After a first-time DUI conviction, how can I get my license reinstated?
The penalty for a first time DUI can result in revocation of your license for 6-12 months, but if there was a serious injury involved, the revocation may last 36 months. If you want your license reinstated before the revocation term expires, then you will need to apply for a ‘hardship’ driver license and show proof that you have completed a DUI rehab program and the name of the facility.
Who qualifies for a ‘Hardship’ License?
The hardship license is not for everyone. You have to prove to the court that without a driver’s license, you are not able to run a business, drive to a hospital for care or get back and forth from a place of worship. The hardship license is not given to people who just want to go out and socialize or meet friends. Even when permission is granted, the hardship license has restrictions – you may only be allowed to go back and forth from your business, church or the doctor’s office. In addition, you must submit to a blood-alcohol test at least twice during that time period.
If the revocation period is over and you want your license restored, then you will need to show proof of enrollment or completion of a DUI rehab course. If you fail to complete the course within 3 months after reinstatement of your license, this will result in cancellation of your license until you complete the course.
Are there any fees involved when obtaining a hardship license?
Yes, once you have completed your DUI rehab and want a hardship license, you will be required to pay an administrative fee, as well as a reinstatement fee, and a license fee. You will also be required to take the driving examination again and show proof of auto insurance with the minimum mandatory liability insurance.
How do I find a DUI Program to complete my course requirements?
To find a DUI program click this link. Remember you can only attend a DUI program that is located in the county, where you reside.
If I get stopped for a DUI, can I ask for an attorney?
The answer is no. You can only ask for an attorney after you have been arrested and booked at the police station. When you are pulled over on the public road, you are only being detained. During the detainment, the officer will collect evidence to determine if there is probable cause to make an arrest. When you get pulled over, the officer has the right to question you without a lawyer being present.
What is Probable Cause?
In simple words, probable cause simply means ‘suspicion.’ The officer may have witnessed erratic driving or you may have gone through a red light, then all these observations would lead the officer to suspect that you have committed a crime. When the officer asks you to roll down your window he/she will be looking for signs of alcohol such as alcohol on your breath, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and sweating. Then he or she will administer you a sobriety test best on probable cause.
Do I have to say ‘yes’ when asked if I have been drinking?
Because of the 5th amendment, you have the right to remain silent if you think the officer is asking you incriminating questions. You may ask the officer that you would like to speak to an attorney before you answer the question, but if there is probable cause that you have been drinking, you will be given a breathalyzer test first. You can refuse to answer any questions but you must provide your car registration, license, and insurance; and comply with any order given by the officer.
At what level of alcohol can I be charged with DUI?
In Florida, you may be charged with a DUI when the blood alcohol content is above 0.08. In some cases, if the law enforcement officer notices marked mental impairment that may be due to alcohol, you can even be charged with DUI below the 0.08 limit. The same law applies to individuals under the age of 21 who can be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol content is at or above 0.02.
What are the penalties for a DUI in Florida?
The penalty for DUI in Florida depends on many factors, such as past convictions and if there was any injury involved. For a first DUI conviction, you can be fined anywhere between $500-$1,000. However, if your BAC is more than 0.15, the fine may range from $1,000-$2,000, in addition, first-time offenders are mandated to do at least 50 hours of community service and/or be sent to prison for 6-12 months. For all repeat offenders, the monetary penalties and incarceration period also increase.
When is an ignition interlock device fitted in my car?
Under Florida law, an ignition interlock device is required for any driver convicted of a second DUI. Once the device is inserted, to start the car one first has to blow in the machine, which tests for alcohol in the breath. If the court orders an ignition device to be fitted in your vehicle, you are responsible for the installation, maintenance, and reporting.
What type of criminal record will I have after my DUI conviction?
In Florida, DUI is a crime. Most first-time DUI convictions are misdemeanors but if you are a habitual offender, you may be charged with a felony. Unfortunately, both the misdemeanor and felony will show up on a criminal background check. However, in Florida, in certain cases, with the assistance of a lawyer, you can have the charges reduced or enter into a ‘first-time’ offender rehab program that will help avoid a permanent criminal record as long as you meet certain requirements.
What is “implied consent?”
When you are issued a driver’s license in Florida, you are given the privilege to drive. One of the conditions of issuance of the license is that when stopped by a police officer who suspects you of driving drunk, you also agree to submit to a breathalyzer or other sobriety test. The automatic requirement to submit to these ‘alcohol tests’ for drunk driving is known as the ‘Implied Consent’ rule.
Can I refuse the breathalyzer test in Florida?
Under the ‘implied consent’ rule, driving is a privilege and when you get your license to drive, you automatically agree to take a test given by a law enforcement officer to determine the alcohol level in your body. If you refuse to take the breathalyzer test, you will be arrested on the spot and your license can be suspended for 6-18 months.
Can an attorney help me if I am charged with a DUI?
Law enforcement has to follow certain protocols and procedures and give you a breathalyzer test in an appropriate informed manner. Many times mistakes are made during the process of administering the breathalyzer test and a skilled lawyer can help get the charges reduced or even thrown out. The best way to know if your DUI case can be resolved is to speak with an attorney. Frost Law represents clients facing DUI and other felony and misdemeanor charges. Get help from an experienced trial attorney and former state prosecutor. Call (407) 670-5569 to schedule your free consultation.