In Florida, a DUI arrest can impact your driving privileges in several ways. First, it is important to know that DUI is essentially a two-part process in Florida. There is a criminal portion of your case dealing with the DUI charge itself, and then there is an administrative portion of your case that deals with suspension of your license for blowing over the legal limit or refusing to provide a breath, blood, or urine sample.
If you are arrested for DUI and you blow over a .08, the legal limit in this State, then 10 days from the date of your arrest your license will automatically be suspended for a period of 6 months. If you refuse to provide a breath, blood, or urine sample, your license will automatically be suspended for a period of 12 months. A second or subsequent refusal will earn you an 18 month suspension.
However, your attorney can petition the DMV to challenge the suspension of your license. While that challenge is pending, you can be issued a temporary driving permit that lasts approximately 42 days. That permit will allow you to drive for work, religion, school, or medical reasons. It also allows you to drive for reasons necessary to maintaining your livelihood, which can provide a driver with the ability to also make stops for things like gas and supplies.
If your lawyer is successful in challenging the validity of your license suspension, you will get your license back and have it fully reinstated. If you are not successful, you will have to serve a period of 30 days of no driving for a blow over .08 or 90 days for a refusal. However, after that period has expired, you will be eligible for a second permit that will allow you to drive for work, religion, school, or medical reasons for the remaining period of your license suspension.
Then, of course, is the criminal case. If you are convicted of a first time DUI, the law requires your license to be suspended for a period of 6 months. This may overlap your administrative (DMV) suspension depending on when your case is resolved. A second conviction within 5 years of the first requires the Court to suspend your license for a period of 5 years. If your case is dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge of reckless driving, then you may be able to avoid any suspension through the Court whatsoever.
In sum, all hope is not lost when it comes to your driving privileges after a DUI. If you act within the first 10 days, you can challenge your suspension and get a temporary permit for approximately 42 days. Even if you are unsuccessful, you can still obtain a second permit that lasts for the remaining portion of your suspension after the 30/90 day penalty ends. Further, an experienced lawyer may be able to get your case reduced or dismissed, meaning no suspension through the Court. A dismissal or reduction in charges would also save you thousands in court costs, fines, and increases in insurance rates.
If you have been charged with a DUI or have questions about the process, contact an attorney with the law firm of Taracks & Associates today at 813-281-2897. We have five lawyers on staff, including four former prosecutors who have handled DUI's from both sides of the court room. Call today for your free, confidential consultation.