Driving Under the Influence / DUI
As a DUI defendant you should know that two separate events occur upon an arrest for DUI. One is a criminal proceeding; the other, an administrative license suspension. Florida law requires that a person with a breath or blood alcohol content of above .08 or a refusal to submit to a breath test subsequent to lawful arrest be subject to a period of administrative license suspension. You have only 10 days to challenge this administrative suspension. You also only have 10 days to affirmatively waive this challenge and obtain a Business Purpose Only license if you qualify.
You also face minimum mandatory criminal sanctions, should you be sentenced for a first time, unenhanced DUI. These mandatory sanctions include an Adjudication of Guilt, $500 fine, 12 months of probation, DUI school, 50 community service hours, completion of a victim impact panel, 6 month license suspension, 10 day vehicle impound, payment of court costs, cost of prosecution and cost of investigation to the arresting law enforcement agency. Additional penalties apply if the DUI is enhanced by a high breath test result, or other enhancement.
Many criminal offenses bring collateral consequences. For example, a DUI conviction will count toward Habitual Traffic Offender status. If you have three qualifying offenses in a five year period, the DHSMV will suspend your license for five years. If you’ve had two tickets for Driving While License Suspended that resulted in a conviction, a DUI within five years will cause a five year suspension of your driving privilege. Your attorney should know these collateral consequences and guide you through these hidden dangers.