If you have been charged with driving without a valid license, you may be worried about the consequences that could follow a conviction. Florida treats this offense very seriously, with sentences including huge fines and months spent in jail. Going to jail could mean that you are unable to support your family, and having a criminal record can insert difficulties into your work life. Sarasota traffic attorney Erika Valcarcel has spent time as both a prosecutor as well as a defender. She knows what to expect from the prosecution and can use her experience to construct an effective defense.
Florida Driving Without a Valid Driver’s License Laws
According to Florida Statute 322.03, driving without a valid license, otherwise known as no valid driver’s license, is defined on driving on any street or highway without a valid state-issued driver’s license. In this definition, driving is equated to operating a motor vehicle on a roadway that is open to the public. Further, a motor vehicle is thought of as any vehicle that is self-propelled, such as a car or moped. However, other vehicles, such as golf carts and motorized bicycles, are not included in this definition.
In Florida, there are many groups who are not required to obtain a state driver’s license. These include, but are not limited to:
- Those who operate tractors and other farming machinery
- Non-residents who are of legal driving age and have a valid license from their home state
- Operators of golf carts
Penalties and Collateral Consequences
Driving without a valid license is not likely to land you in jail, but being convicted will mean that you have a criminal record. Further, this crime is filed as a second-degree misdemeanor, meaning a variety of legal consequences can result from a conviction. Common court-issued penalties are listed below:
- Driving without a valid license: Up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500 and/or 6-month probation
It is also possible to suffer from collateral consequences, even if you are not forced to spend time behind bars. Finding a job, for example, may be very difficult once you have a criminal record. Many jobs are off-limits to those who have been convicted of a crime. In addition, continuing your education might become all but impossible, as many colleges and universities examine applicants’ backgrounds.
Defending Against Florida Traffic Charges
With the help of an experienced Sarasota traffic attorney, it is possible to get your charges thrown out in court. One effective defense is proving that the traffic stop that led to your charges was unlawful. If the police were not following proper protocol during your stop, the resulting charges can be eliminated. It might also be the case that you were not driving on a street or highway that was open to the public. You cannot be charged with driving without a valid license when the roadway does not meet certain specifications.
Contact Qualified Sarasota Traffic Attorney Erika Valcarcel Today
When being charged with driving without a valid license, it can feel like you are being harshly punished for a minor crime. You should not have to suffer the consequences of a criminal record for one small mistake. Let attorney Erika Valcarcel work tirelessly to defend your rights. As a skilled Sarasota traffic defense lawyer, she will listen to your side of the story and use every detail to present your case in the best possible light. Do not be taken advantage of. Call (941) 363-7900 now for a free and confidential consultation.