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Can I be charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license (DWLS) in Florida if I am caught driving a scooter or motorized bike?

Florida law states that: "Any person whose driver's license or driving privilege has been canceled, suspended, or revoked… who, knowing of such cancellation, suspension, or revocation, drives any motor vehicle upon the highways of this state while such license or privilege is canceled, suspended, or revoked…" is guilty of violating the law.

The question here is what is the legal definition of "motor vehicle" and is a scooter, or motorized bike, considered a motor vehicle. [PLEASE NOTE: this is an extremely fact specific determination that may turn on the specific technical aspects of the machine driven. This is not meant to be legal advice that you rely on to make a decision on what direction to take with your criminal case. Call us at (941) 444-5128 to discuss your specific case and legal situation.]

Florida law defines a motor vehicle as, "any self-propelled vehicle, including a motor vehicle combination, not operated upon rails or guideway, excluding vehicles moved solely by human power, motorized wheelchairs, and motorized bicycles."

Motorized bicycles, the only category excluded from the definition of "motor vehicle" are defined within the definition of "bicycle" in the Florida Statutes. A bicycle is:

"Every vehicle propelled solely by human power, and every motorized bicycle propelled by a combination of human power and an electric helper motor capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed of not more than 20 miles per hour on level ground upon which any person may ride, having two tandem wheels, and including any device generally recognized as a bicycle though equipped with two front or two rear wheels. The term does not include such a vehicle with a seat height of no more than 25 inches from the ground when the seat is adjusted to its highest position or a scooter or similar device. No person under the age of 16 may operate or ride upon a motorized bicycle."

Be aware that a DWLS charge may involve several potential legal issues besides the question of whether a scooter is a motor vehicle. It may be in your best interest to have your case reviewed by an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The attorney's at Soler and Slack, P.A. have experience in dealing with DWLS charges, and DWLS charges involving motorized bikes and scooters, and would be happy to review your case to determine your best course of action. Call (941) 444-5128 for a free consultation.

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