You Only Have 10 Days to Keep Your License
After a DUI arrest, your DUI citation serves as a temporary license that allows you to drive for 10 days. Once the 10 days is up, YOUR LICENSE WILL BE SUSPENDED for 6 MONTHS if you had a blood alcohol level higher than .08, or, 1 YEAR if you refused any blood, urine, or breath test. Fortunately, you do have options:
Option #1: A DUI lawyer can request a Formal Review Hearing to get your driving privileges temporarily extended. By requesting a Formal Review Hearing, your attorney is contesting the legality of your suspension. You only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request this hearing. If requested in time, the hearing will be scheduled within 30 days from the date of your DUI arrest. This gives your attorney time to request all the reports and records to prepare for the hearing and, if necessary, subpoena the arresting officer. If your lawyer wins the hearing, your suspension will be vacated and your driving privileges will be reinstated, pending the result of your DUI charges.
If your lawyer does not win the hearing, you will lose all driving privileges for 30 days if your BAC results were over.08, and 90 days if you refused the BAC tests altogether. After that time has passed, you can then request a hardship license so you can drive to and from school or work. In order for this to happen, you will need to signup for DUI school and undergo a substance-abuse evaluation. If you do not complete the DUI classes or any treatment that was recommended, your limited purpose permit will be revoked and you will not be able to get a license until they are completed, even if the original 6-month or 1-year suspension is over.
Option #2: Depending on the facts of your case, your attorney may advise against a formal review hearing. Instead, they would help you waive the hearing and obtain a hardship license WITH NO 30 or 90 DAY SUSPENSION. In order for this to happen, you will need to sign up for DUI school within 10 days of your arrest, before the hearing waiver is filed. With this option, you would be able to drive to and from school and work, as well as anywhere else that is required to maintain your livelihood.
Attend Your Arraignment
The arraignment is your first court appearance in which you, or your attorney, will enter a plea of “guilty”, “not guilty” or “no contest” to your DUI charges. If you don’t have an attorney, you will need to be present for the arraignment. Ideally, you want an attorney at this point but you can ask the judge for a continuance to give you more time to hire a lawyer.
Whether or not you are present at the arraignment, under no circumstances should you plead guilty. This will result in the judge closing your case and imposing a sentence immediately. Even though you may feel like there is a pile of evidence against you, never assume a successful outcome cannot be reached. Hiring an attorney will provide you an opportunity to resolve your case by developing a custom tailored defense strategy for your DUI charge.
Write Down Everything That Happened
Remembering every little detail from the day of your arrest becomes nearly impossible as time goes on. To avoid missing any information that could be crucial to your case, write down everything you did that day, such as what you ate, where you went, and who you were with.
When you get to the point where you were pulled over, make sure you write down what you recall from the conversation you had with the officer, as well as any tests you were asked to take and how you performed on those tests.
Here is a list of questions you can ask yourself to help make sure you cover all the details:
- How long did you stay at the bar
- How many total drinks did you have
- Were you seen leaving the bar by the arresting officer?
- Was the arrest at a DUI checkpoint?
- Any medical conditions?
- Did you take any medication the day of your arrest?
- What were the road conditions like?
Meet With a DUI Attorney To Discuss Your Options
Arrange consultations with a few DUI attorneys in your area. Make sure to bring your notes so each attorney can review the facts of your case.
No lawyer can guarantee they will win, but every case has the potential to be winnable. Ask each attorney what they plan on doing to obtain the best possible outcome and look for a lawyer that is ready to fight for your case.
These important tips will help ensure you avoid making any mistakes at the beginning of the DUI process. A DUI is a big deal and a conviction can affect the rest of your life. At the very least, you should have a head start on your search for the best DUI attorney in Fort Lauderdale. Contact Richard F. Della Fera, Esq. 954.514.9955 today.