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Suspended Driver's License Case Law

Court Decisions On Suspension Issues

Legal Opinions From The Florida Supreme Court And The District Courts Of Appeal

Last Updated: June 2, 2016

This page contains case law regarding the offenses of Driving With A Suspended Driver's License and Driving With A Suspended Driver's License As A Habitual Traffic Offender. I have placed some of the catagories on to their own pages and listed the links here.


Zarsky v. State (DHSMV), 300 So.2d 261 (Fla. 1974): Finding the Habitual Traffic Offender statute, s. 322.264, Fla. Stat., to be constitutional. The suspension is a civil administrative act in compliance with the legislative mandate to regulate the privilege to drive a motor vehicle and temporarily or permanently exclude that privilege to people whose behavior is considered a public nuisance. See also, Abraham v. State, 301 So.2d 11 (Fla. 1974).

Legislative Intent

Lord v. Davis, 288 So.2d 260 (Fla. 1st DCA 1974): Legislative intent of statute.

Double Jeopardy

Stop Issues

Eldridge v. State, 817 So.2d 884 (Fla. 5th DCA 2002): If the DMV provides erroneous information to an officer and the officer stops and detains a driver based on that erroneous information, the exclusionary rule will bar admission of evidence seized as a result of the search incident to that arrest. Citing, Shadler v. State, 761 So. 2d 279 (Fla. 2000).

Proof Of Felony DWLS

Proof of Habitual Traffic Offender Status

Proof Of DWLS for Permanently Revoked Driver's License

State v. Miller, 830 So.2d 214 (Fla. 2d DCA 2002): The State may make a sufficient prima facie showing that the defendant's license was permanently revoked and that he was given notice of the revocation by introducing a certified copy of the defendant's driving record maintained by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Affirmed, State v. Tucker, 832 So.2d 218 (Fla. 2d DCA 2002).

Evidence; Stacking Penalties; s.318.14(10), Fla. Stat.

Knowledge Of Invalid Driver's License

Anderson v. State, 87 So.3d 774 (Fla. 2012): The knowledge requirement is satisfied by annotation on the Department's driving record that it sent notice to the defendant's last known address. In situations where the rebuttable presumption does not apply the state need only establish that the defendant received notice. In this case the state established that the last known address was the current address of the defendant. The state does not have to prove that the defendant actually knew of the suspension. This case overrules Brown v. State, 764 So.2d 741 (Fla. 4th DCA 2000) and Haygood v. State, 824 So.2d 252 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002) to the extent that they conflict with this decision.

Quest v. State, 837 So.2d 1106 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003): The State did not introduce any evidence the defendant received notice of his December 2000 suspension, and the defendant did not admit knowledge of the instant suspension. A conviction for driving with a suspended license under section 322.34(2) cannot stand. The Court rejected the State's contention that knowledge should be imputed of the December 2000 suspension since the defendant was cited for driving with a suspended license on two previous occasions. These past two citations under section 322.34(1), for prior suspensions (which were subsequently reinstated), do not impute knowledge of the new December 2000 suspension.

Fields v. State, 731 So.2d 753 (Fla. 5th DCA 1999): Knowledge is not an element of the offense of Driving While License Suspended as a Habitual Traffic Offender. Section 322.34, Fla. Stat., has since been amended. See Anderson, above.

Actual Physical Control of the Motor Vehicle

State v. Bostick, 751 So.2d 780 (Fla. 5th DCA 2000): The state can proceed in a Driving With A Suspended Driver's License case under the theory of actual physical control, statute amended.

State v. Tucker, 761 So.2d 1248 (Fla. 2d DCA 2000): Statute requires that defendant operate or be in actual physical control of motor vehicle [and]in any place open to the general public for purposes of vehicular traffic.

Requirement Of A Driver's License; Reinstatement Issues

Carroll v. State, 761 So.2d 417 (Fla. 2d DCA 2000): States that a defendant can be found guilty of DWLS-HTO despite never having been issued a driver's license. But see, Crain v. State, 79 So.3d 118 (Fla.1st DCA 2012)(adopting a contrary view from the Carroll court that a person cannot be charged with DWLS-HTO without first having obtained a driver's license).

Blandin v. State, 976 So.2d 1201 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008): A defendant must reinstate his driving privilege after the period of revocation otherwise the revocation remains in place and in effect.

Corrections/Errors; Questions

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