There are various reasons why an individual may be facing a charge for driving without a valid license, including forgetting or neglecting to renew an expired driver’s license or having a license suspended or revoked for other criminal charges. Regardless of the reason, the legal consequences can range from fines to jail time. If you are facing this charge, it is important that you seek an experienced defense attorney, such as Adam Stout with Stout Defense, P.A., who can examine the facts of your case and defend your rights.
How Does Florida Define An Invalid License?
Under Florida Statute 322.03, it is unlawful for an individual to drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in the state unless the individual has a valid driver’s license. For the charge to be valid, the individual charged must have been driving the vehicle and in physical control, the vehicle must have been operated in a public area where vehicles are driven, and the individual must not have possessed a valid license authorizing him or her to operate a motorized vehicle.
How Is An Invalid License Different From A Revoked Or Suspended License?
These offenses differ in a few important ways. A charge for driving with a revoked or suspended license requires that the state show proof that you were aware your license was revoked or suspended. In the case of a No Valid Driver’s License charge, the element of proof of knowledge is non-existent. The facts as stated in the above paragraph are the only elements needed to be shown. In addition, a No Valid Driver’s License charge does not count towards classification as a Habitual Traffic Offender, while charges of driving with a revoked or suspended license do.
What Are The Penalties For Driving Without A Valid License?
An individual found driving without a valid license can face a second degree misdemeanor charge, with up to a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail.
In addition, a criminal record will be established, which can impact applications for employment, education, and insurance premiums.
What Are The Options For Defense?
Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney, such as Adam Stout with Stout Defense, P.A. is imperative to ensure your rights are appropriately defended. Some potential defense strategies depending on the case include:
- Possession of a foreign driver’s license if the individual is a non-resident;
- Unlawful cause for the individual to be stopped; and
- Location in question was not on a public street or highway.
If you are facing this charge, call Adam Stout today to discuss the details of your case. He will ensure your rights are defended and every possible action is taken to minimize the consequences of this charge.