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.
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.
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.
If you are found to be DWLS with knowledge a second time, you will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor.
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.
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.
The state will most likely take this much more serious than other DWLS offenses and it’s very important to contact an attorney immediately.