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In Florida a DUI is divided up into two separate proceedings. The criminal case can suspend your license, put you on probation, require you to pay fines, require you to pay court costs, require you to take classes and in some cases result in being sentenced to jail. If you are able to prevail and your charges get dismissed, Nolle Prosequi or you are found not guilty your license will still be suspended administratively if proper steps are not taken. In Florida if you are arrested for DUI and submit to a breath test over the legal limit or refuse a lawful breath, blood or urine test your license will be suspended administratively after 10 days. You have an opportunity to challenge the suspension by requesting a formal review. This is available if simple paperwork is filed in time. This is unfair because people that have access to money are able to quickly hire an attorney and fight the administrative suspension. In Florida The Public Defender’s office does not handle administrative review hearings. Your liberty is not at stake but your driver’s license is. If private attorney is not retained and the accused doesn’t take action their driver’s license will be suspend before they have an opportunity to speak with an attorney. This is not bashing The Public Defender’s office. The administrative process is a separate hearing that Public Defenders and Assistant State Attorney’s do not attend. Only about half of the people arrested for DUI in Florida obtain a 42 day driving permit. A 42 day driving permit can be obtained by filling out a simple form attaching a copy of your citation and paying a $25 fee to The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) within 10 days of arrest. This buys an additional 10 days before the pre-hearing statement (the second step) is due (some times more depending on how fast the paperwork is processed) to hire an attorney.
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