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How Criminal Drug Charges Can Affect Your Driver's License

One of the punishments that can result from a criminal drug charge is the suspension of your Florida driver's license. If you are convicted/adjudicated on a drug or controlled substance charge, whether it be for possessing, selling, or trafficking, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) will suspend your license for one year. This is commonly referred to as a "Chapter 893 Suspension" and would be reflected as such on your driving record. The most common types of drug charges that can have this impact are misdemeanor and felony possession of cannabis, as well as possession of cocaine.

The court is required to advise you of the driver's license suspension at the time of sentencing after you enter your plea of "guilty" or "no contest." Otherwise, your plea could be vacated. On the other hand, if you receive a "withhold of adjudication," your license is not adversely affected.

Pursuant to statute, you cannot apply for a hardship license until at least six months have passed from the date of the suspension. In order to get your hardschip license, you will need to first complete treatment in the form of DUI School. In order to get your full driving privileges back after the year is over, you will need to complete both the DUI School and a form of rehab/treatment that the department feels appropriate.

If you do not have a driver's license at the time of sentencing, you will be prohibited from obtaining a valid license for one year after the sentence. If you are caught driving with a suspended license, you could be facing an additional criminal charge.

Meet with an experienced criminal attorney to help you obtain the best results on your criminal drug charge and help you avoid a license suspension.

(Note: Prior to July 1, 2014, the suspension was for two years.)

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