In the Sarasota area, most people would probably consider driving to be a necessity. Whether driving is part of your job or you are simply trying to get around town, serious problems can arise if you drive while your license is suspended, as a young man recently learned. After a long history of traffic offenses, including a previous conviction for driving under suspension led to the current loss of his driving privileges, the man was pulled over again and charged with driving under a suspended license. Not only is this a first-degree misdemeanor that can include jail time, but additionally, if an individual is convicted of driving under suspension three times within a five-year period, that person will be classified as a habitual traffic offender, which requires suspending that person’s license for five years. If this was not a severe enough ramification, if someone is convicted of driving during this five-year period, the offense is considered a felony and harsher penalties will result. The young man obviously wanted to avoid another conviction that could lead to this habitual offender classification or any potential time in jail, so he retained the services of Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. to review his available legal options.

Attorney Erika Valcarcel reviewed the traffic code and zealously represented her client, advising him on how to proceed. Under attorney Valcarcel’s direction, the man was able to restore his driver’s license prior to appearing in court to address the driving under suspension charge. After presenting the man’s valid license to the presiding judge, attorney Valcarcel negotiated to have the current charge amended to a lesser offense of driving without a valid license. By agreeing to this charge, the man would no longer face any time in jail and it could not be used to classify him as a habitual offender. In the end, the man only had to pay a small fine and perhaps more importantly, he was able to move on from the experience with a valid driver license.

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