Eric J. Dirga, P.A.

A Florida Trial Attorney

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What is a Florida Suspended Driver's License

. . . and how did YOURS get suspended?

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

Last Updated: June 2, 2016

Florida laws and matters of proof can be complicated to the non-attorney. The laws regarding driving and penalties for violations of the laws regarding driving are designed to take away your driver's license for your failure to act or for your bad act or, in some situations, when someone else fails to act. We explain how these actions affect your driving privilege.

The Many Ways To A Driver's License Suspension

There are several ways that the DMV will gladly suspend your driver's license. These are broken down into several catagories. These are not comprehensive but give you a good perspective into how you can lose your drivers license in Florida and hopefully how to prevent it.

Failures To Act

Failures to act involve suspensions that are typically court ordered or statutorily triggered. These include the following:

  • Failure (Forgetting) To Pay (a ticket)
  • Failure To Appear (in court)
  • Failure To Comply (with a court order)

When you get a traffic ticket you have 30 days to do something with it and not receive a penalty. This includes just paying it (very bad, see my You Can Fight Your Ticket page), electing a driving school, or electing a hearing (with or without a lawyer). If you forget to do any one of these things the DMV will suspend your driver's license. The reason for the suspension will be listed as a Failure To Pay.

Failure To Appear suspensions occur when you do not show up to your court date. This could be for a mandatory hearing on a ticket or a criminal case. If you fail to appear the court can issue a suspension.

Failure To Comply occurs when you fail to comply with an order from the court. For traffic tickets, this usually happens after you have a traffic ticket hearing and you fail to pay or provide required documentary evidence such as proof of registration.

Failure To Pay Financial Obligations

Failure To Pay Financial Obligations involve payments outside of the court. When you owe money or are required to pay an obligation to maintain your driving privilege. The following fall into this catagory:

  • Lack Of Automobile Insurance
  • Failure To Pay Child Support
  • Financial Liens Placed On Driving Privilege

These financial issues will cause a drivers license suspension. These are often designated with the letters FR on official documents and websites.

If your insurance lapses for any reason it's your fault and your license will be suspended. This includes situations when your insurance company forgets to tell the DMV you are insured.

A Lack Of Automobile Insurance suspension, unlike most others, is immediate. The Department does not warn you with a letter of an impending suspension. They tell you that is has been suspended after the fact.

Failing To Pay Child Support payments can result in a drivers license suspension. The Department of Revenue [DOR] initiates this action. You have two options to fix this. First is getting current on your child support payments. You can do that by going to the DOR and paying what you owe or coming up with an amount that will satisfy them. That you can do on your own. The other way is to file a Motion to Set Arrears and Release Drivers License Suspension. That I can help you with.

Financial Liens Placed On Driving Priviledge come about for a variety of reasons but the most common is the result of you being involved in an accident and you plum-forgot to pay for that insurance - D'oh! Or you decided to skimp on your coverage and you bought the cheapest insurance coverage possible. If your insurance (or lack thereof) does not cover the costs of the damages to the other guy then you will probably be sued and have a lien put on your license. You'll be stuck making a monthly payment until the damages are paid.

Accumulation of Points

A traffic ticket for a moving violation can result in points being assessed against your driving privilege if you do not handle the ticket correctly. The DMV has a way to calculate points and issue a suspension based on the number of points received over a specific period of time. This is why it is important to not just pay traffic tickets.

Bad Acts

By bad acts I'm typically referring to offenses for driving with a suspended driver's license and other criminal acts although this includes repetitive specific civil infractions too. I've listed some offenses that require (by statute) a drivers license suspension if convicted on my License Suspension Crimes page. Another way of receiving a suspension of your driving privilege is to commit three unknowingly driving with a suspended license infractions within a 5-year period. This results in a 5-year suspension and designation as a Habitual Traffic Offender.

If this is you contact me. It's easy to sort it out over the phone.

What Happens If You Are Caught Driving On A Suspended Driver's License

Driving with a suspended license should not be done. Just DON'T DO IT. Many times, however, you probably don't know your license is suspended. So what can happen if you are pulled over while driving with a suspended driver's license? The answer is lengthy so I put it on my What Happens If You Are Caught Driving With A Suspended License page.

Corrections/Errors; Questions

The purpose of publishing this information is to help both prosecutors and defense attorneys, and non-lawyers better understand the criminal justice system in Florida. We appreciate any input that may further this goal.

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