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Getting back on the road after a DUI arrest

DUI is an area of law where a person can face a punishment-suspension of their driver's license-before they are convicted of a crime. Fair or unfair, it is a reality faced by thousands of Floridians every year.

Here is an explanation of how DUI driver's license suspension works in Florida and steps you can take to get back on the road.

How does DUI driver's license suspension work?

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) can suspend your driver's license for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or for refusing a breath, blood or urine test.

In either case, the arresting officer will take away your driver's license. You can use your DUI ticket as a driver's license for 10 calendar days. After 10 days, your driver's license will be automatically suspended unless you exercise your right to a review hearing.

What happens if I waive my right to a review hearing?

Your driver's license will be automatically suspended 10 calendar days after your arrest. You can obtain a hardship driver's license for one year.

What happens if I request a review hearing?

You will receive a temporary driver's license that is good for 30 days. You will have an opportunity to hire an attorney to represent you at your review hearing. Your attorney can cross examine the arresting officer and challenge such issues as whether your DUI stop was legal.

If you win your hearing, your driver's license will not be suspended. If you lose and your driver's license is suspended, you can request a hardship license for one year.

Will the review hearing affect my criminal DUI case?

Driver's license suspension is a civil proceeding, and it is separate from the criminal charge of driving under the influence. However, your attorney can use evidence from your review hearing to defend you in your criminal case.

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