The days following a DUI arrest can be hectic. You may have questions about whether you can continue driving after a West Palm Beach DUI, but a knowledgeable DUI lawyer can answer any questions you do have. An attorney can alleviate some of the stress surrounding your arrest and can help you deal with the logistical details of your case. Get in touch with a lawyer and start building your defense today.
Immediately Following An Arrest
During the 10-day period following an arrest, the driver’s license is actually a valid license. This is the due process period and the government cannot do anything or take it away. That 10-day period is a person’s warning period to take notice and react. This assumes that the person’s driver’s license was valid just prior to the arrest or charge.
If a person has a citation indicating that it serves as a temporary driver’s license, it is a full driver’s license during those 10 days but a person must carry that citation with them.
Challenging Suspension of a License
Until recently, most people had no choice but to either challenge the suspension or lose their license for a period of time depending upon the facts of the case. Typically the suspension would be a hard suspension for a period of time, again, depending upon those factors.
A person had nothing to lose by challenging the suspension before. If a person challenged a suspension and lost, they would lose the license the same amount of time as if the person had not challenged. If they did not challenge it, they could lose their license.
Challenging the suspension can be used as a discovery tool because an attorney could subpoena most of the witnesses involved in the case to testify live, and under oath, and give the lawyer a preview as to what these witnesses would testify in court without the prosecutor or judge being present
Recent Changes to Laws Regarding Driving Post-DUI
The recent change to laws regarding driving after a West Palm Beach DUI is if the person waives the right to challenge the suspension, they – depending upon their record- will not have to suffer any period of loss of license and will be able to drive the entire time.
The person will have some restrictions as it is a hardship license that will basically allow the person to do any necessary driving, but they must waive the right to challenge the suspension and waive the right to use the discovery tool to see what the witnesses will say. The recent change eliminates the “hard time” suspension and gives the person a work permit the entire time.
Because it is important for them to have a license, most clients usually take the new program, which is the Hardship Eligibility Review Program, and they forego or waive their right to challenge the suspension in exchange for a hardship license for the entire period of the suspension.
Deciding Not to Challenge Suspension of a License
If a person decides not to challenge the suspension of a license, then the suspension is going to take effect and driving after a West Palm Beach DUI will not be possible. There are different suspensions for different cases and people with different records. If a person takes a breath test and fails it, and it is the first time they failed it, they will lose the license for six months and they will not be able to drive for 30 days.
If a person refuses to take a breath test and it is the first time they refused, the suspension is going to be for one year and they will not be able to drive for 90 days. If it is a second or subsequent unlawful blood alcohol level or a refusal, they will lose their license for a year with no hardship, or no work permit, or 18 months if they refused a second refusal with no hardship whatsoever.
If a person has no record and is eligible for a hardship license the entire time, a client may want to choose that to ensure they are able to continue living their life in a manner that they are used to.
If a person has a prior offense and is looking at a hard suspension, either way, they might as well challenge it because they have nothing to lose. If the person does not challenge it, they will lose their license. And if they challenge and lose there is no harm in the case or additional penalty.
Hiring a Lawyer
If you have been arrested for a DUI, an experienced DUI attorney can be a great asset in your DUI case. A lawyer can help you challenge your license suspension and can answer questions about driving after a West Palm Beach DUI. Most importantly, a lawyer can look at the existing evidence and facts of your case, and use them to bolster your defense. Contact a lawyer and start working on your defense.