Have You Been Charged With a DUI or Criminal Traffic Offense? Don’t Panic, It Happens. Call Us and We Will Defend You Against Prosecutors. We Are Not Former Prosecutors, We Have Always Defended Floridians! Call Us (407) 408-0494

** IMPORTANT: See Florida’s 10 Day Rule Below, it may affect your ability to drive for the next SIX MONTHS OR MORE!

In Florida, DUI cases involve two completely separate and different processes: (1) the criminal process and (2) the DMV process. We can walk you through both systems each step of the way and fight to protect you from the DMV suspending your driver’s license and affecting your ability to drive, as well as protecting you from having a DUI conviction on your record or facing more severe penatlies.

Call us now to discuss all of your options before your 10 day time limit is up!!  (407) 408-0494.

Ways We Can Challenge Your DUI Charge:

  1. Challenging the Stop (4th Amendment Search and Seizure Issues)
  2. Challenging the Field Sobriety Exercises
  3. Challenging the Breathalyzer Test/Results (if you submitted to breathalyzer)
  4. Suppressing Evidence and Statements via Motions to Suppress Evidence or Motion to Dismiss

2 Ways DUI Can Be Proven:

Under Florida law, a DUI charge can be proven by:

  1. The prosecutor proving that you were intoxicated to the point that your “normal faculties were impaired”
  2. The prosecutor proving that you drove with an unlawful blood/breath alcohol level of .08 or above via breathalyzer results

Criminal Penalties:

DUI penalties increase based on how many times you’ve been convicted of DUI in the past, as well as the circumstances of your current case (what your blood alcohol level was, whether you refused to submit to a breathalyzer, etc). Also, if you submitted to breathalyzer and blew above a .15, the penalties are enhanced greatly.

Under Florida Statutes § 316.193 people convicted or adjudicated guilty of DUI in Florida are punished according to the penalties contained in the statute. There are also 2 different types of Drivers License suspensions (criminal and DMV).

For First Time DUI Offenders (.08 to .15) the penalties you could face are as follows:

  •  Fine of not less than $500 or more than $1,000
  • Driver’s License Revocation of 180 days (see Criminal DL Revocation section below)
  • Impound or Immobilization of your vehicle for 10 days
  • 50 hours of community service (or “buy-out” option of $10 per hour of community service)
  • Probation term not to exceed one (1) year
  • DMV suspension of your driver’s license for 6 months (See below)
  • Increased Drivers Insurance (FR-44 High-Risk Insurance)

For First Time DUI Offenders (.15 or above OR accompanied by a minor in the vehicle) the penalties you could face are as follows:

  •  Fine of not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000
  • Driver’s License Revocation of 180 days (see Criminal DL Revocation section below)
  • Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device
  • Impound or Immobilization of your vehicle for 10 days
  • 50 hours of community service (or “buy-out” option of $10 per hour of community service)
  • Probation term not to exceed one (1) year
  • DMV suspension of your driver’s license for 6 months (See below)
  • Increased Drivers Insurance (FR-44 High-Risk Insurance)

Should I “Blow “Or Should I Refuse?:

The short answer is, it depends. If you blow and you are above a .15 you will be facing the above penalties, but the administrative suspension will be 6 months versus a 1 year suspension (also 30 days of “hard time” versus 90 days of “hard time” suspension before you can get a hardship license). Also, refusal to submit to breath, blood or urine is admissible as evidence in a criminal trial against you, should you chose to exercise your right to a jury trial. A refusal to submit to breath testing for a second or subsequent time is also punishable as a First Degree Misdemeanor, regardless of whether or not the DUI charge is dropped or reduced. So every case is different, but generally, it may be a better idea to just submit to the breathalyzer and let us take care of the case for you afterwards.

Administrative Review Hearings:

In addition to the criminal penalties for DUI, there are separate administrative penalties that you could be facing from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, that could lead to severe financial consequences and may affect your ability to drive for an extended period of time.

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles could issue an Administrative Suspension which is completely separate from any Criminal Suspension that can also be imposed by the court. The DMV will issue this suspension if one of the following happened (which is usually in all DUI cases):

  • Refused to submit to alcohol testing (either breathalyzer or urine or blood test) OR
  • You submitted to testing but your BAC  was found to be .08 or higher

If you refused to blow (or submit to urine or blood), OR if your BAC results were over .08 your Driver License will be suspended for either 6 months, 1 year from the day that you were arrested. It will take effect at midnight on the 10th day following your arrest date. Therefore, it is important that you contact us as soon as possible after your arrest (407) 408-0494.

Florida’s Ten Day Rule:

You only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request a Formal Review Hearing with the DHSMV to contest your suspension. Therefore, it is very important that you contact us immediately after your arrest for DUI so that we can make a request for a Formal Review Hearing on your behalf. Otherwise, you may automatically lose your ability to drive for the next 6 months or more! If you’ve been arrested for DUI, the citation or ticket that you were issued by the officer serves as your temporary license for the next 10 days.

If a timely request for a Formal Review Hearing is made, the DHSMV will issue a Temporary Driving Permit that will extend your driving privileges to allow you to drive for an additional 42 days for business purposes until your Formal Review Hearing date. If you contact us after the 10 day period, your license will automatically be suspended for the applicable period. So its always a good idea to call us immediately after you have been arrested for DUI.

Following a successful Formal Review Hearing, you may no longer face any administrative penalties or sanctions and may resume driving as normal pending the resolution of your criminal case.

In the case of an unsuccessful DUI challenge, your suspension will be upheld and your driver’s license will remain suspended. However, you may still be eligible for a hardship drivers license.

Obtaining a Hardship Driver License

You Will Be Eligible For A Hardship Drivers License Under The Following Circumstances:

  1. If you have never been convicted of more than two DUI offenses
  2. Proof of enrollment in, or completion of DUI Counter Attack School, and
  3. The “Hard Suspension” period of your administrative suspension has expired:
    • 30 days if you blew a .08 BAC or higher, or
    • 90 days for a refusal to submit to breathalyzer, blood or urine.

If you meet these criteria, you can have a Hardship Review Hearing at the DMV. If approved,  you can present the approval form and proof of liability insurance to the DHSMV (whichever branch is closest to you) to be issued a hardship license.

If you submitted proof of enrollment in DUI school, you have to complete the program within 90 days of receiving the hardship license. Failure to finish the DUI course will result in your hardship license being cancelled until the DUI school  is fully completed.

Eligibility for Hardship License

What you will need to be eligible for a Hardship License:

  • First DUI Conviction: Complete DUI school and request a Hardship Hearing. If you had a BAC of .15 or higher, the Ignition Interlock device is mandatory for six months.
  • Second Convictions (or more): You can apply for a Hardship Hearing after 1 year and showing proof of completing the applicable DUI school, and DUI supervision program during the Hardship license period. You also have to have Ignition Interlock installed for an entire year. If you get a Second DUI within 5 years, there will be a 5 year revocation, and you will need to be in the supervised program for the entire 5 year Hardship Period.
  • Manslaughter, DUI Serious Bodily Injury, or Vehicular Homicide: Your license will be revoked for a 3 year period and you can immediately apply for a hardship license BUT you have to complete the DUI school or advanced driver improvement class prior to applying for the hardship license.
  • DUI Manslaughter (No Prior DUIs): You may be eligible for hardship license after 5 years from your release date or revocation date, but your license will be revoked forever. You also have to meet ALL of the following criteria:
    1. No drug offense arrests for at least 5 years;
    2. No NVDL (driving a car without a valid license) for at least 5 years;
    3. No alcohol or illegal drugs for at least 5 years ; AND

Criminal Drivers License Revocation

Aside from the possible DHSMV suspension, you could also be facing a criminal suspension imposed by the Court. If you are criminally convicted of DUI, a secondary and mandatory suspension begins on the date of your conviction and your hardship license will be seized by the Court.

Criminal Revocation Periods:

  1. First Conviction: Minimum of 180 days to a  maximum of 1 year revocation
  2. Second Conviction: Minimum 5 year revocation. (see Hardship requirements above)
  3. Third Conviction: If you received a third DUI conviction within 10 years of eachother, there is a minimum 10 year revocation period.  If they were more than 10 years apart, then it is a 1 year revocation period. If one DUI conviction was within 5 years of the most recent DUI you were convicted of then there will be a minimum 5 year revocation period.
  4. DUI Manslaughter: Mandatory permanent revocation. (see Hardship requirements above)
  5. Manslaughter, DUI Serious Bodily Injury, or Vehicular Homicide Convictions: Minimum 3 year revocation.
** After the expiration of the criminal suspension term, you may then be able to subsequently be eligible to obtain a hardship drivers license. (see Hardship requirements above).

Criminal traffic violations and DUI/DWI charges may be life-changing. The Modarres Law Firm understands that having your license and ability to drive means being able to work and make a living. Let us fight the prosecutors for you.

Call Us Now. (407) 408-0494


Copyright © 2013 The Modarres Law Firm – Orlando Florida Defense Lawyers – Central Florida Criminal Defense Attorneys – All rights reserved. Orlando Criminal Lawyer Disclaimer: The civil rights, criminal, criminal defense or other legal defense information presented at this site should not be considered formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Our criminal defense law firm serves the following communities, among others: Orlando, Pine Hills, Apopka, East Orlando, West Orlando, Conway, Bay Hill, Doctor Phillips, Belle Isle, Pine Castle, Oviedo, Ocoee, Winter Park, Winter Springs, Maitland, Eatonville, Winter Garden, Southeast Orlando, Southwest Orlando, Casselberry, Altamonte Springs, Maitland, Apopka, Sanford, Seminole County, Orange County, Heathrow, Lake Mary, Longwood, Midway, UCF, University Park, Thornton Park, Baldwin Park, Colonial Drive, Orange Avenue, Robinson Street, S Orange Avenue, Downtown Orlando, Alafaya Trail, University Blvd, Curry Ford, Lake Underhill, Goldenrod Road, Dean Road, Chickasaw Trail, Pershing, Semoran Blvd, Lake Margaret, Conway.

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