A suspended driver’s license is one of the worst things that can happen to someone. Most of us have to drive to work, see family, go grocery shopping and, generally, need to drive just to attend to our daily affairs. As such, it is not uncommon for good people to pick up a criminal charge of driving on a suspended license. Traffic attorney Adam Bantner can help you with this charge. Call him today at 813.397.3965 for your free consultation!
Additionally, a lot of people with a suspended driver’s license will try to use a vehicle other than a traditional car or truck. However, this is not without its own set of pitfalls. For example, a bicycle can qualify as a motor vehicle if it has an electric helper that will allow it to travel in excess of 20 miles per hour.
Fla. Stat. 322.34(2) states: Any person whose driver license or driving privilege has been canceled, suspended, or revoked as provided by law, except persons defined in s. 322.264, who, knowing of such cancellation, suspension, or revocation, drives any motor vehicle upon the highways of this state while such license or privilege is canceled, suspended, or revoked, upon:
(a) A first conviction is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(b) A second or subsequent conviction is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. (A third or subsequent conviction comes with a mandatory-minimum sentence of 10 days in county jail).
(c) A third or subsequent conviction is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the current violation of this section or the most recent prior violation of the section is related to driving while license canceled, suspended, revoked, or suspension or revocation equivalent status resulting from a violation of:
1. Driving under the influence;
2. Refusal to submit to a urine, breath-alcohol, or blood alcohol test;
3. A traffic offense causing death or serious bodily injury; or
4. Fleeing or eluding.
A second-degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to 60 days in jail, a first-degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to 1 year in jail, and a third-degree felony is punishable by up to 5 years in Florida State Prison. The felony only scores 4 points and does not result in a mandatory prison sentence unless the person has a substantial criminal history.
SUFFICIENT PROOF OF PRIOR CONVICTIONS
If a driver is charged with a second or subsequent Driving on a Suspended Driver’s License with Knowledge, the State is required to prove the prior convictions beyond a reasonable doubt as well as all of the underlying elements of the offense. The State is required to prove the prior convictions by use of certified copies of those convictions. “We first note that Anderson is correct that “[w]hen prior convictions constitute an element of a charged crime, the prior convictions must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by introduction of certified copies of each judgment.” Anderson v. State, 46 Fla. L. Weekly D1721e (Fla. 2d DCA 2021), citingGarcia v. State, 800 So. 2d 725, 726 (Fla. 2d DCA 2001).
In Anderson, the Second District Court of Appeal reversed the conviction because the State only introduced a DHSMV driving record to prove the prior convictions. The Court held that this was insufficient as a matter of law and reduced the felony conviction to a misdemeanor.
HOW I HELP
I can help with a driving on a suspended license charge in a couple of ways. First, this charge almost always follows a traffic stop. We can challenge that traffic stop for its legality. If the stop is illegal, the charge will be dismissed.
Second, assuming that the charge will stick, there is still a possibility that the charge can be dismissed after completion of a diversion program. Generally speaking, the program will require you to obtain a valid driver’s license. If the program is completed, the charges are dismissed.
Finally, if you are truly innocent of the charges, Adam Bantner is an excellent trial attorney and he will be prepared to take your case to trial!
Call me today for your free consultation! My number is 813.397.3965.
Adam Bantner – Criminal Defense Attorney at Law
If you are in need of an expert criminal defense attorney specializing in legal defense against DUI, traffic, criminal, violent crime charges, or a personal injury – you’ll find it here.
Adam L. Bantner, II is a Board Certified Criminal TrialAttorney representing those accused of crimes in Hillsborough and Polk counties. He is the Past President of the Hillsborough County Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys., is a Super Lawyers Rising Star, and AVVO rated “Superb.” Adam is a member of Valrico Law Group.
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Adam Bantner, II is a Board Certified Criminal Trial Law Attorney representing those accused of crimes in Hillsborough and Polk Counties. When you are facing criminal charges, you want an expert in your corner. The Florida Bar has recognized Adam as an expert criminal defense attorney.
I have been defending the accused since 2006 and am Past President of the Hillsborough County Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.
I have tried over 30 jury trials, on charges ranging from driving on a suspended license to murder.
In addition, I am a Brandon personal injury attorney. If you’ve been injured through no fault of your own, give me a call to see how we can help!
I approach each case on the principle that every client deserves zealous representation, with attention to detail and to their individualized needs. My mission is to get the best possible result for every client, in every case, every time. Give me a call to see how I can assist you to get the best results in your case. I are here to help.