Legal Help With Florida Driver’s License Issues
Serious driver’s license issues can crop up in the most unexpected ways. Take the case of an unsuspected suspended license:
You are pulled over for a traffic violation and the officer tells you your driver’s license had been suspended. If you didn’t know your license was suspended, you have not committed a crime under Florida law by driving. It’s a civil matter, like a speeding ticket.
The officer gives you a ticket and, being a good citizen, you pay the ticket. What you didn’t know about this charge ‒ what many people don’t know ‒ is that by paying that ticket you have pled guilty or no contest. This charge can result in you being declared a habitual traffic offender. This will result in a five-year suspension of your license.
Past Driver’s License Issues And Habitual Offender Status
If you’ve had a number of traffic violations in the past five years and now are facing another possible conviction for drunk driving or a serious moving violation (such as driving on a suspended or revoked license or leaving the scene of an accident), the state of Florida could classify you as a “habitual traffic offender.” If that happens, you could lose your driver’s license for the next five years.
If your driver’s license has been permanently revoked based upon multiple DUI/DWI convictions, you may be able to obtain a restricted driver’s license. Your status in Florida will also affect your ability to keep and/or retain your out of state driver’s license. We have been successful in helping people who have had their driver’s licenses permanently revoked regain their ability to obtain a driver’s license.
Your experienced defense attorneys at Epstein & Robbins will not only defend you on the current charge, they may also look into your previous driving convictions. We may move withdraw guilty or no contest pleas that you entered by paying an earlier ticket. We might be able to appeal an earlier conviction. Learn more about these options.
Commercial Driver’s License Holders
Our firm does a lot of defense work for professional drivers with commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs).
Florida law treats regular driver’s license and commercial driver’s licenses differently. A CDL driver is held to a much harsher standard. In cases where a regular driver loses a license for six months, a commercial driver loses their CDL for at least a year. Regular drivers can get a temporary permit to drive for work purposes. A commercial driver cannot get a business permit use their CDL.
Florida law also changed recently ‒ creating even more problems for CDL drivers. Now the same restrictions apply to you whether you were driving your personal vehicle or a commercial vehicle at the time of the offense. Even if you are in your own car when you fail a Breathalyzer, refuse a breath or urine test, you will lose your CDL license for one year. You are entitled to an administrative hearing, because you have a CDL.
If you are later convicted of DUI/DWI in a criminal case, your CDL license suspension will continue until a year from the date of the conviction.
- For answers to your questions about the DUI defense and the administrative and criminal process, see our Drunk Driving FAQ.
Paying a ticket is not always the right step to take. Before you do anything, get legal advice
At the law office of Epstein & Robbins, we know that good people can run into big problems with traffic violations and drunk-driving charges. We are here to help. We provide aggressive, dedicated and skillful defense to clients arrested in north Florida. If your license is at stake, contact our Jacksonville law office online or call us at 904-354-5645. We are available 24/7.