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What Happens to My License After A DUI in Florida?

After you are arrested for DUI in Florida, you will face two hearings. One hearing will take place in the criminal courts and the other will decide the fate of your driver’s license and will occur at the DMV. When you were arrested, the officer probably confiscated your license. This is called an ‘Administrative Suspension.’ If it is your first DUI and your BAC was .08% or greater, the suspension is 180 days. If you refused the chemical test, your driver’s license is automatically suspended for one year. On your second DUI refusal, your license is suspended for 18 months. If you took the chemical test and had a BAC of .08% or more for the second time, your license is gone for one year.

Temporary License after DUI arrest in Florida

After your license is taken by the police officer, your DUI ticket will serve as a temporary license for the next ten days. Whether you are allowed to drive after the ten days are over largely depends on the actions you take. If this is your first DUI and you choose to not fight your license suspension, after the ten days, your license will be suspended for 30 days. You cannot drive for any reason during this time. After the 30 days, you could apply for a ‘hardship’ license. If you refused the chemical test, after the ten days is over, your license will be suspended for 90 days. After the 90 days, you could then be eligible for a ‘hardship’ license.

Formal Review Hearing after license suspension

You can fight the administrative suspension of your license by making a request in writing to the DMV within 10 days of your Florida DUI arrest. Once you have made the request, you will receive a permit that allows you to drive until your hearing has concluded. The hearing is conducted by a Florida DMV employee who has been trained to handle license cases. He looks at the evidence and determines if the evidence supports the continued suspension of your license or not. It is a good idea to have a Florida DUI attorney at the hearing with you (or even in place of you). The subject matter is very technical and deals with procedures that you may be unfamiliar with. Even if you lose at this hearing, your DUI attorney will learn invaluable information that will help you in your criminal DUI case. He will be able to look at all documents, evidence and witnesses related to your case. He can review the police report, lab results, and even question law enforcement about your arrest. The information he learns could be the deciding factor in whether you choose to fight your DUI charge in court or even give him leverage with the Prosecutor to get your DUI charge reduced. If you win, your license will be given back to you without restriction. If you lose, your license will be suspended for the remainder of the penalty time (6 months, 12 months or 18 months). Remember, even if you do lose at the Formal Review Hearing, you would have gained 4 weeks, or more, of driving that you would not have had if you did not request the hearing. This extra time could help you make arrangements during the 30 or 90 day no-driving period. Getting your driver’s license back after a DUI in Florida is not an easy task. Having a DUI attorney by your side can help you navigate the complicated procedures of the DMV and license reinstatement.