DUI Defense Lawyer, Former Prosecutor
So you have been arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). You either made a mistake, had a lapse in judgment, or maybe the police rushed to judgment. Either way the result is the same; you wish you could rewind time and change the way things went. Maybe you wish you had a second chance.
DUI Administrative License Suspensions
Driving with an Illegal Breath Alcohol Level (.08)
A person charged with a DUI needs to hire a private Brevard County DUI attorney fast. Most people know that their license will likely be suspended when they are arrested for DUI, but most people do not know that there are two separate and distinct suspensions or revocations that the vast majority of people arrested for DUI will experience.
These two suspensions most often happen at different times and for different reasons. The first suspension that a person arrested for DUI will likely experience is an administrative suspension for either refusing to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test, or for driving with a breath test result of .08 or more. This suspension is regardless of what is going on with your criminal DUI case.
For an administrative suspension, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) will automatically suspend your driver's license in ten days after your arrest. This license suspension will occur immediately and is separate and in addition to any license suspension you will incur if you are convicted of DUI.
If you operate a motor vehicle in the State of Florida, you are subject to the "implied consent" law. This means that because you are operating a motor vehicle in the State of Florida, you have agreed to take a chemical test of your breath if you are lawfully arrested by a law enforcement officer who believes you are under the influence of alcoholic beverages. A urine test can be requested if drugs are suspected.
A blood test can be requested under some very limited circumstances. If you have a Florida drivers license, the statement, "I hereby consent to any chemical test for sobriety as required by law" appears directly above your signature. If one refuses to submit to a lawful breath, urine, or blood test, the DHSMV will suspend your license for 1 year for a first refusal, or 18 months if you have previously refused to submit to a lawful test.
However, even if you submit to the breath test, your license will be suspended for 6 months if your results are .08 or higher, as .08 is an illegal breath test result. Remember, this 1 year, 18 month, or 6 month license suspension is separate and distinct from your criminal case.
There are three options: 1) One can fight the suspension by demanding a hearing within ten (10) days of your arrest, 2) one can file a waiver within 10 days of your arrest stating that you are not fighting the suspension, or 3) one can do nothing and just let your license go into suspension.
Doing nothing is always a bad option. Whether to choose to fight the suspension, or file a waiver depends on the facts of your specific case. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options. The public defenders office will not handle these services for you.
If you lose at the hearing, your license will go into suspension. If your suspension was for refusing to submit to a lawful test, then your license suspension will be for 1 year for a first refusal, or 18 months if you have refused in the past. You will not be eligible for a restricted "hardship" or "business purpose only" license until 90 days has past.
This 90 days of literally no driving is often called "hard time." If your suspension was for an illegal breath test result (.08 or higher) and you lose at the hearing, your license will go into suspension for 6 months. You will not be eligible for a restricted "hardship" or "business purposes only" license until 30 days has past.
If one chooses to fight the suspension by demanding a hearing, you will immediately get a 42 day temporary driving permit allowing you to drive on a restricted basis until the hearing is heard. This is, of course, assuming you are not suspended for some other non-related reason like unpaid tickets, unpaid fines, or child support just to name a few. If you win at the hearing, you will get your license back (again, assuming you are otherwise eligible and not suspended for some other reason).
There may be technical defenses to your administrative license suspension that a trained DUI lawyer will find. These defenses may not be obvious or apparent to you, so you would be well-served to speak to a Brevard County DUI Lawyer to see what defenses, if any, apply to your situation.
The other option is to file a waiver explaining that you are not challenging the administrative license suspension. This is a relatively new option. Effective 07/01/2013, one may waive the formal review hearing and not challenge the suspension for refusing to submit to a lawful test or for an illegal breath test. The benefit to doing so is that one can immediately get a restricted license if you are eligible.
To be eligible, one cannot have had any prior refusal suspensions or a prior suspension for an illegal breath or blood alcohol level. Also, one cannot be suspended for some other non-related reason.
This means, that although your license will go into suspension for either refusing to submit to a lawful test or for an illegal breath test, there is no "hard time" and you will immediately be able to drive on a restricted basis. However, this should only be done after meeting with a knowledgeable attorney to see if there are any defenses to the license suspension.
In many cases, Jason advises clients to waive the formal review hearing if they are eligible to do so in order for the client to immediately get the restricted license. Many people cannot afford to gamble with their driving privilege as they need to drive for their livelihood.
However, sometimes Jason Hicks advises them to demand the hearing and fight the suspension if there is a strong defense that exists or if the client is not eligible to waive the hearing. Waiving the formal review hearing is not a "one size fits all" solution. It should only be done if the facts of your case call for it. Also, this must be done within 10 days of your arrest. Waiving the formal review is not as simple as strolling into the bureau of administrative reviews office and paying $25.
Certain things need to be done prior, like enrolling in the DUI School. And enrolling in the DUI School itself is not as easy as strolling into their office. Do not wait until day 9 or 10 to start this process! The process is complicated and has many steps. Brevard County DUI defense attorney Jason Hicks can give you a roadmap to successfully completing this process and getting you back on the road.
If you were arrested for a DUI and your license was suspended for either refusing to submit to a breath test, blood, or urine test, or if it is suspended for for an illegal breath or blood alcohol level, call Brevard County DUI attorney Jason Hicks as he intimately knows the process to ensure that your driving privilege is secure and protected.
Don't play around with your livelihood during this quickly eroding 10 day period. Florida DUI Attorney Jason Hicks may help you with this process and will immediately work to get your suspension dismissed or to secure a restricted driver's license that gets you immediately back to being productive on the road. A lawyer can put you on the right path to obtaining this license to mitigate your DUI arrest's impact on your life.