Getting caught driving an unregistered vehicle in Florida is a criminal violation. It’s a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. According to Florida Statute 320.02, “every owner or person in charge of a motor vehicle that is operated or driven on the roads of this state shall register the vehicle in this state.“
By motor vehicle, the law means anything with wheels and a motor. If you are driving a car (or a motorcycle) you need to be carrying a proper vehicle registration. Police usually issue a ticket for an unregistered vehicle after pulling someone over for another reason. If, for example, you get stopped for speeding, an officer will run your license plates in a routine records check to see if there are warrants out for your arrest or if the car is stolen. If it turns out that you are driving an unregistered vehicle, you’ll likely wind up with two traffic tickets.
A speeding ticket or other moving violation may not be a big problem, but a violation for driving an unregistered vehicle in Florida can have serious consequences. If you face criminal charges in Florida, it’s best to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. Call (407) 349-4211 for a free consultation with the Orlando criminal defense lawyers at the Rivas Law Firm.
What is the Penalty for not Registering Your Car in Florida?
You can generally deal with the speeding ticket without making a court appearance, but driving an unregistered vehicle is a criminal offense. If caught driving with an expired tag or registration, you can get away with only a ticket in most cases. But you’ll face second-degree criminal misdemeanor charges if you’re a repeat offender. According to Florida Statute 320.07, driving with a tag that has been expired “for more than 6 months, upon a second or subsequent offense” is a criminal charge punishable by up to 60 days in jail.
Driving with an expired registration is one thing, but driving a vehicle that is not registered at all will likely lead to a court appearance. If you assigned a court date, you must appear and will have to plead guilty or not guilty.
A Criminal Defense Lawyer can Protect Your Rights
Since the charge stems from a traffic incident, some people may think it’s best just to plead guilty and pay a fine. But it’s important to remember that there is the risk of jail – and that a conviction earns you a permanent criminal record. Any criminal charge is a serious matter and can not be taken lightly.
Police and prosecutors generally have a lot of discretion in these cases. A criminal defense lawyer can protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome. A good defense lawyer may be able to get the charges reduced or may even be able to get the case dismissed under certain circumstances. You can call (407) 349-4211 and get a free consultation with the Orlando criminal defense attorneys at the Rivas Law Firm.