In Florida, driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license is normally a misdemeanor crime. That crime usually comes with a fine and court costs, although it can result in a prolonged driver’s license suspension. If the defendant is in a position to get a valid license while his/her criminal case is pending, judges will often give the defendant an opportunity to get the good license and then the judge will usually resolve the case in a way that has no effect on the defendant’s driving record.
If a person gets enough driving with a suspended license charges, judges will start to order jail sentences. Additionally, the DMV will take action to extend suspensions. The state has the authority to charge the defendant with a felony driving with a suspended license charge upon a third conviction, but they usually do not go that far. However, at some point, a defendant who gets enough driving with a suspended license convictions will end up with a felony charge.
Another way for a driving with a suspended license violation to become a felony charge is if the defendant caused an accident that resulted in a serious injury or death. Some prosecutors may think that any person with a suspended license who drives and gets into an accident that results in a serious injury or death is guilty of the felony charge. However, that is not the case. The state would have to prove that the defendant was driving while his/her license was suspended, he/she got into an accident and the defendant’s driving caused the serous injury or death. Therefore, if a person is driving with a suspended license and gets into a serious accident but the accident is not his/her fault, the defendant would not be guilty of felony driving with a suspended license because he/she did not cause the serious injury or death. He/she would, however, be guilty of the basic driving with a suspended license charge that would be a misdemeanor as long as he/she does not have at least two prior driving with a suspended license convictions.