Immediately after a DUI arrest, a clock begins ticking; after you spend the mandatory minimum of 8 hours in jail, you enter a period of ten days, which will prove crucial in the determination of your rights following your arrest.
The U.S. Constitution—and the Constitution of the State of Florida in tandem with the Florida State Statutes—guarantees citizens and residents a number of protected rights, among those the right to be free from the government intruding into your life and taking things from you, including your property, your money and, as we are concerned with here, your right to drive; the government cannot take these things away without giving you notice of their right to do so and the opportunity to challenge the government’s actions.
With a DUI, you and your DUI defense attorney have only ten days to challenge the revocation of your license. When you return home from prison, you will not have your license for you; law enforcement officers will have held on to this, demonstrating their attempt to prevent you from driving in addition to prosecuting you for the crime of DUI. Your DUI citation will serve as a temporary driver’s license for the first ten days following your arrest. The citation stipulates that unless your license has already been suspended prior to your arrest, the citation will serve as the temporary license and will expire on midnight on the tenth day following the date of your arrest.
Within those ten days, you and your attorney can challenge the revocation of your license by filing a request for a formal review of your case, during which (if you’re eligible) you will be able to drive with a temporary license for at least 30-45 days. The formal review takes place in a courtroom-type proceeding, where your attorney will have the opportunity to take sworn testimony from the witnesses to the DUI, including the arresting officers, before the case ever arrives on the desk of a prosecutor, before a judge has a chance to look at the evidence, and, of course, before a jury has a chance to start judging you and your case.
As of July 1, 2013, certain drivers are eligible for a restricted license for the entire term of the suspension if they take sufficient action during those first ten days. The DUI defense attorneys at Leifert & Leifert can assist you in retaining your right to drive. If you’re not eligible for a restricted license as described below, and you fail to assert your right to drive during those first ten days following the arrest, you will face harsh driving suspensions, including absolutely no driving rights for 30 days if your BAC was unlawful (.08 or above) or 90 days if you refused to submit to a sobriety test.
The right to drive is an important one. Driving gives you the ability to get to and from work and therefore to provide money for your family. Driving gives you the ability to transport your children to and from school and therefore give them the opportunity to learn. Driving gives you the ability to go to the doctor, hospital, or pharmacy and therefore provide yourself with medical attention. Additionally, driving gives you the ability to visit with legal experts who can aid in your defense.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade County, do not wait before contacting the attorneys at Leifert & Leifert. We can protect your right to drive, but you must contact us immediately so that we can file a request for a formal review within the period of 10 days following your arrest.