The wide array of possible penalties and associated with a DUI arrest and conviction covers everything from DUI school and ignition interlock devices to jail or even prison. The first penalty the accused often suffers, ten days after the DUI arrest, is the loss of the ability to drive due to a suspended license. Consequently, one should call a DUI defense lawyer as soon as released from custody.
Recently new laws provide that the accused may get a hardship license simply from enrolling in DUI school and going to the DMV within 10 days. We have found that in most cases this is a mistake. Why? Because you will waive your right to an Administrative hearing; This hearing allows taking the testimony of the arresting officer and possibly having the whole DMV suspension dismissed. Additionally, if one procures a “fast track” hardship license, we have found that the notations “DUI School” and “DUI Hardship License” will stay on your record for life (75 years), even if you win your DUI case!
Therefore, the Following Is Typically More Applicable:
In a Florida DUI case, a license suspension may come from the DMV itself, the criminal courts, or both. The DMV, or administrative suspension, always comes first. The DMV will suspend your license within ten days of your DUI arrest if one of two things happens:
1.There is evidence that your BAC is above a .08, or
2.You refused to submit to a test of your blood, breath, or urine.
Now, while it is the DMV that suspends your license, the true “power person” is the arresting officer. If he lets the DMV know after your arrest that he thinks one of the two conditions above has been met, then the driver’s license bureau will automatically suspend your driver’s license ten days after your arrest.
A BAC above a .08 gets you a 6 month suspension the first time, and a 12 month suspension the second time. A refusal gets you a 12 month suspension the first time, and 18 months the second time.
Thanks to your right to Due Process under the law, your Miami DUI lawyer can request a formal review of the officer’s decision on your behalf. When the DUI lawyer requests that hearing, he can obtain on your behalf a hardship permit that lets you continue to drive pending the outcome of your hearing. This is the first opportunity to get a hardship license.
Now the first hardship license is immediately good for an extra 42 days. During that time, the DUI lawyer will obtain the police reports, affidavits, Intoxilyzer inspection and maintenance logs, and all the stuff necessary to prepare for the formal review hearing. If your Miami DUI lawyer can successfully argue that the police lacked probable cause for to arrest for DUI, or that the Officer did not substantially comply with the rules regulating the blood, breath, or urine test, then the administrative suspension will be set aside, and your full driving privileges will be restored.
However, if the suspension is sustained, the first hardship license will be taken away, and a period of “hard” suspension will begin. A “hard” suspension is typically 30 days (90 days for a refusal) during your regular license suspension when, no matter what your Miami DUI lawyer says or does, no hardship license will be issued. You cannot drive (legally), period.
The length of the hard suspension for a BAC over a .08 is 30 days. At the end of 30 days, you will be eligible for a hardship permit (again), provided you can show proof of enrollment in DUI School. You can go to the DMV after Miami DUI lawyer will set up a hardship license hearing for you, hopefully on the first day that you are eligible for a hardship permit.
A suspension carries a hard suspension of 90 days if you refused a breath test for the first time and eighteen months for a second refusal. That means if you are arrested for a DUI and refuse, and you had previously refused a test of your BAC on another occasion, you will be ineligible for a hardship permit for the entire length of your administrative suspension.
It should be noted that the suspension issues outlined above only deal with the administrative, or DMV side of things. If you go to court and ultimately plead to your DUI charge, you will suffer another separate and distinct suspension of your license, this time in the direction of the presiding judge. If it is a first DUI conviction, in Florida the suspension is up to 6 months. If you had previously received a hardship license to keep you driving during your administrative suspension, it will be taken away! The driver’s license bureau requires you to go back and reapply to get your hardship back. Only this time, you will need to have completed any DUI school and treatment if necessary before they give you a hardship permit. Our Miami DUI lawyers realize this and will help you coordinate the completion of any DUI school before your case is resolved to keep you on the road.
Keep in mind, this criminal court suspension only applies if you are convicted of a DUI. A reduction of the DUI to reckless driving, a not guilty at trial, or an outright dismissal will keep the Judge from suspending your license.