As a Jacksonville Driver’s License Attorney, I recently handled a case for driving without a Valid Driver’s License in Jacksonville Florida, contrary to the provisions of Florida Statute Section 322.03(1). The Florida Law states that “a person may not drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in this state unless such person has a valid driver’s license” but what exactly does “drive” mean?
The Florida Supreme Court, in Marshall v. State, 354 So. 2d 107 (Fla. 1978), held that “to be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle is not enough to convict for driving without a license.” The person must be driving. However, Marshall was superseded by two cases, State v. Tucker, 761 So. 2d 1248 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2000) and State v. Bostick, 751 So. 2d 780 (Fla. 5th DCA 2000). While both cases addressed Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License, instead of the charge of Driving without a valid Driver’s License, the cases apply the revised Florida statute which caused Marshall to be overruled.
Tucker states that “[Florida Statute Section] 322.01(15) (1999) now includes the following definition for the term “drive”: as used in this chapter “drive” means to operate or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle in any place open to the general public for purposes of vehicular traffic. According to the plain language of this provision, the definition of “drive” in [Florida Statute Section] 322.01(15) (1999) applies to [Florida Statute Section] 322.34 (1999).” Section 322.01 is the definitions section that applies to the entire chapter, including 322.03. The 2010 version of the statute that defines “drive” is 322.01(16), and it gives the same definition.
According to these Florida cases and statutes, a client charged with Jacksonville Driving on a Suspended License and Jacksonville Driving on a Suspended License can be convicted of Driving Without a Valid Driver’s License, if he is in actual physical control of the vehicle, but not technically driving.