If you are visiting the Tampa Bay area, and have unfortunately been arrested for DUI, in addition to the normal questions of what to do so that this arrest won’t completely disrupt your life, you have the added complication of being hundreds, if not thousands of miles away. Not only must you navigate the numerous administrative hurdles of Florida’s Arrest Suspension, you are now wondering can you leave to go back home, and how many times must you return to answer to this charge.

We at Taracks & Associates understand the additional difficulties that you will face if you’ve been arrested for DUI, and you don’t live in Florida. Call us today at 813-281-2897 for a Free Consultation with one of our Florida DUI Defense Attorneys so that we can discuss the facts of your case, your options, and how we can assist you locally in court while you are back home.

One of the first issues you will deal with is if your license was taken by the arresting officer for either having over .08% B.A.C., or if you refused to submit to a breath test, you only have 10 days to drive on your DUI ticket until your Arrest Suspension is addressed.

Florida was one of the first states to provide for Summary Arrest Suspension of a Driver’s License, which allows the officer to suspend your privileges to drive in the State of Florida due to your arrest. Some states will honor this suspension, and some states don’t. While we are not licensed attorneys’ in other states, we know how to verify whether the state that issued you your driver’s license has reciprocity with Florida, and what steps you will need to take in order to allow you to legally drive once you get back home.

Keep in mind that time is of the essence, due to the fact that you/or your attorney must request a Formal/Informal review within 10 days of your DUI arrest, in order to try to remove the Arrest Suspension from your record. Remember that even if you do not have a Florida Driver’s License, if your license was taken by the arresting officer, you have now been issued a DL # in Florida’s computer system to keep track of your ability to drive in the geographic boundaries of the state.

If your state does honor Florida’s Arrest Suspension, then you must apply for hardship privileges with the Department of Highway Safety Motor Vehicles. These steps include:

  1. Apply for a Hardship Hearing in the county in which you were arrested. This Hardship Hearing Form (HSMV 78306) has the listing of the offices in which these hearings are conducted. The cost for this Hardship Hearing is $12.00
  2. Enroll in the appropriate DUI School, and bring that proof with you to the Hardship Hearing or make arrangements to provide proof in advance of the Telephonic Hardship Hearing.
  3. During this hearing, you will be asked questions under oath. You will need to explain why you need a Hardship License, and that you will agree not to consume any alcohol, controlled substances and/or medication (unless prescribed) while operating a motor vehicle.

Note: Many of these steps can be accomplished either via phone or email.

The next issue that must be addressed is that you have either been given a mandatory court date (Arraignment), or you have instructions to go to the Clerk of Court within 10 days in order to schedule your Arraignment. Do you have to stay in Florida for these dates?

No. We can assist with this calendaring procedure so that you don’t have to remain in Florida longer than you originally intended. Also, as your case progresses through the court system while we are gathering evidence on your behalf, there will likely be several court dates set that we can appear on your behalf as well.

Additionally, you can remain in your home state while we negotiate an acceptable disposition. Often we are able to not only negotiate an appropriate result of your DUI to help protect your reputation, your freedom, and your livelihood without the need of you to return to Florida for a final court date.

So if you are a student, temporary relocated worker, or just visiting Florida, please call the Tampa Criminal Defense Attorneys at Taracks & Associates for your Free Consultation at 813-281-2897. We can then discuss how to keep you driving in Florida, and then back at your home while we are defending you here in Florida.

Even if you live outside of Florida, if you are convicted of a DUI in Florida, you will have to qualify for a work permit in Florida, in order to legally drive in your home state. All 50 states will honor a DUI Conviction imposed by a Florida Judge. So if your license is, or is about to be suspended for a DUI Conviction, planning ahead is crucial.

If you are facing a DUI Conviction and the resulting Driver’s License Suspension, here are a few tips that will save you time, aggravation, and have you driving quickly after you are eligible.

  • If this is your first DUI Conviction, contact DHMSV prior to your court date to schedule your Eligibility Hearing as soon as possible after your court date. The offices that hold these hearings are listed here Telephone hearings can also be scheduled at the office nearest to the county in which you were arrested.
  • The reinstatement cost from a DUI Conviction will cost at a minimum $265.00 so be prepared to pay these fees once you are approved for a work permit.
  • You will need to present proof of your conviction, and you will be able to get those documents after your Court Hearing. You will not need to complete any recommended substance abuse counseling program, but you will need to have at least enrolled into an approved program.
  • You will need to present your DUI School Completion Certificate. If you have not completed DUI School, then you will not qualify for a work permit until it is completed. Often Judge’s will allow for a continuance of your case in order to complete this school.
  • If your breath test at the time of your arrest was over .15%, and the prosecutor has agreed to have your case considered less than .15%, you will need to present an order to that affect signed by the Judge at the time of your conviction.

So, if you want assistance in developing a strategy as to how to prevent your DUI Arrest from devastating consequences while you are back home, call the Tampa DUI Attorneys at Taracks & Associates at 813-281-1897 today. We will then take the time to answer your questions, develop a strategy designed for you, and work as a team to accomplish your goals.

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