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Should I Get a Lawyer For a Driving While License Suspended Charge?

I get this question all the time. As a lawyer who makes money from representing people you would be surprised if I said anything else wouldn't you? The truth is you do not NEED a lawyer and you can do it yourself! Sure if your license was suspended for failure to pay a ticket and you are able to reinstate your license it is highly unlikely that you will face jail time and you may want to save yourself money and avoid hiring a lawyer. Just go to court and more than likely all the judge will do in many cases is make you pay a fine!

WHY WOULD YOU THEN HIRE A LAWYER FOR A DWLS ARREST OR TICKET?

IF it is so easy why have a lawyer. Here are some very good reasons why you should always hire a lawyer for a driving charge.

First, I can not tell you how many people go to court on a suspended license and walk out paying small fine and court costs but get adjudicated guilty and are convicted of a Florida DWLS charge. They do not realize it yet but they can never ever expunge or seal that charge or any other charge ever again in their life.

Why?

So many people ask me to seal or expunge a false arrest or a mistaken charge. Not if you were convicted of any criminal traffic crimes including driving while license suspended. For instance, I just recently had a potential client who had a false accusation of domestic violence levied against them and they got arrested. We were able to get the charge rightfully dropped but when we went ahead to try and expunge the false charge, we were told by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that our client was unable to do so, because he was convicted for driving while license suspended over fifteen years prior. 15 years prior?? He did not remember that he went to court on a driving while license suspended charge, did not hire a lawyer and thought he had a great deal when he had to only pay a fine. What he neglected to find out was that the judge convicted him and gave him a permanent record. Worse yet, the client could not even expunge the false crime because he had been convicted. Do not leave your future to chance, hire competent lawyers who will try and get charge dropped totally or amended to a civil infraction. Almost every day we have to tell people we are sorry we can not expunge or seal their records because they got adjudicated or convicted by the judge even if there was no jail time! It is such a shame that you can not seal a false arrest if you got convicted of criminal traffic violation.

REDUCING IT TO A LESSER OFFENSE OR EVEN A TRAFFIC TICKET?

If you go to court and plead to a driving while license suspended charge it can potentially result in a five year suspension if you have two prior charges related to suspended licenses, DUI's or leaving the scene of an accident. You can walk out of court with a small fine but end up losing your d.l. for five years and face a serious felon if you are caught driving while license suspended. If you get a lawyer, they may be able to negotiate your charge to a civil citation for failure to carry drivers license effectively resulting in your criminal charge being dropped or plead you to a lesser offense of non valid drivers license.

CAN I GO IT ALONE IF I GOT CAUGHT DRIVING ON A DUI, DRUG, CHILD SUPPORT SUSPENSION?

You sure can but are you sure you want to? Judges will sentence citizens to jail if they were stopped on a dui suspension or any of the foregoing because these suspensions are more serious than a suspension for a failure to pay a fine. A DWLS lawyer can argue to the court that there are mitigating factors that preclude the court from excessing discretion and jailing people who steal. A lawyer can be the buffer between you and the judge and attempt to smooth things over to benefit the bar.

There are many other reasons to get a lawyer for DWLS charge. I have laid out a few in bullet format so you can easily digest it and decided if it right for you.

  • WITH A LAWYER YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GO TO YOUR FIRST COURT DATE;
  • YOU MAY BE ABLE TO MISS YOUR PRETRIAL CONFERENCE AS OUR LAWYERS CAN GO WITHOUT YOU.
  • TRY TO AMEND YOUR CHARGE TO A CIVIL TICKET
  • TRY TO GET A SMALLER FINE
  • TRY TO AVOID PROBATION
  • TRY TO AVOID THE THREE STRIKES AND YOU ARE OUT LEAD
  • TRY TO PRESERVE YOUR ABILITY TO SEAL A FUTURE ARREST
  • THE PROSECUTOR WILL TREAT YOU MORE RESPECTFULLY

I hope this opens your eyes a little more. As lawyers we hope the charges get dropped and always encourage our clients to get us witnesses that back up their version of events but at the end of the day we try to avoid criminalization and try to educate clients there is a safer and more efficient way! If you think about how much money you would lose over five years not being able to really work, it would far outweigh the price of a good Orlando lawyer who might take the case because they find it interesting.

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