The short answer to whether you will go to jail after getting charged with driving on a suspended license is that it is definitely possible. Of course, it depends on the circumstances. If your license was suspended for DUI or if you have priors, you have a big problem. This article will address how the courts in Pinellas County deal with people who have been charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license under Florida Statute 322.34. The law applied to all circumstances including whether you have been arrested or just been issued a ticket.
Will I Go to Jail if It Is My First DWLSR Charge?
Most likely not, unless you were on probation or had your license suspended for DUI. A common penalty for driving on a suspended license is a fine. But, if the judge or prosecutor finds out that a DUI was involved, I guarantee they will be looking for jail. So watch out and be prepared.
Am I Required to Go to Jail on a DWLSR Charge?
For almost all charges, no. But if you have been convicted at least twice before, you are required to serve 10 days in the Pinellas County Jail. So, make sure you speak to a lawyer about whether you actually have been convicted and whether there is a way around it.
Will a Pinellas County Judge Put Me in Jail?
Just because you may not be required to go to jail, does not mean that the judge may not decide to punish you with some time. The judge will look at your driving record, your criminal history, and the circumstances of the current case. Again, any driving on a suspended license involving a DUI suspension or if you were drinking or using drugs this time will lead to jail time. The judges in Pinellas County do not mess around if they think you are potentially a danger to society. They will try to punish you.
Are There Any Ways to Get Out of the Charge?
Yes. The one way to always avoid jail is to get a license. Even a hardship license will suffice. The prosecutors do not want you driving around without a license and without insurance, so if you actually go out and get a license, they will reward you. But, sometimes with DUI suspensions, you may not qualify for a license. In this circumstance, my advice is to take a voluntary online driving school, pay off any outstanding fines and court costs, and get ready to beg for mercy.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney
Driving on suspended license charges are the most common type of charge in Pinellas County. The penalties add up over time if a person continues to drive without a license. I normally don’t get contacted until someone has been in court over and over and now they are facing huge penalties. But, if that same person had hired me at the beginning of their troubles, I would have been able to fix the situation and they never would be in that unfortunate situation where they are now facing time.
My consultations are always free and these traffic charges are less expensive than others. Sometimes an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you have been charged with driving on a suspended license, call a lawyer before you go into court and wind up facing jail. Once the judge and prosecutor ask for jail, it is very difficult for a defense lawyer to unring that bell. Often, I am able to negotiate before court so that “jail” never is mentioned in front of the judge. Don’t drive on a suspended license or it is just a matter of time until you are going to be calling me!