Felony Driving on Suspended License (Felony DWLSR)

Suspended License Attorney / Suspended License Lawyer

In the past, all driving on suspended license charges were handled in traffic court. However, the Florida Legislature changed the law so that a third Driving While License Suspended or Revoked (DWLSR) offense can be treated as a felony. Many people who are charged with the felony driving on suspended license offense (Felony DWLSR) are surprised to learn just how serious the situation has become. As a matter of fact, a Felony DWLSR is handled in the same courtroom and by the same Circuit Court judge as a rape, robbery, or murder.

Suspended License Sentencing – Don’t Go It Alone

Being charged with any offense for a third time is a serious matter. When a prosecutor recognizes that an individual is before the court for a third time, he will typically argue to the judge that two previous probationary sentences failed to get the defendant’s attention and that a jail term is now appropriate. The charge of Felony Driving on Suspended or Revoked License is punishable by up to five years in state prison and a maximum $5,000.00 fine. Don’t go it alone.

It would be foolish to appear in court on this charge without the benefit of an experienced attorney for four reasons:

  • You are considered a multiple offender;
  • Unlike traffic court where individuals typically face a fine or probation, you now find yourself before a Circuit Court Judge accustomed to routinely handing out State Prison Sentences. (So imposing a Pinellas County Jail term might be considered as catching a break.);
  • You are subject to the Florida Criminal Punishment Code – Sentencing Guidelines (A fairly rigid point system established by the Florida Legislature that impacts the judge’s discretion in fashioning an appropriate sentence); and
  • You are facing the prospect of being a convicted felon.

Watch our video to learn how a felony conviction can sometimes be avoided. 
Read about other defenses and strategies in felony cases

Three Ways Our Office Can Help With a Felony Driving on Suspended License Charge

At the Law Offices of Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan, our goal is threefold:

  1. Avoiding potential criminal penalties;
  2. Avoiding the stigma of being a convicted felon; an
  3. Helping you reinstate your Florida driving privilege.

Reviewing Your Driving Record

We will undertake an immediate examination of your lifetime driver license record to determine our best strategy. It is important for us to consider:

  • Why your driver’s license was originally suspended?
  • How many total times have you been charged with this offense in the past?
  • Were any of your past convictions for DWLSR charged under the lesser non-criminal statute as Driving on a Suspended License Without Knowledge?
  • Did any of your prior DWLSR convictions occur before October 1, 1997? (The Florida courts have ruled that your current charge cannot be enhanced to a felony unless your prior convictions took place after this date.)

Click for more information on other defenses in a DWLSR case that may be available to you and how certain mitigating factors may help you achieve a lighter sentence. If your Felony Driving While License Suspended charge arises from the operation of a goped, moped, or scooter go here.

We are St. Petersburg / Clearwater Lawyers Who Routinely Handle Felony Driving on Suspended License Cases

If you have been arrested for the charge of Felony Driving on a Suspended license in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, or elsewhere in Pinellas County, you need the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Our office routinely handles these matters at the Pinellas County Criminal Justice Center. If a plea bargain becomes necessary, we are well accustomed to negotiating with local prosecutors in an effort to achieve the best possible outcome.

Avoiding Jail and a Felony Conviction

We understand that you want to keep your job, avoid incarceration and make every effort possible to side-step becoming a convicted felon. For that reason, it is imperative that we conduct a thorough examination of the facts of your case and a close review of your past driving record. It is only then that we can formulate the best possible strategy in an effort to achieve these objectives. Call our office at (727) 578-0303 and schedule a free consultation today!

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