Ex NFL Player Arrested for Scooter Ride

October 15, 2022 Criminal Defense

If you are driving a vehicle in the state of Florida, you must have a valid driver’s license. The state requires multiple tests to be completed before being able to drive a car, to try and prevent any traffic violations or accidents. Violating this requirement can result in getting charged with driving without a valid license.

In a recent case, a former NFL player was arrested for failing to follow Florida’s driving license law. We will provide details on the case as well as information on driving without a valid license in Florida.

What was the Incident?

On October 6th, 2022, a Miami Beach police officer was responding to a call on Ocean Drive when he noticed a yellow motor scooter make an illegal turn. The scooter had taken an unlawful left turn through a set of plastic traffic posts.

According to the arrest report, the officer then witnessed the driver ride in the bike-only lane of the street, and then make a U-turn to reach a group of girls who were walking in the opposite direction.

The reporting officer claimed he waited until the individual got closer on the scooter, and waved him down, “simply so I could lecture him.” However, the driver of the scooter simply looked at the officer and then kept on driving.

Ignoring the request resulted in the officer following the driver in his squad car and following the suspect. The driver turned down an alleyway to the left of the road, “in order to conceal himself from me,” the officer said.

When he finally reached the suspect, the officer requested his driver’s license. That’s when Junior Galette, 34—former NFL linebacker of the New Orleans Saints—handed over a Louisiana ID card. When the officer ran a records check for Galette, he discovered that the ex-NFL player did not obtain a Florida nor a Louisiana driver’s license.

The officer arrested Galette and charged him with driving without a valid license. Galette was taken to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.

Florida Driver’s License

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) has multiple types of valid licenses available for registration. The most common driver’s license is the Class E license. A Class E license allows drivers to operate a non-commercial vehicle that weighs no more than 26,001 pounds. This includes the following:

  • Automobiles
  • Trucks
  • Vans carrying up to 15 people (driver included)
  • Recreational Vehicles (RVs)
  • Mopeds, scooters, and other two- to three-wheeled vehicles that are not motorcycles

Driving without a Valid License in Florida

The state of Florida has strict laws when it comes to driving, to keep all drivers on the road safe. Typically, the steps to legally drive in Florida begin at the age of 15-years-old. That is when the teen is eligible for a learner’s permit, which is codified under Florida Statute section 322.1615. As long as the person seeking the learner’s permit passes the written, hearing and vision, and traffic law exam, then they can receive a learner’s permit that allows them to drive for a year with a parent or guardian present.

Once the individual has successfully driven with a learner’s permit for a year, they can take another set of exams to receive a Class E driver’s license. Under Florida Statute section 322.12, the individual must pass another hearing and vision test, another traffic law exam, along with a physical driving test.

If a person is caught driving without a valid driving license, it is considered a second-degree misdemeanor. The penalties for a second-degree misdemeanor include up to a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail. However, if the defendant simply forgot to have their license on them and can prove they have a valid license, the case can potentially be dismissed with a small fee.

To review the possible defenses for driving without a valid license, read our informative page here.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

Violating Florida’s traffic and safety laws can result in harsh punishments, such as expensive fines and potential jail time. The best way to protect yourself from a legal violation is to reach out to a skilled defense attorney in your area. If you or a loved one have been accused of driving without a valid license, call Pumphrey Law Firm. Don Pumphrey’s team has represented clients across the state for various criminal charges. Contact us today at (850) 681-7777 or leave us an online message on our website.

Written by Karissa Key

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