If you are facing DUI charges in Florida, it is likely that you have many questions and want to know how to proceed effectively with your case…and as soon as possible.
When you receive a DUI in the state of Florida, the citation you receive from the officer is your temporary driver’s license. This temporary license is valid for the ten days after you’ve received your citation and you should use this time to obtain a Florida DUI lawyer who can help you file for a formal review hearing.
Although it is possible to get a hardship license without the formal review hearing, it is necessary that you talk to your lawyer first so you can determine the most appropriate course of action for you.
Can I Drive after the Formal Review Hearing?
Although you could represent yourself in a formal review hearing, having a lawyer represent you ensures that it goes as smoothly as possible.
If you and your DUI attorney win the DMV hearing after being accused of DUI, you could get your license back. If you lose this hearing, however, your license will be immediately suspended if:
- If your blood alcohol level was over the legal limit of 0.08
- If this was the first time you have refused the test
As a result, your license could be suspended for a minimum of twelve to eighteen months.
What Happens if We Lose the DMV Hearing?
Even if you do lose the formal hearing at the DMV, this is not the end of the world. In fact, it could be a very helpful tool for you and your DUI lawyer because you can learn about the information that the other side has. In many ways this is like a deposition. This is a discovery tool for gathering information and it allows your attorney to begin exploring the weakness in the prosecution’s case.
This is My First DUI – Can I Apply for a Hardship License?
In some situations, you may still be eligible to get a hardship license after a DUI in Florida – if this is your first DUI, and even if you refused the breath test or you blew over a 0.08. After thirty days of no driving time after blowing a 0.08, you can apply for a hardship license.
If this is your first DUI and you refused the breath test, after 90 days of no driving activity you can apply for a hardship license after the temporary permit has expired.
Do I Really Need a Lawyer to Help Me Get a Hardship License?
If this is your first DUI and you are able to retain a DUI lawyer before the ten days are up, the lawyer will usually be able to get you a temporary driving permit in less than a week. This means that you can drive for business purposes only, such as driving to or from work or to the doctor or if you drive for a living.
You may be eligible for a hardship license if you can demonstrate that you need your car to get to work or to another imperative activity. But there may be waiting periods you must comply with before requesting the hardship license. The DMV refers to these as hard time, but it simply means the time under which you have not exercised your driving privileges as a result of the penalties associated with your DUI.
If you find yourself in the position of facing a DUI charge in the state of Florida, then getting legal advice as soon as possible will provide you with an explanation of all of your options and give you the best course of action moving forward.