How do you check if your license is suspended?

If you have ever had your license suspended, you know how hard it is to live life without a car. You may have had to take public transportation, paid for expensive Lyft rides, or had to bother friends to tote you around. When a suspension is up, you should always make sure that it has been officially removed from your driving record before you start driving again. 

If you drive on a suspended license, you may get charged fines, or you may even end up in jail. Your car may also be towed if you are driving when you should not be. People who are charged with driving on a suspended license often claimed that they did not know that their license was not valid. 

Why Licenses are Suspended

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is the entity that is responsible for license suspension. They suspend a person’s license if they have too many points, if they were driving under the influence or if they fail to pay previous fines. You can also get your license suspended for failing to pay child support in the Sunshine State.

You will generally be notified by mail if your license is suspended. Sometimes a letter will get sent to the wrong address because of clerical errors.

Checking Your License

You can run a free check of your own license at any time by visiting the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles website. If your license is driveable, it will come back as valid. If it is not, it will probably come back as either pending or suspended. 

It is important to know exactly why your license was suspended, so you can do something about it. If it was suspended because you did not pay a fine, you can pay the fine or you can contact a criminal defense attorney who specializes in motor vehicle issues. They may be able to assist you in getting those fines removed.

Attorneys can help you arrange for a payment plan to take care of the fees owed. They also may be able to get you a hardship license. A hardship license is issued to people who need to drive in order to be able to go to work or school or to get medical care. 

This type of license allows you to drive during certain times of the day. You will have to prove that public transportation is not a viable option for you. You will have to pay an extra fee and if you are caught driving outside of the hours that your hardship license specifies, you will have your privileges revoked yet again and you may have to pay extra fees.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding License Suspension

What are the penalties for driving with a suspended license?

Although a lack of knowledge of the law is no excuse for it, if you are not aware of your license suspension, you may only receive a civil citation. Generally used for juvenile offenses, a civil citation is an alternative to an arrest and generally given for first-time offenses. 

If you knew about the suspension, you can face criminal charges and even arrest. You may incur fines of as much as $500. You can spend as long as 2 months in jail and you may end up being listed as a habitual traffic offender if you are charged with driving on a suspended license several times.  

Remember that you do not have to answer any questions when you are pulled over by the police. You should always be very polite and provide your license and registration, but most attorneys would advise you not to say anything at the scene.

If you are driving under the influence of alcohol, you are likely to have to take alcohol classes before you can get your license back. If you were driving recklessly, you may simply have to take a driver’s education course.

How can I get my license back?

If the circumstances permit, you can get a hardship license. If you do not have a qualifying hardship. You will have to go through certain steps to get your license back.

When your license is first suspended, it will be for a certain amount of time. The number of months in which you will not be able to drive will depend on the offense you have committed and the number of offenses that you have had. 

Once the allotted number of months have gone by, you should be able to drive again. You just want to go on the website and make sure that your license is valid. Although the suspension. Maybe over, there are some things that can cause a license to remain suspended.

If you fail to appear in court on traffic charges, your license will be automatically suspended. You will have to reschedule your hearing and attend it in order to get your license reinstated. 

If your license has been suspended because of unpaid fees, you will have to do is pay what you owe to be eligible for reinstatement. 

If you have failed to take a required class, your license will remain in suspension until you fulfill that requirement. there are usually several companies that offer the kinds of classes the court will require.

How long will my license be suspended?

If your license was suspended for driving under the influence and it is your first offense, you will lose your license for six months to one year. If it is your second offense, you are likely to you lose your license for 5 years, and if it is your third offense you may lose your license for up to 10 years. You may face permanent revocation if you have a 4th DUI.

If the license is suspended for something other than a DUI, the amount of time before you can drive again will vary. 

Fees

Once the suspension period is up, you will have to pay a reinstatement fee. The fee is $48 for a regular driver’s license or learner’s permit. If you are reinstating a commercial license, it will be $75. If you have to take a knowledge retest, it will be $10 and if you need endorsements it will be $7.00. You can call  850-617-3000 to pay your fees by phone.

If you have a suspended license in another state, you are likely not to be able to obtain a license in Florida until you wait the proper amount of time, pay the appropriate fees, and take any classes the other state has required you to take.

Finding an Attorney

if your license has been suspended, you may want to consider employing a Florida traffic attorney to help you get it back. Driving isn’t just a privilege it helps people do what they must to survive. Taking public transportation can be dangerous nowadays.
Sites like thefloridatriallawyer.com recommend finding a lawyer who has years of experience in criminal law and traffic court. They should also be able to provide plenty of references and have an outstanding reputation with the state bar.

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