I never got a license and I drive all the time
Updated: Mar 9
A person may not drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in Florida unless such person has a valid driver license issued. Florida Statute 322.03.
People drive without a license in Florida all the time, don't they?
You may have thought it was common sense that in order to lawfully drive in Florida you need a driver's license. But apparently, not everyone has the same amount of cents in the cash drawer, if you know what I mean. Not only does requiring a driver's license ensure that everyone on the road is starting from the same level of proficiency, it allows the government to make sure that certain people who may be a greater risk to others aren't able to drive. That makes it safer for everyone else out on the road. If someone doesn't have a driver's license, they also won't have auto insurance and when they cause an accident, then the victim is forced to pay. Now is that fair? No it's not, I agree. Also, without getting a driver's license you probably won't know all of the "rules of the road" and are more likely to get pulled over for committing a traffic infraction.
All I got was this ticket so since I didn't get arrested it's not a big deal
Here's the thing, driving without a license is a crime. A misdemeanor in the second degree has a punishment of up to 6 months probation or 60 days in jail and up to a $500 fine plus court costs. Many times when people get into the habit of driving without a license, they will get pulled over and maybe the police officer won't arrest them, but instead, will issue a Notice to Appear ("NTA"). While an NTA looks like a simple traffic ticket, it is not, it's actually a criminal charging document. What may happen is that you go to court for arraignment and maybe the prosecutor or Judge offers to resolve your case with just a fine. Now although that's not ideal, the experience is very similar to just getting a regular ticket and having to pay money. There wasn't any probation or jail, so no big deal right? Wrong.
Third time's the charm
This experience may lull you into a sense of complacency. You will be lazy and not go get your valid driver's license and the whole thing may happen all over again. The problem is, that the more times you drive with out a valid license, not only is there a greater risk the law enforcement officer will actually arrest you and impound your vehicle if you are pulled over for a traffic infraction, but there is more of a chance the prosecutor or Judge will require probation or even jail time. If you can't get a driver's license due to immigration status, you could end up bring deported so only get rides from licensed drivers, use a ride-share or public transportation. If you have a valid driver's license from another country, that is valid to use here in Florida. However, you are required to obtain a Florida driver's license within 30 days of establishing residency. The point is, driving without a license is playing with fire and if you keep doing it eventually you may get burned.
Fighting a criminal charge can be a complicated and long process that can be made easier by hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney. Seth Hyman Law ( https://www.sethhymanlaw.com ) exclusively provides legal assistance in criminal, DUI, and driving offense cases throughout Central Florida. Call 407-274-7501 or email email@example.com for a free consultation.