DWLS – Driving While License is Suspended

There are many different factors that go into Driving While License Suspended (DWLS) cases such as: Were you driving while knowing that your license was suspended? Is this your first offense? Did you cause serious bodily harm to someone? Etc. For some of these factors, it could be the difference between a criminal or civil matter and these are a few of the reasons why each case is unique. Also, each time you are adjudicated guilty of a DWLS it will count as one of your three strikes to become a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO). A person classified as an HTO will have a 5 year driver’s license revocation, so be careful.

DWLS without Knowledge

If you are charged with driving while your license is suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified WITHOUT your knowledge it is a civil instead of a criminal matter. It is also important to remember that paying your DWLS ticket admits guilt.


  • Court is NOT mandatory
  • $164 fine in Orange County
  • Driving School
  • Court costs
  • Points on your license
  • Strike towards becoming an HTO

DWLS with Knowledge

Being charged with DWLS while you did have knowledge of your suspension is a criminal matter and you will be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor for a first offense. This is a more serious matter than a DWLS without knowledge and brings bigger penalties.


  • Court will be mandatory
  • It will be on your criminal record
  • Up to a $500 fine
  • Classes and court costs
  • Up to 60 days in jail or probation
  • Strike towards becoming an HTO

DWLS 2nd Degree with Knowledge

If you are found to be DWLS with knowledge a second time, you will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor.


  • Court will be mandatory
  • It will be on your criminal record
  • Up to a $1000 fine
  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Strike towards becoming an HTO

DWLS 3rd Degree with Knowledge

If you are found to be DWLS with knowledge a third time, you will be charged with a felony of the third degree. If this was your third offense in 5 years, you will also become a Habitual Traffic Offender which brings an automatic 5-year revocation of your driver’s license.


  • Court will be mandatory
  • It will be on your criminal record
  • Up to a $5000 fine
  • Up to 5 years in jail or probation
  • Become an HTO (5 year revocation)

DWLS Causing Serious Bodily Injury or Death

If you were DWLS with knowledge and caused a fatality or serious bodily harm to another person you will be charged with a third-degree felony.

  • Court will be mandatory
  • It will be on your criminal record
  • Up to a $5000 fine
  • Up to 5 years in jail or probation
  • Strike towards becoming an HTO

The state will most likely take this much more seriously than other DWLS offenses and it’s very important to contact an attorney immediately.

I would highly recommend Gans Law to any friends or family. As this was my first experience with a law firm, Brandon Gans was very helpful and informative on the steps I needed to take. He was professional, knowledgeable, and quick to respond to any questions or concerns, making the process much easier. I am pleased to say my case was successfully dismissed.

- Monica

message us

Firm Overview

Gans Law offers a variety of services that range from criminal defense to suspended licenses. Here at Gans Law, we understand that sometimes good people find themselves dealing with complex legal matters.

Learn More

Case Results

Our Reviews

Serving all of central Florida


Orange County, FL


Orange County, FL


Orange County, FL


Orange County, FL


Orange County, FL
Brandon Gans

Brandon Gans


Julie Clarke

Julie Clarke


Will I Go To Jail For My First DUI?

If you are ever charged with a DUI (Driving Under the Influence), you’ll probably have a lot of questions, including can you go to jail for a first offense? For a first-time DUI in Florida, it depends on the severity of the case. Florida is tough on drunk driving, so...

5 Things Not to Do When Facing Criminal Charges

It can be a stressful and scary time when you are facing criminal charges. During the entirety of your criminal case, from arrest to your last court appearance, it is best to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. They can help you navigate this...

What To Do When There Is A Warrant Out For Your Arrest

When a criminal offense is committed, an arrest warrant may be issued to bring the person before the court. If you believe there is a warrant out for you, it is best to contact a criminal defense attorney. An attorney will have the knowledge to guide you through this...

What is a Pretrial Diversion Program?

Pretrial Diversion Programs are typically intended for first-time offenders or misdemeanor crimes. However, we can sometimes get our clients into the program if they have some criminal history or are charged with a felony. The purpose of these diversion programs is to...

What Happens If I Miss My Court Date?

If you ever miss a court date, the court issues a warrant for your arrest. As soon as you can, appear in court to recall the warrant. Acting quickly shows you are serious about the case. Failing to act quickly can lead to police showing up at your house or job and...

False Accusations

Nobody ever wants to be accused of a crime and it’s worse if you never even committed the crime. Criminal convictions carry serious penalties, including heavy fines or jail time. If you have been falsely accused of a crime, you should retain an attorney right away as...

Landmark Florida Cases

Throughout history, there have been several landmark cases that have shaped the legal landscape in Florida and even the country. Let’s take a look at some of these cases. Gideon v. Wainwright In 1961, Clarence Gideon was arrested and charged with breaking and entering...

What’s the Difference? — Careless vs. Reckless

Do you know the difference between Careless Driving and Reckless Driving? Under Florida Statute, careless driving is considered a civil offense while reckless driving is considered a criminal offense.  Reckless driving (Florida Statute 316.192) is any person who...

Live Out of State but Arrested in Florida

Being arrested is never a pleasant experience, especially when the arrest happens outside of your home state. When arrested, no matter if you’re in your home state or out of state, you likely have to post bail and appear in court.  According to Criminal Defense...

Is it Possible to Reinstate a Suspended License in Florida?

In Florida, there are a number of reasons for a suspended license, such as: Too many points; Failure to pay traffic tickets or court costs; Failure to pay red light camera tickets or toll violations; Failure to appear in court; Being deemed a habitual traffic...

News & Posts



Orlando, FL

(407) 500-4267

132 E. Colonial Dr, Suite 200
Orlando, FL 32801

Hours: 9:00am-6:00pm

Tampa, FL

(407) 500-4267

8200 Bryan Dairy Road Suite 340
Largo, FL 33777

Hours: By Appointment Only


Send Us a Message!

More Contact Info