Fighting to Get Your License Reinstated
It is likely that if you've been stopped and arrested for DUI in Florida, your license will be suspended before your case is taken on by a judge or prosecutor.
The Ten Day Rule for License Reinstatement
After a DUI arrest, there are actually two entities that can interfere with your driver’s license – the Florida Court system and the Department of Motor Vehicles. If you are stopped and arrested for a DUI, it is very likely your license will be suspended long before a judge – or a prosecutor- is even assigned to your case.
The law provides for an automatic license suspension if you refuse submit to a breath or blood test, or if your blood alcohol level was measured at a certain level. If either one of these things happens, the arresting officer will confiscate your license immediately, and the DMV (after a 10-day period) has the power to administratively suspend your license for a certain period of time.
There is a way to keep your driving privileges, but it requires that you request a formal administrative hearing before the eleventh day after your arrest. This hearing is held before a hearing officer employed by the DMV (not the judge!) and if that hearing is successful, you may get your license back – at least until your court case works its way through the system.
License Reinstatements for Business or Employment
- First Conviction: You must complete DUI school, apply to the Department of Motor Vehicles for a hearing for hardship reinstatement.
- Second Conviction: You are not eligible for hardship license except as provided below.
- Second Conviction Within 5 Years: Your license will be revoked for 5 years, although you may apply for a hardship reinstatement after one year. You must complete DUI school and enroll and successfully stay in a supervision program for the remainder of the revocation time. You cannot consume any alcohol or use a controlled substance or drive a motor vehicle for 12 months prior to reinstatement.
- Third Conviction Within 10 Years: your license will be revoked for ten years. You can apply for hardship reinstatement after two years You cannot consume any alcohol or use a controlled substance or drive a motor vehicle for 12 months prior to reinstatement.
If you have specific questions about how your DUI arrest can affect your license you should consult with a lawyer familiar with DUI arrests in Pinellas County, Pasco County or Hillsborough County.
A Formal Hearing is Important
Formal Review hearings can be an important tool in DUI defense, but there can be a down-side to requesting one. If you waive your right to have that hearing, (and if you have never had a prior DUI suspension) the DMV now allows you to get a temporary Business Purposes Only license (BPO license) immediately.
This is a tempting alternative to many people, and sometimes the wise one, but it is a decision that should not be made without consulting an experienced attorney who has handled drunk driving cases in Pinellas, Pasco, or Hillsborough Counties.
Edward Panzica has been handling DUI cases for 30 years and is available for a free consultation at 727-588-0966.