On July 1, 2013, the Florida DUI laws saw some major changes that will have a lasting impact on how to defend against a DUI. If you have already started or are about to start to fight against a DUI arrest, you need to read on.

The rules for:

  • drunk driving-related license suspensions;
  • hardship licenses; and
  • the consequences for refusing chemical testing for Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) were all changed in this batch of legislation.

It is important to remember that when drivers are charged with DUI, they should contact a qualified DUI attorney as early on as possible to represent them from the beginning of the case.

Changes to License Suspensions After Drunk Driving Arrest

When a driver is arrested for DUI in Florida, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles automatically suspends their driver license for either six months or for one-year, even before criminal case is decided.

  • In cases where people were arrested for DUI AND refused to submit to chemical testing, their license was suspended for one year.
  • In the case of people who were arrested for DUI AND submitted to testing with a result of .08 BrAC or more, their licesne was suspended for six months.

Florida statute Section 322.2615 provides for a process to challenge the suspension by DHSMV by requesting an administrative review hearing within 10-days of arrest.  Basically, the hearing has to be scheduled to be conducted within 30-days of the date the hearing was requested and driver’s can subponea witnesses to appear and be cross-examined.  The consequences of losing the administrative hearing – and most challenges are not successful – are very harsh.

  • In DUI cases with unlawful breath tests drivers, suffer a 30-day period of no driving before becoming eligible to apply for a hardship permit.
  • In DUI cases where blood, breath and/or urine tests were refused, drivers suffer a 90-day period of no driving before becoming eligible to apply for a hardship permit.

But there is good news!  The new July 2013 Florida DUI laws change the waiting period for a hardship license which will benefit those accused of DUI. Now, instead of having to wait 30-days to petition for a hardship license (or-90 days for refusal of chemical testing), a driver arrested for DUI can petition for a hardship license within 10-days after the arrest. This eliminates the inconvenience of having to suffer a 30 or 90-day period of no driving before getting back behind the wheel.

The new laws allow first-time DUI offenders to waive their right to challenge their administrative license suspension. Waiving the administrative suspension hearing clears the way for drivers to obtain a hardship permit immediately so they may continue to travel to work, school, and medical appointments. The decision to waive the right to a hearing (formal or informal) must be made within 10-days, so if you need to talk to a qualified criminal defense attorney who know his stuff when it comes to DUI defense, call Attorney Robert Malove

How Right to Refuse Chemical Testing is Impacted

Florida’s prior DUI laws placed serious driving penalties on refusing a blood or breath test of BAC.  Before the new July 2013 laws took effect, drivers who refused the testing would have an automatic 90-day hard suspension period.  Now, refusing the test will no longer carry as harsh of a penalty as before, as a driver can get a hardship license almost immediately.

Don’t Challenge Your Drunk Driving Arrest Alone. Consult An Expert!

With the recent changes to the Florida DUI laws it’s important to have legal counsel who knows the latest rules and how to successfully challenge a DUI arrest. Having a qualified criminal defense attorney who knows his field inside and out on your side can help you ensure your case is handled properly and you are being given your best chance to get a successful result.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, you need answers.  Before you hire ANY lawyer, click here to get your FREE copy of Robert Malove’s consumer guide – How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in Florida.

The Potential Penalties if Convicted of a 1st DUI Offense in Florida Include:

•up to 1 year in jail for a 1st DUI offense ;
•traffic school;
•alcohol & substance abuse evaluation and treatment;
•license suspension; or revocation;
•community service hours;
•DUI school;
•Victim Impact Panel (VIP)
•Ignition interlock device
•Lifetime criminal record of conviction that cannot be expunged!

You have a right to an attorney. Contact Robert Malove at 954-861-0384 to schedule a consultation regarding your rights if you’ve been arrested for drunk driving.