Nearly 4.6 Million Florida Drivers Have Suspended or Revoked Licenses

According to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), nearly 4.6 million Florida drivers have suspended or revoked licenses – nearly 30 percent of the state's population. That's a shocking number by any standard. We asked David Haenel, an attorney based on Florida's west coast whose practice focuses on Florida suspended license issues, to explain the differences between a license suspension and a license revocation. According to Haenel:

Revocation is usually something that comes from the court. So, for example, if you get a DUI (Driving While Under the Influence) and let's say you refuse to take the breath test, then your license will be administratively suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles for a particular time period, usually 12 months if it's a first time DUI. If you get convicted of that DUI in court, the court may order your license to be revoked. So, the court or the local clerk is telling the DHSMV, 'Hey, we have a conviction on somebody's record for a DUI, we want you to revoke his or her license for whatever period of time would be necessary, six months, a year, whatever the case may be.'


Pay your tickets carefully

Most drivers think that paying their tickets is a good thing. Generally speaking, it is. However, if you pay your tickets in Florida – you just might get nabbed for something else. Haenel explained, "Once you run your driving record and you find out what it is that's suspending you, you need to be a little cautious and not just pay off the tickets because that may result in even further problems. For example, you may be unknowingly driving around with citations for license suspension. You then find out about them and, thinking you're doing the right thing, pay them."

"However, the next thing you know, you get a letter from the DHSMV saying, 'Hey, congratulations, you just paid off $500 worth of tickets, but now you have three major violations in a five year period and now you're going to lose your license for five years.' Just paying off the tickets may also result in some points suspensions, depending on if they're moving violations or not."

If your license has been suspended in Florida, contact an attorney whose practice focuses on license suspension issues. Click here, to contact a Florida criminal attorney.