Fort Myers, FL – DUI charges carry a number of different penalties, and a driver’s license suspension is always included with the charges. The suspensions generally last six months to a year, but they can be longer depending on other factors such as prior arrests. Because the ability to drive is necessary for most people to make a living, it is important for anyone charged with DUI to retain a lawyer who is experienced in these matters.
Florida’s implied consent law
Every driver’s license issued in Florida says that all drivers agree to submit to chemical tests of breath, blood, or urine if they are implicated in a DUI investigation. A refusal to submit to these tests generates an automatic driver’s license suspension. A refusal case is treated similar to a DUI case where a sample was obtained by law enforcement, with some minor differences.
However, there have been cases where the Florida Supreme Court has stated the implied consent law does not apply if the underlying arrest was illegal.
Administrative cases versus criminal cases
It is possible for a license suspension to stand, even if a person is not convicted of their criminal DUI charges. This is because the administrative case generated through the department of motor vehicles is a civil case with a lower burden of proof. The criminal case is handled separately, and the charges must be proven beyond all reasonable doubt.
Someone who has been charged with multiple DUIs may experience more severe license restrictions than others. A license suspension can increase in length if the person has prior cases or other serious traffic violations, and a prosecutor can even recommend that a defendant lose their driving privileges forever if there are serious, repeat offenses.
Once a license has been suspended due to a DUI charge, the defendant can apply for a hardship license through the department of highway safety and motor vehicles. This license allows the person to drive to work and use their car for certain other essential tasks. The decision to issue a hardship license or not is made by the department’s administrative staff on a case by case basis.
Defending against all charges
In addition to the consequences related to driving, a defense attorney can defend against the state’s charges in other ways as well. This is important because a conviction can include fines, jail time, community service, probation, and affect the person’s future employment opportunities.
Learning more about DUI charges
Michael M. Raheb is experienced in all matters related to DUI defense and related driver’s license suspensions. Anyone who needs assistance after being charged can contact him for specific advice and representation.
Firm contact info:
2423 First Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901