Anyone who gets behind the wheel and starts up a car or truck in Florida must be properly licensed to do so. It does not matter who owns the vehicle they are driving. If you allow someone without a license to drive your car anywhere on public roads, you may find yourself facing criminal charges even if you were not in the vehicle with them. This could lead to significant fines, possible jail time, and substantial restrictions on your own driver’s license
Being charged with permitting an unauthorized driver in Orlando can be a surprisingly difficult situation to resolve, which is why having help from experienced legal counsel can be especially important to resolving this type of offense. A capable traffic defense attorney with experience handling similar cases successfully in the past could provide tenacious support and legal guidance throughout every stage of your case. At the Umansky Law Firm, we work diligently to mitigate the short-term and long-term consequences your charge may lead to.
“Permitting unauthorized operator to drive” is defined as a criminal offense in Orlando and throughout the Sunshine State under Florida Statutes § 322.36. According to this statute, it is illegal for someone who owns or otherwise controls a motor vehicle to knowingly allow or authorize someone else to operate that vehicle on any public street or highway without being “duly authorized” to do so by the state of Florida.
Importantly, while someone who has never had a driver’s license is not “duly authorized” to drive and could create legal consequences for someone else who nevertheless allows them to drive, that is not the only scenario where a vehicle owner might face charges under this section of state law. For instance, if someone was previously licensed to drive but currently has their license cancelled, revoked, or suspended for any reason, someone who knowingly lets them drive their car anyway might face criminal charges.
It is worth emphasizing that in order to be charged with permitting an unauthorized driver in Orlando, a person must be aware that another person is not properly licensed, and must explicitly allow or authorize them to drive. Someone who is not aware that an unlicensed driver is operating their car and/or did not give permission for them to do so cannot be convicted under Fla. Stat. § 322.36.
Permitting an unauthorized driver in Orlando is a second-degree misdemeanor offense. This means that someone convicted of violating Fla. Stat. § 322.36 may face maximum sanctions of $500 in fines, 60 days of jail time, and/or six months of probation following release from any jail sentence imposed against them.
Furthermore, if someone knowingly allows an unlicensed driver to operate their vehicle, and that unlicensed driver causes a wreck that results in anyone else getting hurt or killed, the vehicle’s owner could be subject to a one-year suspension of their own driver’s license in addition to the penalties mentioned above.
Whether you were in the car with them or not, knowingly letting someone else drive your car without a license can have serious criminal consequences in Florida. Contesting these allegations could be much easier with support from seasoned legal representation.
A dedicated defense lawyer could explain your options after you are charged with permitting an unauthorized driver in Orlando. Call the Umansky Law Firm today to set up a private consultation.
The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys