driving without a license lawyer

Post: Increased Penalties for Driving Without a License

“A person who drives without ever having been issued a valid driver license commits an offense of no valid driver license (NVDL) under s. 322.03, F.S.”

Driving without a license in Florida is about to get a little more risky after the governor signed a law to increase penalties for repeat offenders. As it is, operating a motor vehicle with No Valid Driver’s License (NVDL) is a second-degree misdemeanor that comes with a stretch of up to 60 days in jail and a fine of as much as $500. Until now, there was no enhanced penalty for a second offense.

As of July 1, 2024, a 2nd Driving Without a License Conviction Becomes a 1st-Degree Misdemeanor

NVDL generally means you’ve been caught driving on Florida roadways without ever having been issued a valid driver’s license from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). Driving with no license is a different charge from driving with a suspended or revoked license (DWLS).

Both are second-degree misdemeanors for first-time offenders, but a repeat charge of driving while revoked or suspended is a first-degree misdemeanor. The new law makes a second conviction on driving without a license a first-degree misdemeanor also.

A first-degree misdemeanor in Florida is punishable by up to a year in jail, plus a year of probation and a fine of up to $1,000.

A 3rd Driving Without a License Conviction Now Means Jail Time

In addition to making a second conviction for driving without a license a more serious crime, the new law imposes a mandatory 10 days in jail. Having a valid driver’s license but not having it on hand when pulled over is different from not having a valid driver’s license at all.

According to Florida Statute 322.15, every driver must carry their driver’s license with them at all times while operating a motor vehicle and must present it upon the request of a law enforcement officer. However, if you left it at home or temporarily lost it, and can show the court clerk your license within 30 days of getting the ticket, you can usually avoid any major consequences and only have to pay a small fine.

The Role of a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing criminal charges related to driving without a license in Florida, it is crucial to seek legal representation from a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney. They can protect your rights, guide you through the legal process, and explore potential defense strategies to help mitigate the charges or have your case dismissed.

A knowledgeable defense attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecution for a reduction in charges or explore alternative sentencing options, such as community service or driver’s education programs. They will carefully review the evidence, assess the circumstances of your case, and provide you with personalized legal advice based on their expertise.

Remember, time is of the essence when facing criminal charges. It is essential to contact a defense attorney as soon as possible after encountering legal trouble. By reaching out to a professional early on, you increase your chances of achieving a favorable outcome.

Driving without a license in Florida is a serious offense that can lead to criminal charges, potential jail time, and significant fines. If you find yourself facing charges related to driving without a license, it is imperative to seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. They will advocate for your rights, provide you with expert guidance, and work diligently to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

If you’ve been arrested or cited for driving without a license, call 407-644-2466 to talk with an experienced and aggressive Orlando criminal defense attorney at the Rivas Law Firm.

Criminal defense attorney The Rivas Law Firm