For first time DUI offenders, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) will consider whether or not a person who has either failed a breath, blood or urine test or refused to submit to a breath, blood or urine test, is eligible for a Hardship License in lieu of challenging the pending suspension. The request for an “eligibility review hearing” must be made within the first ten (10) days after the DUI arrest. As our lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert know, the theory is that if a first time offender waives their right to challenge the DUI license suspension, the Department will issue a hardship license immediately and the driver will not be subject to the “hard time” suspension of thirty (30) days for a failed breath test or ninety (90) days for a refusal to submit to a breath test.
So, let’s clarify that: if you’re a first-time DUI offender, within the first ten (10) days following your DUI arrest, you can waive your right to have your driver’s license suspension challenged. Normally, one would think that’s akin to pleading guilty or no contest, etc., (i.e. admitting the wrongdoing and accepting whatever punishment is to be expected). However, if you were arrested for DUI after July 1, 2013 and you have never previously had your privilege to drive suspended for a DUI offense, you might be in a position to take advantage of a legal allowance under Florida law whereby you waive the right to challenge the suspension and then, although the administrative suspension is triggered, the DHSMV immediately issues you a hardship license, giving you the ability to avoid the 30 or 90 day suspension (depending on whether or not you submitted to the BAC test).
In order to be eligible for the aforementioned, besides the offense in questions being the first, the driver in question must have a valid Driver’s license and proof of enrollment in a DUI School. (It’s very important to always be sure that when you’re driving, you have a valid driver’s license; our firm has represented individuals who are from other states and unknowingly were driving with a license that had been suspended in the state of issue). In order to be eligible, the driver must also appear in person with their DUI Citation and proof of enrollment in the DUI School and be prepared to pay reinstatement fees to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Only an experienced DUI defense lawyer such as one of ours as the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert can determine whether or not taking advantage of this administrative process is in your best interest. Time is of the essence, though. We look forward to assisting you.