How to Keep My License After a DUI in Florida

If you want to keep your license after a DUI in Florida, you only have ten days to act! If you delay any longer than this, your license will be suspended for an extended period.

So what can you do to get your license back after a DUI? First, contact a Florida DUI attorney immediately. With only 10 days since the arrest to act, you cannot afford to wait. Doing so may allow you to get your charges dropped or to gain a temporary hardship license.

Our attorneys welcome you to contact us for a free consultation today. We regularly help Florida residents fight to keep their driving privileges and can do the same for you.

What to Do Next: How to Keep Your Driver’s License After a DUI in Florida

Challenge the Suspension

After a DUI arrest in Florida, a law enforcement officer may have seized and suspended your license. They are authorized to do this if you:

If that did happen, your license will have been automatically suspended when the police officer filed your Uniform Traffic Citation with the DHSMV.

So what can you do next?

  • You can challenge the suspension.
  • You only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to challenge it.
  • Your attorney will request a civil administrative hearing to make the challenge.

Note: The 10-day period includes Saturdays, Sundays and holiday days.

If your DMV administrative hearing fails and your license is suspended, then you can appeal the suspension by ‘a petition for writ of certiorari’ to the circuit court in your county of residence, or where your case was reviewed.

It is critical that you receive the legal defense of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Demand a Hardship License

If you challenge the suspension within ten days of the DUI arrest, you may be able to acquire a temporary license.

These are called ‘hardship permits’ or ‘hardship licenses’ and last for 42 days. Hardship permits allow you to drive for business purposes while the challenge for your license suspension is ongoing.

Once the hearing is scheduled, the State must prove:

Illegal BAC Content:

  • The officer had ‘probable cause’ to stop your vehicle, such as because you were driving in a manner that suggested you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • That your BAC level was .08 or more. (Known as DUBAL)

Breath Test Refusal:

  • The officer had ‘probable cause’ to stop your vehicle, such as because you were driving in a manner that suggested you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • You refused to submit a blood alcohol level test – either through breath, blood or urine.
  • You were informed that by refusing, your license would be suspended for one year (if a first-time refusal) or 18 months for a subsequent refusal(s).

Get Your DUI Charges Dropped

As criminal defense attorneys, we regularly help Florida drivers get to keep their licenses after DUIs by getting the charges dropped.

As the State must prove ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ the above-listed factors, there are often realistic routes to a defense.

For example, our lawyers may be able to show:

  • That there was no justified reason for you to be stopped by the police.
  • The breathalyzer machine was faulty.
  • Breath alcohol level test instructions were incorrect.
  • You didn’t understand the officer’s instructions.
  • A physical or mental health issue justified your breathalyzer test refusal.
  • You have physical impairments that caused a field test failure.

Related: Are DUI Breath Test Results Accurate?

Waive Your Right to a Hearing

Another option to keep your license after a DUI is to waive your rights to a formal review hearing.

By doing this, you can immediately obtain a hardship license, allowing you to drive for ‘business purposes’ during the license suspension period.

To be eligible, you must enroll in DUI school and show proof to the Bureau of Administrative Reviews within 10 days of your arrest.

However, this option will forfeit your rights to have the suspension thrown out entirely.

The administrative suspension of your license will also remain on your record, even if your criminal charge is reduced or dismissed – unless you are found not guilty after trial.

Don’t Do Nothing!

The other common option is to do nothing. This is a terrible idea.

If you don’t take action, then after 10 days, you will have a suspended license and lose your driving privileges.

If you refuse to perform a BAC test, the license suspension will last one year with a hard suspension for 90 days.

If you were arrested for driving with a BAC of .08 or more, you will have your license suspended for six months and a hard suspension for 30 days.

After the hard suspension, you can then request a hardship license if you enroll in DUI school.

Most people cannot afford to go months without a license. So we highly recommend that you take action NOW within the 10 days window.

What Driving Does a Hardship License Allow For?

Hardship licenses in Florida allow you to drive for ‘business purposes’ only.

The DMV defines business purposes as,

“a driving privilege that is limited to any driving necessary to maintain livelihood, including to and from work, necessary on-the-job driving, driving for educational purposes and driving for church and for medical purposes; no driving for any other purposes is allowed.”

Do I Need a DUI Attorney?

Yes. Knowing how to successfully appeal your license suspension and how to do it fast is very complicated and requires extensive legal knowledge.

Failure to do this correctly could see you face a long license suspension, criminal charges and a difficult future.

However, you should never work with just any criminal defense attorney. Only work with experienced DUI lawyers from a reputable Florida law firm.

Act now – if you miss the 10-day deadline, you will have a license suspension without any chance to appeal or get a hardship license.

Contact a DUI Defense Attorney

If you want to keep your license after a DUI in Florida, our Florida criminal defense lawyers can help.

We will help you use the optimal route to protect your license, demand a hardship license or get the charges dropped. It is our goal to help you get back on the road as soon as possible and to protect your future.

Free Consultations

Sean McQuaid is a top-rated criminal defense attorney in Pinellas County. He has handled countless Florida DUI and DWI charges in his career. He is the president at Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., one of Tampa Bay’s most prestigious law firms with the reputation and connections to make things happen.

With decades of experience helping people like you, we believe there is no better place to help you keep your license after a DUI in Florida.

Contact us today for a free consultation to get started or CALL (727) 381-2300