Stephen G. Cobb - Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

Do You Lose Your Drivers License In Florida After A DUI?


When Someone Is Arrested For A DUI In Florida, Do They Lose Their License Immediately?

When someone is arrested for a DUI, their license is taken on the spot unless the officer cannot find it or they do not have it on them. After that, it’s reported to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for the State of Florida. Pursuant to Interstate Compact, an administrative suspension of the driver’s license is done. This is the first way a license is suspended in Florida, but there is also the risk of a separate court order driver’s license suspension.

When someone is initially arrested, the attorney will need to get specific information. Is this their first offense? Did they refuse the breathalyzer? The attorney needs to know all of this information so they can make some rapid but accurate decisions about the driver’s license issue.

For ten days after the arrest, the actual DUI citation itself acts as a business purposes only hardship license. Other types of hardships may or may not be available as well. Generally, if someone has a first offense DUI, they have no prior record and there are no aggravating factors, Florida has a procedure that’s relatively new where someone can go to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and get a hardship without a contested hearing to fight the suspension. They are required to produce a traffic history, a driving record and they also have to attend and complete DUI School along with a few other requirements. As they are doing that, if they follow through and complete everything, then they can get a hardship license without having to do a contested hearing. Up until that change in law, virtually every case resulted in a contested hearing on the driver’s license issue. However, that’s not as common now. Some lawyers contest it anyway, some try to avoid it, while others like to talk to their clients about it and get their input before making that decision.

Generally speaking, if it’s easier to go through the new procedure if qualified, but I always like to make an inquiry first. The types of hardship licenses that are available depend upon the facts of each case. This is one of the reasons the defense lawyers can’t say yes or no without knowing all of the specific facts of the case, and this doesn’t mean just what someone tells them. There is nothing worse than relying on what someone tells you is in their driving history only to learn later they “forgot” to mention a prior DUI because it was reduced or substituted for reckless driving or another charge.

When seeking a hardship license, it is important to ask for the right one. For example, there is an employment purposes only license, which can be described as home to work, work to home; that’s it. Then there is the business purposes only license, which is much broader. Someone cannot use a business purposes license to take their children to the park. They cannot use a business purposes license to go out to dinner or meet friends for fun. They can, however, use it to go from home to the gas station, from the office to the hair salon, the hair salon to the grocery store and the grocery store to home, for example. So, that’s a much broader type of hardship license than an employment purposes only license. When people qualify for a hardship license, it is always recommended going after the business purposes license.

If you are Facing A DUI Charge In Florida, You Will Lose Your Driver’s License Immediately. For assistance, call the criminal defense office of Stephen G. Cobb for a FREE Initial Consultation at (850) 466-1522 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.

Stephen G. Cobb, Esq.

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