March 14, 2016 the U.S. Department of Justice releases a memorandum indicating the following:
“Recent years have seen increased attention on the illegal enforcement of fines and fees in certain jurisdictions around the country—often with respect to individuals accused of misdemeanors, quasi-criminal ordinance violations, or civil infractions.1 Typically, courts do not sentence defendants to incarceration in these cases; monetary fines are the norm. Yet the harm caused by unlawful practices in these jurisdictions can be profound. Individuals may confront escalating debt; face repeated, unnecessary incarceration for nonpayment despite posing no danger to the community; lose their jobs; and become trapped in cycles of poverty that can be nearly impossible to escape. Furthermore, in addition to being unlawful, to the extent that these practices are geared not toward addressing public safety, but rather toward raising revenue…” The State of Florida has taken measures to address these concerns. Fla. Stat. 322.245 states that “the department MUST reinstate the driving privilege when the clerk of court provides an affidavit to the department stating that: (1) the person has satisfied the financial obligation in full or made all payments currently under a payment plan; or (2) the person has entered into a written agreement for payment of the financial obligation if not presently enrolled in a payment plan; or (3) the court has entered an order granting relief to the person ordering reinstatement of the license.” Most significantly a payment plan should be sufficient in order to reestablish your driving privileges. The moral of this story is that even if you owe a financial obligation the Courts or the administrative branches of the Court such as the Clerk of Courts shall NOT be issuing suspensions so long as you are maintaining a payment plan. If you are affected by such a suspension please contact our office to assist you with this matter.