Summary of Florida's DWLSR Optional Penalties
The criminal offense of driving with a suspended or revoked driver's license (DWLSR with knowlege) 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 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 and even whether the driver has a prior "forcible felony" conviction.
The attorneys at the 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 in their case. Call 813-250-0500 to speak to an aggressive and experienced attorney for any driving while license suspended or revoked case in Tampa or Plant City in Hillsborough County, Bartow or Lakeland in Polk 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
If the defendant has no prior conviction for a forcible felony under Florida Statute Section 776.08; and
Who is convicted of driving while license suspended or revoked caused by any of the following:
- failure to matain 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.
Is 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 (60 days in jail and a fine not exceeding $500).
Disposition in Lieu of Payment of a Fine
A person electing to avoid payment of the fine may:
- Elect to enter a plea of nolo contendere;
- Provide proof of compliance to the Clerk, designated official, or traffic violations bureau operator;
- Make a election which is available only once each 12 month period with no more than 3 lifetime elections.
Florida law provides that if the adjuciation of the offense 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.