NOTICE: The following contents are for informational purposes only. You should consult with an attorney prior to taking any action.
OVERVIEW: A DUI charge is a criminal charge, requires your appearance in court, and carries a host of mandatory penalties if you are convicted. Additionally, your driver’s license is automatically/administratively suspended as of the date of your arrest, if you refused to submit to a blood, breath or urine test or, if you submitted to a blood or breath test and had a result of .08 or higher.
YOUR DRIVER LICENSE
IMMEDIATE/ADMINISTRATIVE SUSPENSIONS: If you had a breath or blood result of .08 or above, your license was immediately suspended for a period of 6 months if this is your first violation or one year if it is your second. If you refused to take a breath/blood/urine test, your license was automatically suspended for a period of one year if this is your first violation or 18 months if it is your second. If you have a CDL, you will incur a one year suspension regardless of whether you have a .08 or higher or refuse, and a permanent disqualification if this is your second.
If eligible, the Florida DUI Uniform Traffic citation serves as a temporary driver license for the first 10 days of the suspension. After the first ten days, you may be subject to a “hard suspension” and may not be eligible to receive any type of a temporary/hardship/business license for a period of 30 days (.08 or higher) or 90 days (refusal). After the “hard suspension” is over, you may apply for a hardship/business purpose license.
ACTION TO BE TAKEN
- If you do nothing, the suspension will remain in effect and will appear on your permanent driving history. Additionally, you will be subject to the “hard suspension” described above.
- Ask for a Formal Review Hearing. A Formal Review Hearing is your only opportunity to challenge the validity of the administrative suspension. In order to take advantage of your right to challenge the Administrative Suspension, you must act within 10 calendar days to request a Formal Review Hearing. Once you request a hearing, it must be conducted within 30 days. In the meantime, you may obtain a hardship/business purpose license for 42 days, while awaiting the hearing. If we prevail at the hearing, the Administrative suspension is invalidated, your license is reinstated, and the suspension is removed from your record. If we do not prevail, you will be subject to the same “hard suspension” described previously.
- You may waive your rights to contest the suspension. By doing so, you may immediately obtain a hardship/business purpose license and will not be subject to the “hard suspension” previously described. This is a good option for those who do not want to risk going without even a restricted license for any period of time. The downside is that you waive the ability to challenge the suspension. To waive a hearing and obtain a restricted license, you must act within 10 calendar days.
YOUR DUI CHARGE
A DUI is a criminal charge. If you are convicted of a DUI, the court MUST impose a host of mandatory penalties. However, you have the right to a trial and to have an attorney represent you. By preparing the case for trial, it is possible to gain a pre-trial dismissal of your case, or an acquittal at trial. Many times, the process of preparing your case for trial will lead to favorable plea options, such as a reduced charge of Reckless Driving. Depending on the strengths of your case we may be able to negotiate away some of the required DUI penalties normally imposed, such as the driver license suspension. Alternatively, it is possible that Pre-Trial Diversion may be offered. If so, we will evaluate whether this option is advisable.