Were you arrested and charged with a DUI in Florida? If so, it's critical that you speak to an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. The consequences of a DUI conviction in Florida are harsh. For example, if you were arrested for DUI for the first time, you could face up to six months in jail and pay a fine between $500 and $1,000. In addition, you could face a license suspension between 180 days and one year. Penalties increase for second and subsequent DUI charges.
If your driver's license was suspended as a result of a DUI arrest, it may be difficult to attend work and earn a living. The good news is, you're not out of options. The Clay County attorneys at Aguilar & Sieron, P.A. discuss how you can possibly get your license back sooner than you think.
How DUI license suspensions work
Under Florida's administrative suspension law, your driver's license will be suspended immediately after a DUI arrest. The arresting officer will issue a temporary permit. This is valid for only 10 days from the date of the arrest. For drivers under the age of 21, a temporary permit isn't valid until 12 hours after being issued by a police officer. That's because police have the authority to detain DUI suspects and request a breath test.
You have two choices to make when presented with a temporary driver's license. You can accept the license suspension or challenge it in court. If you accept an administrative suspension, you have the option of applying for a hardship license (also called a restricted license) at your nearest Florida Administrative Reviews Office. You can be granted an Employment Purpose Only or Business Purpose Only license. These allow you to drive specifically for work, business, education, church and medical purposes.
If you have a prior DUI conviction, you won't be able to obtain a hardship license. You will have to wait until your license suspension ends to have your license reinstated. The process involves:
- Paying a reinstatement fee
- Providing proof that you completed DUI school within 90 days
- Provide proof that you have adequate vehicle bodily injury insurance (SR-22)
Your other option is to challenge the suspension in court, but you must request a hearing within 10 days of being arrested. It's important that you discuss your matter with an experienced DUI defense attorney, who can help you build a strong legal defense. If your hearing is successful, your driving privileges will be fully restored until your criminal proceeding. Your license suspension can also be overturned if the arresting officer or breath test operator fails to appear.
Contact our DUI attorneys in Clay County to discuss your legal options
As former Florida prosecutors, the attorneys at Aguilar & Sieron, P.A. know how the criminal justice system works. We have more than 30 years of experience representing people charged with DUI. Not only can we help you get your driver's license reinstated after a DUI arrest, but we can also help you fight the charges.
Our law firm serves clients in Clay County and throughout northeast Florida. Contact us online or call us to find out how we can help.