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Whats the procedure for FL traffic court appearance for driving w/o license and DUI?

Tampa, FL |
Attorney answers 4


The procedure is that you should hire an attorney asap! You have 30 days to file with the clerk to fight your failure to yield citation, and I suggest you elect to fight that ticket. In the meantime, hire an attorney (did I mention that already?). Also, you may have a DL suspension as a result of the DUI (it's hard to say with the information given), which means the clock is ticking with DMV in terms of your ability to appeal any suspensions that may have resulted from these allegations (did you blow, was blood drawn, urine sample?), you typically have 10 days to file an appeal with DMV....

The criminal procedure is fairly simple, you will begin your journey with an arraignment date, at which time you will sit around for half the morning, spend about 45 seconds in front of a judge that has the duty to explain to you what your charges are, the maximum penalties, and ask you if you would like to enter a plea bargain. Don't do it, consult an attorney first! The next court date is typically a pretrial conference, whereby, once again, you'll sit around all day, and again, maybe asked if you would like to enter a plea bargain. Again, don't do it! If you hire an attorney, there's a good change you may not need to attend the arraignment and pretrial conference. Some judges also conduct "docket sounding" hearings and "case management" hearings that will require your appearance even if you have an attorney.

Don't go it alone. Good Luck!

John Guidry II


Since you are facing a lot of jail time you need to hire an attorney. You are looking at one year on the DUI involving a crash and at least 60 days (if not more) on the suspended license charge. It sounds like it may be a blood draw case, and there are a lot of legal arguments when it comes to blood draw cases. Even if you can't afford an attorney, then get the public defender. Feel free to contact me if you wish.


Both the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Court have their own procedures. You will only have 10 days from the date you were charged to challenge the DUI with the DMV. Your next court date will likely be an "arraigment" where the Court will present the charges agains you, and you have the opportunity to plead not guilty, guilty, or no contest. Before you enter ANY plea and if you don't already have a private attorney, you will be assigned a public defender if you qualify. If you are in a financial position to hire a private attorney, I suggest you do so, as you are facing both jail time and fines if convicted.


In most cases your criminal defense attorney will file a motion to consolidate the civil traffic infraction for failure to yield with the criminal citations for DUI and driving without a license with knowledge. If the motion to consolidate is granted, all three citations will be heard at the same time in front of the same judge. Some jurisdictions automatically consolidate the civil citations with the criminal case.