Individuals who are convicted of DUIs more than once, especially within a close time period, are going to be heavily penalized. Most importantly, they are facing a license suspension, restricting their access, freedom, mobility and ability to live their life as normal as they previously could. If you are facing a suspended or restricted license following a second offense DUI in Ft Lauderdale and would like to challenge it, you should contact an experienced DUI defense attorney right away.
On a second DUI offense, the Department of Motor Vehicles will not let an individual file for a waiver to get an immediate driving permit. The only way to get an immediate driving permit is to file a legal challenge to the suspension through an informal or formal review. If the individual is not successful, they would have to undergo hard time suspension without a license.
On an unlawful blood alcohol level charge, the first 30 days of the six-month suspension, there would be no driving. On a refusal case, the first 90 days of the year or the 12 months of the suspension of the driver’s license and then (assuming an individual can show that they have been enrolled in an approved DUI school and if this does not involve a second refusal) the Department of Motor Vehicle will consider an individual for a hardship license.
These sanctions are imposed immediately after the arrest of the second DUI offense. With the second offense conviction on an individual’s record, they are not eligible for a hardship license through the Department of Motor Vehicles. While the second charge is pending, they are innocent until proven guilty and the goal is to find an amicable resolution. In the meantime, while the second DUI charge is pending, the individual would have one DUI conviction with a pending DUI, and the hardship rule can go into effect up until the second DUI conviction hits their driving record and then a no-waiver rule would apply.
Challenging a Suspension
An individual should challenge the license suspension after a second offense DUI arrest in Ft Lauderdale because the hard time suspensions are going to come into play and the Department of Motor Vehicles will not even consider a waiver. If the individual loses the challenge, the Department of Motor Vehicles will proceed with the suspension. One benefit of an individual challenging the suspension as it applies to a second DUI offense in Ft Lauderdale is that the Department of Motor Vehicles cannot suspend the entire driving privilege until the hearing is held.
A request for a review or the filing of a challenge for a second DUI offense in effect calls for a “time out” to the start of the driver’s license suspension, which would start at midnight on the tenth day following the arrest.
The Department of Motor Vehicles gives the individual 10 days to get their affairs in order in which time the individual is allowed to use the actual citation for DUI as their regular driver’s license during that time period. When the individual files a challenge on the second DUI offense, the Department of Motor Vehicles will set a hearing usually 40 to 45 days beyond the request and will issue a restricted license that can be used by the individual until that hearing takes place and the final decision is made.
If an individual is successful and is able to argue to the Department of Motor Vehicles that the suspension was not legal and, again, this is not a hardship hearing but a hearing to determine whether or not the actions of the Department of Motor Vehicles are legal or not, then the individual can get their license back pending the resolution of the criminal DUI case. If the individual is not successful, then upon the expiration of the temporary or the restricted permit issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, that person would start their hard time suspension, which could be 30 to 90 days depending upon whether or not it was a case involving unlawful blood or breath alcohol level, or a case where an individual refused the breathalyzer or any other tests that are required by law.
An individual can apply for a restricted license after their hard suspension is completed. If they challenge the suspension through a formal or informal review and are successful, no application for the hardship is necessary. If the suspension is upheld or no challenge is filed, an individual would have to wait until the expiration of the hard time/hard suspension before they could apply for the hardship license. Once the second DUI conviction in Ft Lauderdale goes on the record, there would be no opportunity for a hardship license.
Returning a license after getting a case acquitted depends on what the status of the license is at the time of the acquittal. If the administrative suspension was not challenged and was upheld, and the administrative suspension was completed when the individual was acquitted of the DUI, they should already have their driver’s license returned to them at the conclusion of the administrative suspension. If the case goes to trial, the administrative suspension will probably have expired in that timeframe.
In the event the trial begins during the time that a person’s license is administratively suspended, anything that happens in the criminal case has zero effect on the administrative suspension and vice versa. Anything that happens on the administrative side has no effect on the criminal side of the case and anything that happens on the criminal side of the case has no effect on the administrative side of the case.
If an individual gets arrested for DUI and they are successful in overturning the administrative suspension of their driver’s license at the Department of Motor Vehicles level, this does not affect the criminal charges pending. That is because there are different standards of proof required by the administrative law which has a preponderance of the evidence standard, and the criminal side has proof beyond a reasonable doubt.