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Driving while license revoked as habitual traffic offender

Posted by John Rutkowski | Sep 28, 2017 | 0 Comments

Defendants who have never possessed a driver license may not be charged under section 322.34(5), as having a driver license that has been revoked under the habitual traffic offender statute.

Section 322.34(5), Florida Statutes, provides the following:

Any person whose driver license has been revoked pursuant to s. 322.264 (habitual offender) and who drives any motor vehicle upon the highways of this state while such license is revoked is guilty of a felony of the third degree.

Section 322.264, Florida Statutes, defines a habitual traffic offender as a person who has accumulated a combination of specified offenses.The Legislature defined driver license as “a certificate that, subject to all other requirements of law, authorizes an individual to drive.” § 322.01(17), Fla. Stat. (2017).

The plain language of section 322.34(5), Florida Statutes, provides that an offender must have had his or her driver license revoked as a habitual traffic offender in order for the felony penalty to apply. The State cannot revoke a license that never existed. Consequently, a person cannot violate section 322.34(5) without ever having obtained a driver license.

About the Author

John Rutkowski

Mr. Rutkowski has been practicing law for the past twenty-four years. Prior to practicing law Mr. Rutkowski served twelve years as a deputy sheriff, retiring to attend law school. Starting his law-enforcement career as a patrol deputy which included two years on the DUI squad; Mr. Rutkowski moved up the ranks becoming a corporal in the field training program which give him the responsibility for training new recruits.


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