Receive a DUI in Florida and not sure what to do next?
DUI laws in Florida can be very confusing. The immediate concern of my clients is: How can I get my drivers license back?? Well, that depends... There are time constraints, eligibility conditions, classes and certain documentations needed. This guide will help you get your license back!
You received a DUI, and the Officer took your drivers license. NOW WHAT?As long as your license was in good standing prior to DUI, you can drive (business purposes only) for a period of 10 days. Your DUI citation will act as your license. You will have 10 days from the date of arrest to decide if you would like to waive your right to formal review (only eligible for first time offenders) or have a formal/informal review. Here are some questions a good lawyer should be asking: Did the officer have probable cause to stop you? Did the officer ask the appropriate questions and allow you your rights? Did the Officer perform field sobriety test correctly?
Waiver of right to formal reviewIf you are a first time offender, never been arrested for DUI in your lifetime, you are eligible for waiver of formal review. You must register for the DUI level 1 course and file a request to the Bureau of Administrative reviews within 10 days of your arrest. By waiving your right to a formal review you are allowing the Florida DMV to suspend your driver's license BUT you are immediately able to get a business purpose only license (BPO). A BPO license will allow you to drive for work, medical, religious and school purposes. There is a fee for BPO license.
Formal/Informal ReviewIf you have had a previous arrest, or even if it is your first time DUI but you have a "good case" you will need to file a formal/informal review within 10 days of your arrest. (Formal review = you have the ability to subpoena Police Officer. Informal = waive right to subpoena) By filing a formal/informal review this will allow you (and your attorney, if hired) to have a hearing with a Bureau of Administrative Review Hearing Officer, to discuss the facts of the case. Usually when you file a review hearing you will receive a temporary BPO license to allow you to drive. A Hearing Officer will make a decision based on the facts of your case if your license should be suspended or reinstated. If reinstated, you will have your full driving privileges; just pay the cost of replacement license. If your license is suspended: 6 months first time DUI, 12 months first time with refusal to breath test/or second, 18 months second with refusal to breath. You will have a sit out period of 30 days, if first time, or 90 days if second, or first refusal to breath test, before you are eligible to apply for BPO license. You will also need to be enrolled in the appropriate DUI course (level 1 or level 2). There is a fee for a BPO license.
Does the waiver of my formal review or outcome of hearing effect my DUI in court?No, the DMV and Courts are separate, and will not have a bearing on each other. You may see an additional revocation from the Courts if sentenced to a DUI or reckless driving. If the courts revoke your license you will need to renew your BPO license with the DMV, you will be required to show completion of DUI course and pay additional fee.