Florida DUI License Suspensions: How to Keep Driving

St. Petersburg / Clearwater DUI Defense Lawyers

A Florida DUI Can Cause Two Different Driver’s License Suspensions

Safeguarding Your Privilege to Drive Despite a DUI - Understanding Florida DUI License Suspensions Most of our clients charged with a DUI are understandably concerned about the impact this will have on their driving privilege. You need to be aware that a DUI could result in two different driver’s license suspensions:

1.) The “administrative” suspension – In many DUI cases, law enforcement will take your driver’s license at the time of your DUI arrest. This DHSMV “administrative” suspension is automatic, even though your case has not yet been heard in court. In other words, you can lose your license even though you are still presumed to be innocent.

2.) The “court” suspension – There are criminal court DUI penalties that require the judge to again suspend your driver’s license in the event you are later convicted of the DUI charge. This second suspension is separate and apart from the earlier administrative suspension.

How We Can Help

We are experienced St. Petersburg / Clearwater DUI defense lawyers who routinely deal with both administrative and court imposed driver’s license suspensions. We may be able to help you continue driving after your DUI arrest by applying for a temporary driving permit, as well as safeguard your privilege to drive following your DUI court case.

Take Action Quickly: The 10-Day Rule

You must act quickly. You only have 10 days from the date of your DUI arrest or citation to either obtain a hardship license by “waiving” your Formal Administrative Review Hearing, or to have your lawyer challenge the driver’s license suspension and obtain a temporary driving permit. If you retain our services within this 10 day window of opportunity, we will first counsel you on your various options, and help you make a decision which choice is in your best interest. If you decide to pursue a hardship license through the waiver process, our office will provide you with detailed “step-by-step” instructions for obtaining the hardship license. If you elect to have a Formal Administrative Review Hearing, we will file all the necessary paperwork in order to seek the issuance of your temporary driving permit and preserve your right to a hearing that will enable us to challenge the administrative driver’s license suspension.

Florida law requires an automatic “administrative” suspension of your driver’s license if you are arrested for a DUI and one of the following events takes place:

  • You blow into the machine and your breath test reading is .08 or higher; or
  • You refuse to blow into the breath test machine after being told that your “refusal” will cause the automatic administrative suspension of your privilege to drive.

Our office may be able to keep you driving after this “administrative” suspension. We can discuss your eligibility for a temporary driving permit that will allow you to lawfully operate a motor vehicle for hardship driving reasons or “business purposes.” We can also challenge the suspension on your behalf in an effort to do away with the administrative driver’s license suspension altogether.

Read our in-depth article on how we may be able to help Get Your Driver’s License Back.
Even if the 10 days have already passed, we may be able to help you Get a Hardship License.

Call our office to schedule a free consultation regarding your Pinellas County DUI Arrest at (727) 578-0303.


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