Driving with a suspended license due to a DUI is a serious criminal charge. it is wise to get the help of an experienced suspended license lawyer and DUI lawyer.
What are my rights if my license is suspended ?
If you face license suspension, you will be allowed a hearing where you can explain the circumstances regarding the violations. It is best that a suspended license lawyer go to this hearing with or without you. They may be able to offer mitigating circumstances that led to the infraction. All hearings are tape-recorded and are often conducted by telephone. The Hearing Officer from the Department of Licensing will review the issues to be decided. Their decision may take up to two weeks from the date of the hearing. If your license is suspended your suspended license lawyer can appeal the decision through Superior Court. it is best to be represented by a criminal defense lawyer with experience in this appeal process.
What if my License is suspended in another state ?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) maintains a National Driver Registry that shares information regarding license suspensions, revocations, or those convicted of serious traffic violations. They maintain a computerized database of information on individuals provided by the state motor vehicle agencies. A suspension or revocation must be cleared by the state in which it originated. You may need to hire an experienced lawyer in that state. Your lawyer in Florida may be able to locate one for you.
Driving with a suspended or revoked license in Florida is a serious offense
The punishment can range from large fines, mandatory imprisonment, or both. In some states, the prosecution must prove that the motorist had actual or constructive knowledge that his or her license was suspended or revoked at the time he or she was driving.There is a chance that your lawyer can prove you did not know your license was suspended. An experienced criminal lawyer can help with this.
Driving with a suspended license may mean Jail Time or Community Service
In Florida you may be faced with jail time if you are caught:
- Driving under the influence ( DUI )
- Reckless driving
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Fleeing from or eluding the police
- Vehicular manslaughter or homicide
If you are caught Driving Under the Influence you will need an experience DUI defense lawyer.
Among driving violations, driving under the influence is usually considered a special case. In every state, it is a crime to operate a vehicle if the affects of either drugs or alcohol impair your ability to safely operate that vehicle. The penalties for a DUI in most states have grown much harsher in recent years. In every state, a driver convicted of a DUI will lose their licenses for a period of time. Some states require short jail terms for first-time offenders. Most states require drunk-driving offenders to complete some type of treatment program.
- The minimum penalty for a first-time misdemeanor DUI can include one to ten days in jail.
- The maximum can be up to 6 months in jail in most states.
- Serious traffic offenses may carry the penalty of a jail sentence.
If you are accused of a DUI or traffic offense that carries a penalty of a jail time you should have a criminal defense, drivers license or DUI lawyer present at all hearings.
Accused of Reckless Driving ? You will need a good experienced criminal defense lawyer
Reckless driving can be categorized as a Class 1 Misdemeanor in certain states, which carries a sentence of up to 12 months in jail. It is considered a criminal offense and is in the same misdemeanor classification of many other offenses such as assault and battery and petty larceny. Charges for reckless driving can vary between excessively exceeding the speed limit, passing a stopped school bus or engaging in racing on a public road.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident
When a motor vehicle accident occurs, state traffic laws requires the drivers involved to following certain procedures immediately following the incident:
If a driver leaves the scene of a motor vehicle accident, they can be found guilty of a misdemeanor, which can result in fines and jail time ranging between 2 weeks or 2 years. If the accident resulted in physical injury to another party or property damage in excess of a certain amount, they may be charged with a felony. The first offense may subject the driver to fines ranging from $500 to $1000 and 6 months to 2 years in jail. Their driver’s license will be suspended and they will be assessed up to 8 points on their driving record in states that use the point system.
An individual who leaves the scene of an accident that results in another individual’s death in order to avoid prosecution or evade apprehension will be charged with a felony. The fines can range from $1000 to $5000. A prison sentence of 2 to 10 years will be imposed, with a minimum of 1-year in jail. Some states have much harsher penalties that could result in being fined anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 and up to 15 years behind bars.
Eluding or Evading the Police
Attempting to flee or elude a police officer after they have signaled you to pull over is against the law. You could face a fine of $500 to $5,000 and jail time of 10 days to 12 months. In some cases, you may have your driver’s license suspended for 6 months to 2 years. If you create a risk of death or injury to anyone, including yourself, in the process, the penalties will be much harsher.
Vehicular Homicide or Manslaughter
Vehicular homicide in most states is a crime that is categorized as a felony. It can lead to a criminal charge and conviction for murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide or negligent homicide. The exact name of the crime varies in each state. Some state laws include unintentional deaths, or require proof that the driver was reckless or grossly negligent, without intending to kill someone. The only difference between a vehicular homicide and other homicides is the use of a motor vehicle as a weapon, as opposed to a gun or knife. If the elements for murder can be proven, a defendant charged with vehicular homicide can be tried for first-degree murder.
If the individual was driving under the influence and involved in an accident resulting in a person’s death, they will face serious and substantial mandatory jail time of up to 30 years, heavy fines and the loss of their driving privileges for up to 6 years. The states of Kentucky and North Carolina have charged impaired drivers with capital murder.
Judges considering sentences in alcohol-related vehicular homicide cases must also weigh factors such as the driver’s prior convictions, the recklessness of the crime and whether the defendant shows remorse for the crime. More lenient sentences are often considered if it falls in line with what the victims wanted.
However, if the individual is prosecuted on a DUI charge, this may bar later prosecution for vehicular homicide if the charges arise out of the same incident. This falls under the Double Jeopardy Clause of the United States Constitution, which provides that no person can be put on trial and convicted for the same crime twice. To further complicate matters, a defendant can be convicted twice of vehicular homicide if he caused the death of two different individuals in the course of a single accident.
In some states, the killing of an unborn child can be considered a “person” for the purposes of a state’s vehicular homicide law. The laws distinguishing between the “viability” of an unborn child vary greatly. Viability is usually based on a specific amount of time in which the fetus has remained in the womb, or medical evidence regarding the development stage of the fetus. Viability may also be defined as a child who can survive outside the womb. If the fetus was not viable, the charge might be lessened to first-degree manslaughter or in some cases, no liability at all.
These are all serious offense and Guy Seligman has 20 years experience defending all of them. Contact the criminal defense law office of Guy Seligman for a DUI in Daytona, Ocala, Orlando, Panama City, Pensacola, Sarasota, St. Augustine, Tallahassee, Tampa, West Palm Beacheligman today. We can help you.