Florida DUI –Administrative License Suspension
If you are arrested in Florida for driving under the influence (DUI) and your blood alcohol level is measured at .08% or above, or if your refuse to submit to an Intoxilyzer (breathalyzer), blood or urine test, the arresting officer will issue you a notice of suspension (DUI citation). This citation will be sent to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) who will make the determination whether your license is going to be taken away.
It is important to understand that a DHSMV suspension of your license is an administrative proceeding that will be handled separate and apart from your criminal case. This means that in Florida you can be subject to both administrative sanctions and criminal penalties for your DUI.
This may sound confusing at first, but as an experienced Tallahassee and Panama City DUI attorney, I will advise you throughout both the administrative and criminal processes, fighting to protect your rights at all stages of the game.
Requesting an Administrative Review Hearing – Florida’s 10 Day Rule
When your driver’s license is taken away by the DHSMV, you have the right to challenge the suspension. In order to so, you will need to at very quickly. You will only have 10 calendar days from the date of your arrest to request an administrative review hearing contesting the suspension of your driver’s license. This means you will need to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest. An experienced Panama City or Tallassee DUI attorney can explain your rights and file the legal documents necessary to help protect your driving privileges.
When you file a request for an administrative review hearing within 10 calendar days of your DUI arrest, you will be issued a temporary driver’s license that will permit you to drive until seven days after the date of your hearing. In most instances, your hearing will be scheduled approximately 30 days after your arrest.
Depending upon the outcome of your hearing, your license suspension will be invalidated, upheld, or amended. In order to have the best chances at your hearing, you should be represented by a strong and experienced DUI attorney who will take the steps needed to protect your legal rights and restore your driving privileges.
Should you fail to make a request for a formal hearing within the 10 day calendar period, your driver’s license will be suspended. If this is your first DUI arrest and your blood alcohol level measured .08% or above, the suspension period will be for 6 months. In the event that your driver’s license was suspended before for a DUI, or if you refused to submit to breath, blood or urine testing, the suspension period will be increased to one year. Additionally, if this is your second refusal to submit to testing, your license will be suspended for 18 months.
Requesting a Hardship License - BPO License
You can also decide to waive or give up your rights to an administrate hearing and request an immediate issuance of a Business Purposes Only (BP) license. A BPO license is a hardship license that will allow you to drive to maintain your livelihood, such as driving to work, school, your place of worship, or for medical purposes.
It is important to understand that BPO licenses are limited to first-time DUI convictions. This means if you have had your license suspended for a DUI before, you generally will not qualify for a BPO license. Additionally, because the driving limitations associated with a BPO license can be confusing, our law office can help you sort through the restrictions so that you can avoid any potential problems or misunderstandings.
Contact an Experienced Florida DUI Attorney Today
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Florida it is very important to discuss your case with a skilled Tallahassee or Panama City defense attorney immediately. The issues associated with DUI cases can be very complex, ranging from the legality of the traffic stop to the evidence collected by the police during your arrest.
DUI defense Attorney Gus Soto is a former Florida Assistant State Attorney who has tried over 200 DUI cases. He will use his extensive experience and background to fight for your legal rights. You can contact DUI Defense Attorney Soto for a free consultation in his Tallahassee or Panama City office by calling (888)440-7686.