How to Save Your Future as a Driver After a DUI Arrest in Florida

A DUI defense attorney can help you see your future as a driver after a DUI arrest in Florida. This crime can see your license suspended immediately. If convicted, you could face a driver’s license suspension for up to 1 year (for a first-time offense) or up to 10 years (for subsequent offenses).

You have just 10 days since your arrest to take action. Here’s how you can save your future as a driver:

Contact a DUI Defense Attorney Immediately

This is not the time to think about cutting corners to save a buck. Your license is not the only thing at risk; your career, criminal record, rights to child custody and reputation are just a few other areas that could be affected by a conviction.

Please contact our Florida DUI defense attorneys today for a free consultation. We will act fast to look for potential routes for a defense that can clear your name.

Keep Your License – You Have 10 Days!

  • After a DUI arrest, your driver’s license is suspended immediately.
  • But you can challenge this suspension.
  • You have just 10 days from the date of your arrest to make a challenge.
  • The 10-day period includes weekends and holidays.

To make the challenge, your criminal defense attorney will request a civil, administrative hearing. If this fails, you can also appeal the suspension via a ‘petition for writ of certiorari’ to the circuit court in your county of residence or where your case was reviewed.

Don’t make the mistake of trying to go at it alone. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Need to Drive Still? Demand a ‘Hardship License’

You may also be able to acquire a temporary ‘hardship license’ that lasts for 42 days. This permit allows you to drive for essential business purposes only. You must challenge your suspension within 10 days of the arrest to do this.

Get Your DUI Charges Dropped

A hardship license is a short-term solution. But if convicted, your long-term future as a driver is still in jeopardy.

You can defend yourself with the help of a criminal defense attorney to get your charges dropped. We regularly help Florida residents like you to prove their rights were infringed or that the arrest was incorrect.

Read Related: If I’m Stopped for a DUI in Florida, what should I Do?

Routes to Defending a DUI Arrest in Florida

Was the Stop Legal?

In Florida, a law enforcement officer is only allowed to stop your vehicle if:

  • There is reasonable suspicion you’re committed or have committed a traffic infraction.
  • They have probable cause that you’re committing or have committed a crime.

This may include you driving badly or dangerously, suggesting you’re drunk. However, if no reason can be proven as to why you were stopped, then the State will be forced to drop your charges.

For example, if a police officer stopped you due to an expired license plate, but it wasn’t expired, then it would be deemed an illegal stop.

In that case, you go home clean with no criminal record or loss of license.

Challenge a Breathalyzer Result

Breathalyzer tests measure your blood alcohol content level (BAC). However, they must be used under strict regulations and maintenance. If they’re used incorrectly or are damaged, your breath test results can be thrown out – so there’s no longer evidence to prove you committed a DUI.

Common defenses include:

  • The officer didn’t observe you for 20 minutes before the test.
  • You were given incorrect instructions.
  • The machine wasn’t calibrated correctly or was outdated.

Challenge a Breathalyzer Test Refusal

Refusing to take a BAC test in Florida is considered a failed test. However, there are also scenarios where a defendant had a justified reason for refusing the test, or the officer just lost patience and listed it as a refusal. For example:

  • Language Barriers: A police officer may have lost patience with someone who doesn’t speak perfect English and arrests them for a test refusal.
  • Impatience: A police officer may have lost patience with the defendant’s questioning, leading to ‘refusal’ being the arrest reason.
  • Medical Issues: Some people may refuse to take a test due to physical or mental health issues. If an officer ignored this truth and claimed it was a refusal, then it should be challenged.

Challenge a Field Sobriety Test

A field sobriety test is when you’re asked to perform movements that reveal your coordination and balance. It can show if your facilities have been impaired by alcohol. However, your criminal defense lawyer could argue:

  • The officer doesn’t know your nomrla, sober balance and coordination.
  • You have a physical impairment, pains or disabilities that explain your lack of performance.
  • The officer was not qualified to perform the Field Sobriety Test.

Alternate Option – The D.R.O.P Program

Defendants in Pinellas County have another option. The DUI Rehabilitation of Offenders Program (D.R.O.P) offers a quick resolution for people who have made a one-time mistake. It may allow you to get back on the road far sooner than with a normal conviction.

In brief, the program gives you the chance to reduce your charges to a reckless driving charge. To be eligible, you must:

  • Be facing your first DUI offense.
  • Your BAC level was under .15 or;
  • You refused a breathalyzer test without having a serious crash.

Please contact our Florida criminal defense attorneys to determine if you’re eligible for the D.R.O.P program or if it’s the best solution for you.

DUI Defense Attorney in Pinellas County, FL

If you want to save your future as a driver after a DUI arrest in Florida, you should contact a DUI defense attorney immediately. You have just ten days to challenge the initial suspension.

Free Consultations

Our criminal defense attorneys in Pinellas County at Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., are part of one of Tampa Bay’s most prestigious law firms with over 60 years of experience. We have the reputation and connections to make things happen.

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