Under Florida law, driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal offense. Being under the influence of alcoholic beverages, controlled substances, or chemical substances leads to penalties such as fines, losing your driver’s license, and even imprisonment.
If you are arrested for DUI and have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit, or you refuse a breath test, the police can take your driver’s license and suspend it for a year. The suspension occurs ten days after the arrest. In these ten days, you have the right to file a request for a temporary driving permit, and you could file for a formal review of your license suspension. At the formal review, a DUI lawyer can challenge the basis for pulling you over and the overall evidence against you.
You could get a temporary driving permit that lets you drive for school, medical purposes, work, or church. However, you will not get this permit if you fail to file this request within the ten-day period. A second refusal to submit to a breath result will lead to an 18-month suspension.
Moreso, if you have been arrested for DUI in Florida, the period of time which the DMV will suspend your license may vary depending on your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or if you have had any prior DUI convictions.
Administrative License Suspensions and DUI Charges
For a first offense, your license can be suspended for 180 days, or a year if your refuse to take the breath test. For two DUI offenses, your driver’s license can be suspended for five years, but after a year, you can petition for hardship reinstatement. For three DUI convictions, your driver’s license may be suspended for up to ten years, and only after two years can you petition for hardship reinstatement. Lastly, if you have committed DUI manslaughter, your driver’s license may be revoked permanently.
If your conviction included an order to complete DUI school or an alcohol treatment program, you must finish them within 90 days of the state reinstating your license. If you fail to do so, your driver’s license will be canceled until you complete the courses.
If you eventually need a full reinstatement of your driver’s license, you must take Florida’s required exam. To get your license, you first need to pay an administrative fee of $130 and a revocation fee of $75. Then you must prove you have auto insurance. You’ll also need a positive referral from the Special Services Program.
Why Should You Hire a DUI Lawyer in Florida?
By hiring the best DUI lawyers in Florida, you will get the proper legal guidance, helping you to appeal the license suspension through a petition for a writ of certiorari to the circuit court in Florida. Then the court will consider the DMV’s action. However, your driver’s license suspension may be delayed only after the review.
If your driver’s license has already been suspended, there’s still something left to do. You can file a petition for a hardship license once you have met all the requirements. Additionally, to reinstate your license at the end of your suspension, you have to obtain a special FR44 insurance form (formerly an SR-22 insurance form) to prove you have valid insurance.
The process of getting back your driver’s license after a DUI conviction can be complex, which is why it’s recommended that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney in Florida to learn more about protecting or reinstating your license after a DUI.