply not worth the risk.
Consequences for Driving without Insurance
Driving without insurance in the State of Florida is illegal. If a traffic stop is made and it’s verified that you do not possess valid driver’s insurance, your car will be impounded. If you have a lien on your car, you are required to maintain comprehensive and collision automobile insurance on your car and name the lienholder as an interested party. If after a traffic stop you are apprehended for driving without insurance, it’s likely you would have violated the terms of your car loan. Your car might be repossessed by the lienholder, or the lienholder may exercise the option to require the full remaining payment be due immediately. In the future, even if you regain your license privileges, it may prove next to impossible to obtain a car loan or car insurance. If you do, you might end up paying exorbitant interest charges or insurance worth more than the vehicle is worth just for the right to drive.
Habitual Offenders & Driving on a Revoked License
Driving on a revoked or suspended license in Florida is a misdemeanor in the second degree. Any subsequent arrest for the same offense in a misdemeanor in the first degree. A third conviction incurs an automatic 10 day jail sentence along with fines. Fl. Stat. §
322.34 (2020). In addition, if during a subsequent driving violation for driving on a suspended or revoked license, the driver causes bodily harm to another driver, passenger, cyclist or pedestrian, or the driver is arrested for DUI or fleeing the scene of the accident (hit and run), the defendant can be charged with a third degree felony and serve time in prison not to exceed five years. Multiple traffic violations incurs the label, habitual offender. In Florida, a habitual offender has incurred fifteen or more traffic citations or violations in the last five years. Habitual offenders have their license revoked for a minimum of five years.
The state has the burden of proof to establish that the driver knew or should have known of their license sentence at the time of the traffic stop. If your address changed for example, and you never received official notice from the FLHSMV about your suspended license, you may have a viable defense and charges won’t stick because you lacked requisite knowledge and weren’t deliberately driving on a suspended license.
Call Attorney Bryant Scriven Today
Traffic arrests are no laughing matter. Especially if you have previous traffic violations or have faced previous driving suspensions, you could be looking at jail time in addition to license revocation. Tampa criminal attorney Bryant Scriven has substantial criminal defense experience as well as hands-on experience as a former prosecutor. If retained, he will work tirelessly to ensure no stone is left unturned in your defense. It’s possible charges could be lowered or you could retain your license status, but you must act. Call today to schedule a consultation and review your options.