Florida Statute Section 322.03 stipulates that driving without a valid driver's license in Florida is a criminal offense. If you're caught doing it, and charged and convicted, you'll face penalties.
Upon being charged with NVDL, the arresting officer may release you on your own recognizance. You'll receive a citation that includes a “notice to appear.” This doesn't mean you're off the hook. You've been formally charged with a criminal offense, and failing to appear in court is almost sure to lead to stiffer penalties.
It's tempting to presume this is a superficial charge. In reality, it's not. It's a serious offense, and one that warrants consulting an experienced Florida traffic ticket attorney.
What Constitutes A Non-Valid Driver's License?
A valid driver's license is defined as a State-issued certificate that authorizes the owner to operate a motor vehicle according to the rules set forth in 49 U.S.C. s. 30301.
A driver's license is considered non-valid in the following circumstances:
the license is expired
the license has been cancelled
the license has been revoked
the license has been suspended
If you're caught driving without a driver's license, you can expect to be charged with NVDL.
Potential Penalties For A NVDL Conviction
A first-time NVDL conviction is considered a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida. As such, you may be required to spend up to six months in jail and pay up to $500 in fines.
If you're charged a second time, the offense may be bumped up to a first-degree misdemeanor. A conviction can impose up to one year of incarceration and up to $1,000 in fines.
A third-time conviction is a third-degree felony. This stays on your record. Additionally, it could result in your having to spend up to five years in jail and pay up to $5,000 in fines.
The Florida traffic ticket attorneys at Skubiak & Rivas have spent years defending thousands of clients against all types of charges stemming from traffic violations. If you've been charged with driving without a valid driver's license, contact us today. Call 407-894-4449 or complete this online form for a risk-free consultation. We're ready to aggressively defend your rights and help you to keep your record clean.