Criminal & Family Law Attorneys
Call Today 941.257.4743

DUI ARREST & YOUR DRIVING “PRIVILEGE”

Florida DHSMV…The Other Case Against You

After a DUI arrest, your head is spinning…. you’ve just been arrested (maybe for the first time ever), you’ve spent the night in a cold, unfriendly jail cell, you don’t know where your car is, you’ve been treated like a criminal, learned how to use the jail phone, got an education in bail bonds and faced a criminal court judge. You now have a criminal charge; you are worried about your future and the cop took your driver’s license. You don’t know what all this means. You just want to take some time to process what just happened and get your thoughts together…. BUT… you only have 10 days to make important decisions about your driver’s license.

Now, you have two cases against you: the DUI and a Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) administrative case designed to take away your driver’s license. You likely know about the criminal case charging you with the crime of DUI, but you may not know about the civil case against your driver’s license.

You have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing regarding your license.

There is no constitutional right to a driver’s license. Upon a DUI arrest, in most cases, you will receive a permit to drive for 10 days; then your license will be immediately administratively suspended by the DHSMV. You must make a quick decision about a hearing with the DHSMV.

On a first DUI, if you took a breath test and blew over .08, your license will be administratively suspended for 6 months. You are eligible to waive the hearing and request an immediate business purposed license (with a few requirements, such as signing up for DUI school).

If you refused the breath test or a urine test, your license will be administratively suspended for 1 year. You are eligible to waive the hearing and request an immediate business purposed license (with a few requirements, such as signing up for DUI school).

For a second DUI,with a breath test over .08, if first offense was a refusal, 6-month suspension, with 30 days hard time. If first offense was a breath test, 12-month suspension, with 30 days hard time suspension.

If you refused breath or urine, if the first offense was breath test, you will receive a 12-month suspension with 90 days hard time suspension. If first offense was a refusal, it will be an 18-month suspension, with 18 months hard time.

There is no eligibility for a waiver and immediate request for a business purpose license.

For a third or subsequent DUI, (if convicted of first two DUI charges)

IF you provide a breath test – you are not eligible for a restricted license.

If you refuse breath or urine - If all prior offenses were breath tests, you’ll receive a 12-month suspension with 12 months hard time. If any prior offense was a refusal, you will have an 18-month suspension with 18-month hard time suspension.

There is no eligibility for a waiver and immediate request for a business purpose license.

If you have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL): with either a breath test or refusal, your license will be suspended for one year for first breath test or refusal; permanent after that - all hard time suspensions.

A second or subsequent refusal may also be charged as an additional crime.

A DHSMV hearing is an opportunity to gather important information and fight the administrative suspension. The purpose of the DHSMV hearing is to determine if the officer had probable cause to arrest you for a DUI and if you either refused a breath or urine test or blew over a .08. A decision to hold a hearing fighting the suspension or waive the hearing must be made and communicated to the DHSMV within 10 days of your arrest for a DUI. The process is fraught with government procedure and rules. Don’t go it alone!

It is an important decision that needs to be made quickly. The advice of a DUI attorney is valuable and important not only for fighting the DUI, but for making the best decision in the civil case- that you may have had no idea was even happening.

Sources: Florida Statutes: 322.2615 (8)(b); 322.2615(10)(b); 322.2615(10)(a); 322.2615(8)(a); 322.271(2)(a); 322.271(2)(a); 322.271(2)(a); 322.271(2)(a)

Categories: