I was stopped for driving on a suspended license. Will the judge dismiss my case if I get my hardship license?

Asked almost 4 years ago - Mount Dora, FL

I have a 2 year license suspension from drug charges. I went to trial today expecting to get a fine, not jail time. The state recommended a plea bargain of 10 days, which I can’t do. I have a family to take care of. I’m only 18 and I've got a 4 month old son, a wife to support, and rent on top of that.

I didn't have any other choice than to drive, my family has to eat. I understand that I was in the wrong. I plead not guilty and the judge is giving me a trial. I need some help figuring out what I can do to avoid getting any jail time, or at least get the minimum jail time.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Claudia Patricia George

    Contributor Level 7

    Answered . Showing up to court with a hardship license can go a long way with the prosecutor or judge. While this is not always the case and every county is different, your attorney may be able to negotiate a better deal for you with a hardship than without one. Your attorney can even ask the prosecutor to consider amending the charge from a DWLS to a driving without a valid license (NVDL) to avoid future problems related to Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) status or classification.

    In Florida, adjudications or withholds of adjudication for 3 DWLS's with knowledge, within a 5 year period, will trigger the HTO status resulting in loss of the driving privilege for a period of 5 years. Likewise, 3 DUI's within a 5 year period will have the same effect as well as any combination of DUI's and DWL's, totaling to 3, within a 5 year period, will result in HTO deignation and loss of the driving privilege for 5 years.

    At the end of the day, even if a hardship does not help you in court for this particular charge, it may prevent you from racking up more DWLS charges that can ultimate result in the HTO status.

  2. Craig A. Epifanio

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . One of the best things you can do on a suspended license charge is do everything you can to get your license back, even if it is a hardship license. On a drug suspension, you are eligible for a hardship after 6 months, once you've taken the proper drug classes. I'm certainly not saying that getting your license will avoid jail, but in my experience it makes a big difference.

    Talk to your attorney to see what your options are.

  3. Catherine Ann Drees

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . Go to the DMV and ask where to sign up for the classes that you need to take to get a work permit. If you go to Court and at least show the judge and the prosecutor that you have followed through with trying to get a work permit, they may indeed drop the suspended driver's license charge to a no valid driver's license charge which will not penalize you further.

    Why is your wife not driving you around? If she works outside the home, please tell this to the judge. The worst possible situation is if she does not have a driver's license. Mt. Dora, as you know, is very small and once the police catch you driving, they will know your car and pull you if they see you driving again. Please be very careful out there, these things accumulate and can be punished up to 364 days in jail - I have seen it happen.

    Good luck

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