Do you lose your license immediately after a DUI in Florida?: Fort Lauderdale DUI Defense Attorney explains
The short answer is yes, you do lose your license immediately after getting a DUI in Florida.
When you’re arrested or ticketed for DUI (Driving Under the Influence) in South Florida, your license is suspended immediately. What happens after this initial suspension is entirely based on you and the actions you take.
After you are arrested for DUI in Florida, contact an experienced criminal DUI defense attorney immediately. It is important to contact a defense attorney who has ample DUI case experience. There are several details specific to DUIs that you must pay attention to and your attorney must advise you of and know how to handle in the best way for your case and your future.
An experienced DUI defense attorney will tell you that you have only 10 days from the date of your Florida arrest to take action to save your driver’s license.
If you do not take action to save your license, your license could automatically be suspended for 6 to 18 months, depending on the circumstances and your criminal history. If you want a chance to save your driver’s licence you cannot miss this 10-day window.
What can I do to save my driver’s license after a Florida DUI Charge?
The first step to take to save your license is to request a formal or informal administrative hearing with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). Your SouthFlorida DUI attorney should do this for you.
The purpose of this DMV hearing is to try and reinstate your driving privileges. The hearing officer could decide to reinstate your driving privileges, issue a hardship license, or deny any driving privileges at all. The better your DUI attorney, the better your chances at the Florida DMV.
To determine this, the hearing officer will look at a number of things such as:
- Whether there was enough probable cause for your arrest
- The results of your Blood or Breath Alcohol sample
- Whether the police officer illegally stopped you or failed to tell you necessary information
It’s extremely important to have an experienced DUI defense attorney help you through this administrative hearing. While it’s possible you can go through the hearing on your own, an experienced DUI defense attorney can conduct the administrative hearing in a way that can also help your criminal DUI case.
For example, the attorney may get testimony from the arresting officer that is contradictory to what he wrote in his reports. That can be extremely helpful in your criminal DUI case. You want to have an attorney present for this administrative hearing so they can argue every inconsistency and bring your case to the DMV in a way so that the hearing officer is sympathetic towards your cause and more likely to allow you to have driving privileges.
What can I do or say during my DUI DMV hearing to help my Florida DUI case?
Questions like “what do you do for work?” and “is your family dependent on you for your income?” will likely come up in the hearing if you are requesting a reinstatement of your license. The hearing officer asks these questions not to be nosy, but to weigh the costs and benefits of your license suspension.
For example, if you do not have a job and have no real reason to need to drive besides leisurely activities, the hearing officer will likely be less sympathetic to your case than they would be if you were a single mother with children dependent on your ability to go to work and make money to support, house, and feed them.
This is not to say to lie to the hearing officer or your attorney - however, it is important to have a realistic expectation of what the hearing officer’s thought process may be. The more reliant you and your immediate family are on your ability to drive and operate a motor vehicle, and the less serious your case, the more sympathetic and understanding the hearing officer may be about reinstating your driving privileges and license.
What is a Florida DUI hardship license?
The hearing officer at the time of issuing a hardship license will decide whether your hardship license is a “commercial (business) license” or one for “employment”. If you have previously been convicted of a DUI, you are not eligible to apply for a hardship license.
A “commercial license” allows you to drive to and from places that you will be “conducting business”. This means that you are able to go grocery shopping, purchase food, go to the doctor, or attend school. With a commercial license, you have the ability to do things and drive to places that are necessary for you to live. This includes things like grocery shopping and even attending religious services.
A hardship license specifically for “employment” means that you can drive from your residence to work, and from work back to your residence. This is a more restricted hardship license, as you are unable to go do things such as going grocery shopping, going to the doctor, etc.
How to fight your Florida DUI charge and protect your license
An experienced Florida DUI attorney can help examine your situation and your rights to find the most effective way forward. Contact Adam Rossen, Manny Serra-Jovenich or David Tarras at Rossen Law Firm today. We've helped countless individuals in Broward County and South Florida retain their driving privileges. We're ready to help and want to hear from you.
Take a moment to fill out the contact form on this page, or call our office nearest you. We offer FREE consultations.
- Fort Lauderdale Office: (754) 206-6200
- Sunrise Office: (754) 999-2499
- Boca Raton Office: (561) 880-8181
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