Most people who get arrested for DUI charge in Florida will have their driving privileges suspended for up to one year. You are able to apply for a hardship or work purposes license, however you must serve a 30 day “hard suspension” prior to obtaining that. This can be a severe hardship for people whose only means of transportation to and from work is driving.
Starting July 1, 2013 there is a way around the 30 day hard suspension. The driver may now obtain the hardship license without serving the 30 day suspension if the driver meets certain criteria such as never having a license suspended. Accepting this hardship license will constitute a waiver of the right to a review hearing. see http://laws.flrules.org Chapter 2013-160.
What is a review hearing? A review hearing is a hearing that you are entitled to, if requested within 10 days of the DUI ticket. The purpose of this hearing is to challenge the administrative suspension (basically get your driver license back). If you win, all you get is the suspension overturned. It does not mean the criminal case goes away! The other benefit of having a review hearing is the opportunity to question the police officers who made the arrest under oath. This can be an important tool in defending the criminal charges.
So your next question probably is, should I waive my right to this hearing and get the hardship or should I challenge the suspension at hearing? This is where it becomes very important to have an experienced attorney who can look at the specifics of your case and advise you accordingly.
You don’t need an attorney who only specializes in DUI law but whoever you hire should be very familiar with the current laws and defenses.
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