A DUI charge presents multiple problems before you ever step foot in a courtroom. One of the biggest hurdles of being arrested for DUI is losing your driving privileges. When you’re arrested for DUI, the police officers who arrest you must take your official driver’s license and give you a citation that doubles as a temporary license.
Your new paper license serves as a hardship license that allows you to drive for business purposes only, such as to and from work or while you’re on the job. While this is an improvement over having your driving privileges suspended completely, you’re still losing privileges without being convicted of a crime. That’s why it’s so important to observe the 10-day rule and work with a DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Review of Florida’s 10-day DUI Rule
In Florida, you have 10 days to request what is known as an administrative license suspension hearing after your DUI arrest. This hearing is an opportunity to challenge your license suspension and to potentially have your license reinstated. During this hearing, the judge will decide to do one of three things with your driver’s license based on the facts of your DUI:
- Issue a permanent license suspension
- Issue a hardship license
- Reinstate your license
Each of the above has different outcomes that will impact your day-to-day life. The sooner you acquire legal representation, the better your chances will be of keeping your license at the conclusion of the hearing.
Your Options as a First Time DUI Offender
As a first-time DUI offender, you have two options for responding to your license suspension after your arrest. You may either request the DUI administrative hearing or waive your right to the hearing.
If you request the hearing, you’ll receive the opportunity to have your lawyer challenge your arrest. If your lawyer can successfully show that the arresting officer did not have probable cause to arrest you, your license may be reinstated. If you do not successfully challenge your license suspension, you will need to rely on your citation as your hardship license until you receive a driver’s license card that is good for the duration of your license suspension. For a first-time DUI, your administrative suspension may last for 180 days and up to one year.
Your temporary hardship license is good for 42 days and is valid for business purposes only. If you waive your right to an administrative DUI hearing, you will receive a hardship license immediately that is good for your entire license suspension. You must also enroll in an approved DUI program before you can receive your hardship license.
Considerations for Your Administrative DUI Hearing
You are strongly urged to seek legal counsel before deciding whether to request a hearing or waive your right to it. In many cases it’s best to request the administrative hearing because it gives you an opportunity to challenge the officer’s actions and have your voice heard in court. With a competent DUI lawyer on your side, he may be able to present evidence that shows the officer did not have grounds to conduct a traffic stop.
West Palm Beach DUI Lawyer for DUI Hearings
Attorney Brian Gabriel of The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel has represented hundreds of clients accused of DUI during his 25-year career in West Palm Beach. He understands the various issues that can arise during DUI investigations that can put defendants in a negative light. From faulty breath tests to illegal stops, allow him to investigate the investigation police conducted on you when fighting for your freedom. With his help, it may be possible to keep your license, and you stand a better chance of having your DUI charges dismissed altogether or reduced to lesser charges.
Call our office at 561-622-5575 or complete our contact form for a free case review.