Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol is one of the most common criminal offenses that occurs in Florida. It happens so often that, for the legal system, it has become routine. However, driving under the influence is also one of the most complex crimes to defend. This means, if you have been arrested for DUI you need to immediately begin the process of addressing it.
Arrested For A DUI; Florida Law, Defenses, and Practices
If you have been arrested for a DUI (section 316.193, Fla. Stat.) there are things you need to do right away to defend yourself and to protect your driving privilege. This is why it is urgent that you speak to a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible.
First: How a DUI Affects Your Driver’s License
After you have been arrested for driving under the influence, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles [DMV] will automatically suspend your driving privilege in the State of Florida if A) you blew over a 0.08 on the breathalyzer, or B) you refused to blow. This suspension is automatic and immediate.
You Only Have 10-Days
You have 10-days from your arrest to address the administrative suspension. The DUI citation will act as a temporary “Business Purpose Only” license during this time. There are no “extensions” for these ten days – see below.
Things You Should Do Immediately After A DUI Arrest
If you refused to blow or blew over 0.08 during your DUI arrest you need to immediately address your situation. Within 10-days following your DUI arrest you have several options regarding your driving privilege:
- Request a Formal Review Hearing.
- Request an Informal Review Hearing.
- Waive your right to a hearing.
If you delay and do not elect one of the above options within those 10-days your temporary driving privilege will end and the automatic administrative suspension will begin. This means you must completely stop driving until the suspension ends or you obtain a temporary driving permit.
Sign Up For Classes, Counseling
If you refused to blow or blew over 0.08, you also need to do the following:
- Sign up for the DUI Counter-Attack Class (and eventually complete it).
- Sign up for the Victim Awareness Panel (and eventually complete it).
- Be enrolled and actively participating with any counseling required (and complete it).
You may wonder why do this before you have been found guilty. This is to address any administrative license suspension you are facing. It also helps with the criminal case.
Defending You From the Standard DUI
You have been arrested for DUI without any injuries and now you are trying to figure out what to do. It’s all new to you but understand the law is clear. What you need to do is have it explained to you so that your head stops spinning and you are not losing sleep over this. Once you understand, you can then begin to get past this.
Until we obtain the case “discovery” (the evidence, including reports, videos, and breath results) your defense path forward is open to many possibilities. The evidence can be overwhelming and we may have to put all your effort into mitigating the penalties. The evidence may be weak and a trial may be necessary. And protecting your driver’s license is always an issue that needs to be addressed.
To learn more about what the police see as evidence of impaired driving go to the DUI Evidence page.
DUIs with Serious Bodily Injury or Death
Everything written above concerns DUIs without any injuries to another person. If you have been charged with a DUI with Serious Bodily Injury or Death a direct consultation is required.
The Penalties You Are Facing For A DUI
A run down of almost all the penalties you are facing when you have been charged with DUI in Florida can be located on the DMV Florida DUI and Administrative Suspension Law page.
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