The Umansky Law Firm recently represented an individual who was charged with operating a motor vehicle in Florida while their driver’s license in another state was suspended. Under Florida law, you’re not allowed to operate a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license, but this specific statute that the client was charged understates that you can’t operate a motor vehicle here in Florida while your Florida driver’s license is suspended , even though you have an invalid license in another state. The problem in this case is that the client had a valid Florida license but his driver’s license was suspended in Washington. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles here in Florida, his license was valid. The officer gave him a citation anyway, and he was facing 60 days jail, a $500 fine, and up to six months probation. It didn’t prevent the client from having to go through the process.
Immediately, we contacted the prosecutor and explained the situation. We gave him a copy of the Department of Motor Vehicle’s driving record and told him that based off the documentation that his license was valid in Florida, despite what was going on in the State of Washington. Under the statute, he couldn’t be charged. He hadn’t committed a crime, but the prosecutor refused to drop the case. The next step we had to do was file a motion to dismiss. Essentially, what he would be doing at that point is asking the judge, despite the prosecutor’s objections, to dismiss this case because there was no crime committed according to the facts of the case. The motion was filed and he went to the hearing. At the hearing, the evidence was presented to the judge; it included the DMV report, as well as the citation that the client received. The judge ultimately dismissed the case, and the client was free of these charges.
This is a situation where an individual’s ignorance can only go as far as the temperance of the judge and the prosecutor. There are charges that range on knowledge of your license, like driving with or without knowledge of an expired license, but our defense lawyers can still help present these facts in court.
Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney