Eric J. Dirga, P.A.

A Florida Trial Attorney

Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Cases

733 West Colonial Drive, Orlando 32801 - 407.434.1858

Driving With a Suspended License

Two Types; Defenses; Preventative Cures

Information provided by Eric J. Dirga, P.A., Orlando - Statewide Service

Last Updated: June 2, 2016

Driving With a Suspended Drivers License [DWLS] is a common charge in Florida. This is because most people do not know their driver's license has been suspended. This offense can have serious repurcussions on your driving privilege and you should consider consulting with an attorney if you get one before doing anything. Read more about the different ways your license can be suspended here.

The Two Types of DWLS Tickets; WITH and WITHOUT Knowledge

There are two types of driving with/while your driver's license is suspended citations. There is the without knowledge ticket that is a civil citation like a speeding ticket. There is the with knowledge that is criminal. I describe them in more depth on my page describing what happens if you are caught driving on a suspended license page. For now understand both are dangerous and you should give us a call if you get one of these.

First Things First; Getting Your Driver's License Back

Once you realize your driver's license is suspended you need to find the most direct path back to having a valid license. Be careful - this is where most people make the biggest mistakes. Just blindly paying off tickets is not the thing to do. At this stage it is very important to do things right. Read more on my how to get your driver's license back page.

There are Defenses to Driving with a Suspended Drivers License Citation

There are defenses to driving with a suspended drivers license, both civil and criminal forms of this offense. Defenses depend on the circumstances of the stop and why your license was susended in the first place. Here are some things to remember if you are stopped by the police:

1. MOST IMPORTANT: Never admit knowledge of your license being suspended. If you did not know your license was suspended, tell them that. If you did, you have commited a crime and you have the right to remain silent.

2. Always be courteous to the police. Even if they issue you a criminal citation for driving while your license is suspended with knowledge they do not have to arrest you. Being nice may help you avoid a night in jail.

3. If you are arrested you will receive a bond or be released through the pretrial release program or on your own recognizance in most cases.

4. As soon as you are released call our office for advice on what you need to do to correct the situation without making it worse.

Your defenses to a criminal charge of driving while your license is suspended depends on many factors. Many times you receive a ticket charging you with having knowledge of the suspension when you actually did not. Other times the circumstances are such that the state cannot prove you had knowledge. If you can get your license reinstated often times the prosecutor will amend the charge to something that will not be detrimental to your driving privilege. All of these avenues must be explored in your defense.

What You Can Do To Avoid Driving With A Suspended Driver's License

Never drive if your license is suspended. Sometimes you do not know if it is suspended. This is usually due to the Department sending mail to the wrong address. This can be avoided by:

  • Always keep your address up-to-date.
  • If you move you have 10-days to do this by law.
  • The Department makes this easy to do with their online Virtual Office.
  • Keep your vehicle registration address up-to-date too.
  • If you have a Sunpass or other automatic toll device make sure to keep your address up-to-date on your account with that service.

Contacting My Office

You can contact my office during our business hours by phone or by email at anytime. We will respond as soon as possible. Althought you may feel desperate right now because of this situation please understand that these things can be fixed one way or another. Take a deep breath in and let it out and Contact Us.

Corrections/Errors; Questions

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