Written by attorney David P. Gilbert

Driving on Suspended License: How to avoid being charged with this criminal traffic offense.

One of the most common criminal traffic offenses that I encounter is driving on a suspended license with knowledge. Driving on a suspended license is a serious traffic offense that may lead to a five-year habitual traffic offender suspension (HTO Suspension), even when you are not convicted of the offense. There are many reasons that your license may be suspended including:

  • failure to pay fine
  • failure to complete traffic school
  • failure to appear on court summons
  • failure to pay child support
  • unsatisfied judgments arising from a traffic accident
  • lapse in auto insurance coverage
  • accumulation of points (12 in 12 months, 18 in 18 months, etc.)

Aside from avoiding the scenarios listing above, one of the best ways to avoid a driving on suspended license charge is to make sure that your address is up to date with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV - FL's "DMV"). Get your license out of your purse or wallet and confirm that the address on your license is your current residence. If not, you may obtain a new drivers license online at the FLHSMV website. Florida law requires that you update your address within 10 calendar days of any change in address or mailing address (Fla. Stat. 322.19(2)). Failure to update your address within 10 days is a nonmoving violation, which does not carry any points but does come with a nominal fine.

If you want to verify that your license is currently valid, you may enter your drivers license number on the FLHSMV website and see if there are any current or pending suspensions on your license. Here is the link to the FL Driver's License Check.

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