DUI Administrative Suspensions in Florida

September 14th, 2013 | Posted in DUI

By Attorney J. David Gentle

As of July 1, 2013, the rules for the administrative suspension of a Driver License after a DUI arrest, and the right to have a review of administrative suspension have changed. If during a DUI investigation, you give air samples to a breathalyzer and the results are over .08, the officer will invalidate your driving privileges. For people who have never been accused of DUI, you now have a new choice regarding that suspension. In the past, you had a right to challenge the suspension by requesting an informal review hearing or a formal review hearing. The new third option is to request a review of eligibility for a “Business Purpose Only” (BPO) License. This means you immediately get a restricted driving license if you waive your right to a formal or informal review hearing.

The application of this law which is good is there is no “Hard Suspension” of your Driver License. If your breathalyzer results were over a .08 and you lose your review hearing, you wouldn’t be eligible for a BPO until after a thirty-day hard suspension. This is thirty days that you cannot drive. Under this new option there would be no thirty-day hard suspension, and you would immediately get a permit. Likewise, if you refused to give an air sample for the breathalyzer, and you lose your review hearing, you wouldn’t be eligible for a BPO until after a ninety-day hard suspension. Again, under the new option, you would not have a ninety-day suspension.

There is another good part of this new option. If the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles determines that you are not eligible after you request this third option, then they will still let you request a formal/informal review hearing within the 10 days of the arrest.

But there is also a downside to this change in the review system. You must make your decision blind. You must make your decision within the first ten days after your DUI arrest when your notice of suspension is issued. You will have no idea if they can properly suspend your license. Your attorney cannot properly advise you about waiving your rights. Your attorney can’t obtain and review the necessary documents without requesting a hearing. You have to make an uneducated decision about a suspension that will permanently be on your driving record. Furthermore, it cannot be undone. Once you request the formal review hearing to get this paperwork, then you cannot later change your mind and request the review of eligibility.

This new rule change doesn’t change anything if you have a prior DUI conviction or administrative suspension, and it wouldn’t apply to you. You will still want to request a formal review hearing. There is no downside to your request, and you still need to fight the suspension.

As of July 1, 2013, the rules for the administrative suspension of a Driver License after a DUI arrest and the right to have a review of administrative suspension have changed. To be fully informed contact Longwell Lawyers at 407-426-5757 and talk to one of our attorneys. We are a group of experienced lawyers that will render the best of our professional abilities.

DUI and Leaving the Scene of a Crash

September 11th, 2013 | Posted in DUI

Orange County Criminal Court

Charges: DUI and Leaving the Scene of a Crash

Summary: Client allegedly side swiped a parked police patrol car. A witness followed the client while calling 9-1-1 and flagging down a Police Officer. The Officer observed the client swerving and hitting the curb. The Officer stopped the client. A crash investigation and a DUI investigation were conducted. After performing Field Sobriety Exercises, the client was arrested for DUI and Leaving the Scene of a Crash. The client refused to take a breath test.

Result: The case was resolved at trial with a plea to Reckless Driving. The DUI charge was dropped.

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DUI Driver License Basic Information

September 9th, 2013 | Posted in DUI

NOTICE: The following contents are for informational purposes only. You should consult with an attorney prior to taking any action.

OVERVIEW: A DUI charge is a criminal charge, requires your appearance in court, and carries a host of mandatory penalties if you are convicted. Additionally, your driver’s license is automatically/administratively suspended as of the date of your arrest, if you refused to submit to a blood, breath or urine test or, if you submitted to a blood or breath test and had a result of .08 or higher.

YOUR DRIVER LICENSE

IMMEDIATE/ADMINISTRATIVE SUSPENSIONS: If you had a breath or blood result of .08 or above, your license was immediately suspended for a period of 6 months if this is your first violation or one year if it is your second. If you refused to take a breath/blood/urine test, your license was automatically suspended for a period of one year if this is your first violation or 18 months if it is your second. If you have a CDL, you will incur a one year suspension regardless of whether you have a .08 or higher or refuse, and a permanent disqualification if this is your second.

If eligible, the Florida DUI Uniform Traffic citation serves as a temporary driver license for the first 10 days of the suspension. After the first ten days, you may be subject to a “hard suspension” and may not be eligible to receive any type of a temporary/hardship/business license for a period of 30 days (.08 or higher) or 90 days (refusal). After the “hard suspension” is over, you may apply for a hardship/business purpose license.

ACTION TO BE TAKEN

  1. If you do nothing, the suspension will remain in effect and will appear on your permanent driving history. Additionally, you will be subject to the “hard suspension” described above.
  2. Ask for a Formal Review Hearing. A Formal Review Hearing is your only opportunity to challenge the validity of the administrative suspension. In order to take advantage of your right to challenge the Administrative Suspension, you must act within 10 calendar days to request a Formal Review Hearing. Once you request a hearing, it must be conducted within 30 days. In the meantime, you may obtain a hardship/business purpose license for 42 days, while awaiting the hearing. If we prevail at the hearing, the Administrative suspension is invalidated, your license is reinstated, and the suspension is removed from your record. If we do not prevail, you will be subject to the same “hard suspension” described previously.
  3. You may waive your rights to contest the suspension. By doing so, you may immediately obtain a hardship/business purpose license and will not be subject to the “hard suspension” previously described. This is a good option for those who do not want to risk going without even a restricted license for any period of time. The downside is that you waive the ability to challenge the suspension. To waive a hearing and obtain a restricted license, you must act within 10 calendar days.

YOUR DUI CHARGE

A DUI is a criminal charge. If you are convicted of a DUI, the court MUST impose a host of mandatory penalties. However, you have the right to a trial and to have an attorney represent you. By preparing the case for trial, it is possible to gain a pre-trial dismissal of your case, or an acquittal at trial. Many times, the process of preparing your case for trial will lead to favorable plea options, such as a reduced charge of Reckless Driving. Depending on the strengths of your case we may be able to negotiate away some of the required DUI penalties normally imposed, such as the driver license suspension. Alternatively, it is possible that Pre-Trial Diversion may be offered. If so, we will evaluate whether this option is advisable.

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DUI conviction and a Hardship License

August 5th, 2013 | Posted in Articles, DUI

There are many questions that come from a DUI arrest and conviction, but the most confusing seem to be related to your driver’s license. The laws are complicated and get harder with the more convictions you have. If during a DUI investigation you give air samples to a breathalyzer and the results are over .08, the officer will invalidate your driving privileges. You may get a hardship or Business Purpose Only License temporarily only to have the Judge suspend your license again after you get convicted. Well if you do get convicted of a DUI in Florida, there may be hope. You may be qualified to obtain a Business Purposes Only License from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The Florida Statutes 322.271 & 322.28 set forth the reinstatement requirements.

For a driver with a first time DUI Conviction, once you complete the DUI School you can apply to the DHSMV for a hearing for a hardship license. It gets more difficult with more DUI convictions. If you get a second DUI conviction, you do not qualify for a hardship license immediately at all.

On a second DUI conviction within five years of your first conviction, you will lose your driver’s license for five years. You can apply for a hardship license only after one year without any driver’s license. To qualify, you have to finish the DUI School and follow a DUI suspension program for the remaining four years. You have to be drug and alcohol free. You can’t have any Driving While License Suspended charges. There is also an ignition interlock device requirement. If you fail to follow any one of these requirements, your hardship license will be revoked.

If you have a third DUI conviction and it is within ten years of the second conviction, you will lose your driver’s license for ten years. You may qualify for a hardship after having no driver’s license for two years. Again, you have to finish the DUI School and follow a DUI suspension program for the remaining eight years. You have to be drug and alcohol free. You can’t have any Driving While License Suspended charges. There is also a two year ignition interlock device requirement. If you fail to follow any one of these requirements, your hardship license will be revoked.

If you are convicted of a DUI Manslaughter, your driver’s license will be permanently suspended. You may qualify for a hardship, if you have no other DUI convictions, and if you haven’t been arrested for a drug charge in the last five years. To qualify for a hardship license you cannot have a driver’s license for five years. Again, you have to finish the DUI School and follow a DUI suspension program for the remaining eight years. You have to be drug and alcohol free. You can’t have any Driving While License Suspended charges. There is also a two year ignition interlock device requirement. If you fail to follow any one of these requirements, your hardship license will be revoked.
It is hard to obtain a Business Purpose Only License, but in some cases it is not impossible. To be fully informed contact Longwell Lawyers at 407-426-5757 and talk to one of our attorneys. We are a group of experienced lawyers that will render the best of our professional abilities.

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DUI and your Driver’s License

July 13th, 2013 | Posted in Articles, Criminal Law, DUI

If you are arrested for a DUI in Florida, your license may be administratively suspended immediately by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). If you are later convicted for the DUI in court, your license is subject to another suspension as a penalty for the criminal conviction. Fortunately, there are remedies that can be utilized by an experienced attorney which may allow you to continue to drive while your license suspensions and criminal penalties are potentially avoided.

Longwell Lawyers is experienced in representing individuals who have been arrested for DUI and had their license taken away. Here are some helpful facts we want you to know about how a DUI may affect your driver’s license, and what may be done about it:

  1. You may drive for the first 10 days. Unless ineligible, your DUI Citation will serve as an unrestricted driver’s license for the first 10 days of your suspension.
  2. A Formal Review Hearing must be requested within 10 days. This is best done through your attorney at DHSMV. Once a hearing is requested, you must be given a hearing within 30 days. It is this hearing that will allow your attorney to try to get your driver’s license reinstated.
  3. You may get a Permit to drive for 42 more days. This is so that you can drive until a decision is made at your hearing as to whether to fully reinstate your license.
  4. Your license may be reinstated. It is possible that DHSMV will invalidate your suspension and reinstate your driver’s license if you prevail at the Formal review Hearing.

However, you are still not in the clear. You still have to go to court for the criminal charge of DUI. If you are convicted of DUI, the court will impose a driver license suspension upon conviction, among other penalties. By hiring an experienced attorney, such as one from Longwell Lawyers, you may contest the case. Longwell Lawyers will utilize your important and powerful constitutional due process rights to prepare your case for trial. The trial preparation process will allow your attorney to obtain all of the evidence and thoroughly scrutinize the case in an effort to have evidence suppressed, or get your case dismissed without the need for a trial. Even if your case is not dismissed, your Longwell Lawyer may be able to negotiate to have the charge reduced so as to avoid a driver’s license suspension and minimize the impact of your arrest.

Contact Longwell Lawyers, at 407-426-5757, or go to LongwellLawyers.com, for more information.

Waiver of Impound Requirement After DUI Conviction

February 6th, 2013 | Posted in Articles, Criminal Law, DUI

By Attorney Carmen Tankersley

Florida Statute Section 316.193(6)(a) states that a court may order a ten (10) day impoundment or immobilization of the vehicle the defendant was driving ,or in actual physical control of, when he/she was arrested for DUI or any other vehicle registered under the defendant’s name. The impoundment or immobilization of the vehicle should not run concurrent with the defendant’s prison sentence. Therefore, a defendant needs to wait until he/she has served their entire jail sentence before taking steps to impound or immobilize their vehicle. This does not mean you need to tow away your vehicle; there are less expensive ways to fulfill this requirement, such as booting your car. Read more..

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DUI: Formal Review Hearing

January 16th, 2013 | Posted in Articles, Criminal Law, DUI

By Attorney Carmen Tankersley

When you are charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI), your license may be automatically suspended for six (6) months if you had a breath test result of .08 or greater, or 12 months, if you refuse to take a breath test. In such a case, a Formal Review Hearing may be requested to challenge the suspension of your driver’s license by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (the driver license administrative agency). This administrative suspension is separate from the suspension you might face if the judge orders it as part of your penalties if you are convicted of the criminal charge of DUI. Read more..

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Tips: When Involved in an Accident

November 27th, 2012 | Posted in Articles, Criminal Law, DUI

Photo by Ryan DesmondIf you are involved in a car crash, you don’t have to give any information that may be used to incriminate you in a criminal investigation (such as a DUI or Vehicular Manslaughter charge). You should exit your vehicle and remain OUTSIDE of the vehicle until you have fulfilled your obligations under Florida law. Florida law requires that a person involved in a crash resulting in injury or death to a person, or damage to an occupied vehicle, only needs to provide their name, address, and registration number of the vehicle. This is easily accomplished by producing your Driver’s License and Vehicle Registration. If it is apparent that a person needs medical assistance, or requests such, it is required that you render reasonable assistance, such as calling 911 for emergency assistance. Read more..

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DUI: 6 Tips You Should Know on Thanksgiving Eve

November 21st, 2012 | Posted in Articles, Criminal Law, DUI

Thanksgiving eve is one of the biggest nights for drinking and driving…and the police know it. We at Longwell Lawyers want to keep your holiday merry, so we suggest you keep the following information in mind while celebrating this season:

Photo by Ryan Desmond

  1. Do not drink to excess and drive. When in doubt, take a taxi or have a sober friend drive. Remember, you don’t have to be “drunk” to get a DUI, only “impaired.”
  2. Sleeping it off in your car can still get you arrested for a DUI. In Orlando and Florida, you can be arrested if you are in “actual physical control” of a parked car while impaired by drugs or alcohol. Sitting in the driver’s seat of a parked car with the keys in the ignition, even if you are sleeping, is all it takes. Read more..
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