No Valid Driver License Charge in Tampa, FL
If you have been charged with the criminal offense of “no valid” driver’s license under Florida Statute Section 322.03 then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney with the Sammis Law Firm in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL. We focus on criminal defense cases in the Tampa Bay area including criminal traffic offenses.
Even if you just received a citation or a “notice to appear” you should be aware that you were actually arrested and released at the scene on a criminal charge, a second degree misdemeanor which is punishable by 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Especially for individuals with no prior record, it is important to retain a criminal defense attorney to protect you and help you fight for the best possible results. Numerous defenses exist to this charge. Call us at (813) 250-0500 to discuss your best defense and strategies to fight your charges today.
“No Valid Driver’s License” under Section 322.03
Driving without a valid license is often charged under Florida Statute Section 322.03 especially in cases in which the driver has never obtained a Florida driver’s license. The offense is a second-degree misdemeanor which is punishable by 6 months in jail and/or a five hundred dollar fine.
The next time the driver is caught driving without a license the offense is usually charged as “driving while license suspended or revoked” with knowledge (DWLSR) with is also a second-degree misdemeanor. The next offense can be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor.
Three charges of DWLSR within a five year period will result in a five-year revocation of your driver’s license as a habitual traffic offender. For this reason, many charges of DWLSR are negotiated down to “no valid” charges so that it does not trigger a HTO revocation.
No Valid Driver’s License Does Not Cause a Strike for HTO Purposes
Under a weird quirk in Florida law, a civil citation for driving on a suspended driver’s license without knowledge (a civil infraction) or with knowledge (a criminal charge) will both count as a strike against you for purposes of becoming a habitual traffic offender. On the other hand, the criminal charge of No Valid Driver’s License does not count towards one of the strikes for HTO purposes.
For this reason, it is often the goal in a driving with a suspended license suspended with knowledge case to get the prosecutor to reduce the charge to “no valid driver license” so that driver does not become a Habitual Traffic Offender with a five-year revocation of his driving privileges.
Stop Driving Until You Obtain a Valid Florida Driver’s License
Because the penalties increase dramatically with each subsequent charge it is important not to drive until your full driving privileges have been reinstated. Hiring an attorney can often speed up the process. Our goal is to help you resolve your case for the best possible outcome.
Although the criminal offense of “no valid” driver’s license does not count as one of the serious driving offenses that can lead to a “habitual traffic offender” designation with a five-year revocation, it is nevertheless a criminal offense with criminal penalties.
Finding a Tampa Attorney for a No Driver’s License Charge
If you have been charged with driving with no valid license or driving with no valid commercial license, then contact an attorney at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss your case. Call (813) 250-0500 today.
Our attorneys represent individuals charged with “no valid” driver’s license in Plant City and Tampa for Hillsborough County, St. Petersburg and Clearwater for Pinellas County, Bartow for Polk County, New Port Richey and Dade City for Pasco County, or Brooksville for Hernando County, FL.
We can help you protect your criminal record, driving record and begin your defense today. Call (813) 250-0500.
Article last updated on Friday, February 2, 2018.