If you’ve been arrested in Florida, then your out-of-state driver’s license could be suspended or revoked even before a conviction. There are over 400 DUI arrests in Pinellas County every year, with many of them being tourists.
We understand that this is a very stressful situation, especially as you’ll be unsure of whether you’ll be committing a crime to be driving back home. You may also be wondering, what you need to do next and whether you need to return to Florida for a court hearing.
The good news is, our experienced criminal defense lawyers offer free consultations so we can determine what is possible. We welcome you to call us today.
Your License Could Be Suspended in Your Home State
- Your license could be suspended back home, even though the DUI offense occurred in Florida.
- This is because of the Driver’s License Compact system (DLC), which allows traffic information and driving records to be shared with other states.
- States that are part of the DLC agree to share traffic violations, suspensions, license revocations and other information to other DLC states. Florida is one of those states.
- So if you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Florida, that information is shared back home. This information is easily transmitted, within seconds.
- The only states not to be part of the DLC are: Michigan, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Georgia.
Read related: What Should I Do If Arrested as a Tourist in Florida?
Types of Suspensions in Florida
Florida DUI laws cover two types of license suspensions:
- Administrative, and;
Administrative License Suspensions
Administrative DUI suspensions occur immediately after the filing of a DUI arrest, following a breath test reading of .08 or higher, or following a breath test refusal.
There is a very strong chance this information will be shared with your home state, and they will likely suspend your license too.
Action is required to reinstate your license, or to gain a ‘hardship license’ which allows you to drive for critical reasons only (such as employment) for a temporary period.
By contacting our Florida criminal defense lawyers we can help you determine what the state of your license is back home too.
Court-ordered suspensions only occur when you are convicted of a DUI offense in Florida. This will result in your losing license in both Florida and your home state.
What Can I Do to Save My Out-of-State License After a DUI in Pinellas County?
Our experienced Pinellas County DUI defense attorneys can help you take the following action:
Challenge the Suspension
The immediate administrative driver’s license suspension (after your arrest) can be challenged so that you obtain a temporary ‘hardship license’ for 42 days.
The challenge must be made within 10 days from the date of your arrest (including holidays and weekends).
Challenges are made via a civil administrative hearing, requested by your criminal defense attorney. If that fails, there is also the option to appeal a license suspicion via a ‘petition for writ of certiorari’ to the Pinellas County circuit court.
In many cases, immediate legal action can save you from even needing to go to court. We’ve seen many cases of misunderstandings over things like medication (mistaken as drugs), where the case is dropped shortly after we call up.
While we can’t guarantee immediate success, this is an example of why it’s always worth calling a criminal defense lawyer.
Prepare a Defense
If you will be facing a court hearing for your charges, we will prepare a strong defense to either minimize the charges and penalties or clear your name. In many cases, we’ve been able to reduce the charges to a reckless driving charge, for example, which can save your license and future.
We will review the evidence, police reports and examine what happened to see if your rights were infringed. For example, if you were pulled over unlawfully then the case might be thrown out entirely.
Read Related: How to Beat a DUI in Pinellas County
Represent You in Court
As your criminal defense attorney, we may be able to represent you in Florida court, so you don’t need to return to the state after going home.
If that’s necessary, we will file a Plea in Absentia so you don’t have to waste time and money flying back in.
DUI Defense Attorney in Pinellas County, FL
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in St. Petersburg or Pinellas County, then our Florida criminal defense lawyers can help you save your license and clear your name.
We regularly help people like you who have made first-time DUI mistakes while on holiday, or been on the wrong side of an over-eager police officer, to get home, get a temporary license, reduce their penalties or clear their names entirely.
Our Pinellas County criminal defense attorneys at Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., are part of one of Tampa Bay’s most prestigious law firms. 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