How To Avoid A Fourth Time DWLS Conviction

How To Avoid A Fourth Time DWLS Conviction

A first-time conviction for driving with a suspended or revoked license (DWLS) is a misdemeanor. So too is a second conviction. It’s a serious offense, but the consequences are less severe than those associated with subsequent convictions.

Third and fourth-time DWLS convictions are felonies. They not only stay on your record for the rest of your life, but can also inflict stiff financial penalties and long jail sentences. You could end up paying $5,000 in fines and spending up to five years in jail.

For this reason, it’s imperative that you seek experienced legal representation to defend against a fourth-time DWLS charge. That’s the best way to avoid jail time and a felony conviction.

Possible Defenses Against A Fourth Time DWLS Conviction

If this were your first DWLS ticket, you might be able to show the judge that you were unaware your license had been suspended. This could persuade him or her to treat the offense as a civil traffic infraction rather than a criminal offense.

But if this is your fourth DWLS charge, the judge is unlikely to be receptive to such a defense. The exception is if you can prove you didn’t receive notice of the suspension from the DHSMV.

This doesn’t mean you’re without options. Far from it. A seasoned Orlando traffic attorney may be able to create a defense strategy that can reduce the charges and accompanying penalties, or get the charges dismissed entirely.

For example, your attorney may be able to show that you weren’t driving at the time your vehicle was pulled over by the police officer. Or he or she might be able to prove that you were driving in response to a true emergency – for instance, an immediate threat of injury to a loved one. Depending on the circumstances, it may also be possible to show that you had adequate reason to believe your license was in good standing.

How An Experienced Florida Traffic Ticket Lawyer Can Help

It’s unwise to contest a DWLS charge without the help of an experienced traffic attorney. An attorney will not only be familiar with how judges treat this type of offense, but will investigate the circumstances behind the charge. He or she will then develop a defense strategy that’ll help you to avoid a felony conviction or minimize the charges and penalties.

The Seminole County traffic ticket lawyers at Skubiak & Rivas provide aggressive legal representation for Florida residents. Contact us immediately if you were recently charged with a fourth-time DWLS. Call us at 407-894-4449 or fill out this form for a private, no-risk consultation.

Were You Pulled Over For Driving With A Suspended License

Were You Pulled Over For Driving With A Suspended License?

Driving with a suspended license (DWSL) can have a serious impact on your life. It can result in large fines; it can lead to substantial jail time; it can burden you with a permanent criminal record, which will show up on background checks; and it can jeopardize your driving privileges for years to come.

If you’ve been charged with a DWSL, the first thing you should do is reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your attorney may be able to get the case dismissed or have the DWSL charge reduced to driving without a valid driver’s license (NVDL).

Consequences Of Driving With A Suspended License

The first time you’re convicted of driving with a revoked or suspended license, the offense is considered a second-degree misdemeanor. You could spend up to 60 days in jail and have to pay a fine up to $500.

A second DWSL conviction is considered a first-degree misdemeanor. It carries a maximum 1-year jail sentence and fines up to $1,000.

If you’re convicted a third time, the offense is considered a third-degree felony. The felony will appear on your permanent record. You may also have to spend up to five years in jail and pay up to $5,000 in fines.

And it gets worse…

On Becoming A Habitual Traffic Offender

Three DWSL convictions within a 5-year period makes you a habitual traffic offender (HTO). This is a serious matter. HTO status in Florida can result in your driver’s license being revoked for five years. During that time, you’ll be prohibited from operating a vehicle.

You may be able to acquire a hardship license that allows you to drive to and from work. But that’s where your driving privileges begin and end during the 5-year revocation period.

Why You Should Contact An Orlando Traffic Lawyer

An experienced criminal defense attorney can fight to have the DWSL charge dropped and your case dismissed. Not only will that help you to avoid jail time and fines, but can also keep your record clean.

It may also be possible to reduce the DWSL charge to a NVDL. This is important because NVDL convictions do not count as strikes toward being labeled a habitual traffic offender.

In the event you’ve already been convicted of a DWSL violation, your attorney can pursue having the conviction vacated.

Getting caught driving with a suspended license can have a long-lasting impact on your driving privileges, your financial stability, and your freedom. If you’ve been charged with DWSL, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Skubiak & Rivas. We’ll evaluate your case and if retained, aggressively protect your rights. Call us at 407-894-4449 or complete this online form for a free consultation.

What To Do If Caught Driving Without A Valid Driver's License

What To Do If Caught Driving Without A Valid Driver’s License

Florida Statute Section 322.03 criminalizes driving without a valid driver’s license. The offense is a second-degree misdemeanor, which carries fines and other penalties, including possible jail time.

Motorists cited for driving with no valid driver’s license (NVDL) often dismiss the charge as trivial. This is partly due to the fact that offenders aren’t immediately placed in handcuffs and dragged to police stations. But it’s important to realize that receiving a citation for NVDL constitutes an arrest. It’s a criminal charge. You’re simply released on your own recognizance.

If you dismiss the citation, or handle it poorly, you might find yourself behind bars and forced to pay a hefty fine.

Penalties For Driving Without A Valid Driver’s License In Florida

There are three penalties associated with a NVDL citation:

  1. you may be forced to pay a fine up to $500.
  2. you may be required to spend up to 60 days in jail.
  3. you’ll be saddled with a permanent criminal record.

Few cases result in jail time. Moreover, the fine imposed on the offender is usually less than $500. But it’s important to recognize the potential consequences.

More worrisome is having a permanent criminal record. A criminal record can impact your ability to get a job and obtain a place to live. It also carries a social stigma that can affect your social life.

Given the above, what should you do if you receive a NVDL citation?

Contact A Florida Traffic Lawyer Immediately

An experienced Florida criminal defense attorney can help keep your driving record clean and prevent you from being branded with a criminal record. He or she can employ a number of defenses to get the charges dropped or the penalties reduced.

You’ll have a much better chance of keeping your record clean and avoiding a conviction with a seasoned traffic lawyer fighting for you.

If you’ve been cited for driving without a valid driver’s license, the first thing you should do is contact a Florida criminal defense law firm. The attorneys at Skubiak & Rivas are prepared to help you fight the charges, avoid the associated penalties, and retain your driving privileges. For a free, no-risk consultation, call us at 407-894-4449 or fill out the form on this page.