Understanding Administrative License Suspensions
Did you know that you could lose your license for a DUI before you were officially convicted? Under Florida law, you can be given an administrative license suspension (ALS) if you refuse to take a breath or chemical test when you are arrested. No matter what happens during your criminal case, you could still have to live with a suspended license for one year or more. Not being able to drive can be a serious hardship for you and your family, which is why you should fight with given an ALS. Contact a Kissimmee criminal defense lawyer at our office right away. We understand the administrative procedures necessary to challenge ALS as well as how to build you a strong defense for your criminal DUI charge.
ALS for Breaking Florida’s Implied Consent Law
Under Florida law, you automatically agree to take a chemical test if you are lawfully arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is known as implied consent. Because you are legally required to take a breath, urine or blood test when asked to by a police officer in connection with a DUI arrest, there are penalties if you refuse. If you do not take a requested chemical test, the police will automatically confiscate your driver’s license, which will be suspended by the state for one year. However, if this is not your first refusal, your license will be taken for at least 18 months.
Fighting an ALS
If your license was confiscated because of an ALS, you should contact a criminal lawyer immediately. You must request a review hearing within 10 days of the date of arrest or notice of suspension in order to argue against it. Your hearing should be scheduled within 30 days of your request.
At the hearing, the hearing officer will review whether there is substantial evidence to believe the police officer who arrested you had probable cause to do so and to take away your license. This can include whether you blew over the legal limit of 0.08 percent BAC or whether you refused a chemical test despite being lawfully arrested.
By working with an experienced attorney, you increase your chance of having the ALS license overturned. Possible defenses include an unlawful traffic stop or invalid arrest by the police.
Driving While You Contest the ALS
When your license was taken, the police would have given you a 10-day limited driving permit. During the 10 days you have to file an appeal, you can drive to work, school, medical appointments, and to meet with your attorney. This permit is to ensure you do not feel an extreme hardship, but it does not give you to drive around for whatever you want. If you are not sure whether you can drive somewhere on the permit, call your attorney.
Once you file the appeal, you will be granted a 42 day extension on this permit. This will enable you to get to school, work, and important appointments before the hearing. If the ALS is overturned at the hearing, your lawyer can help you have your license reinstated immediately. However, if the ALS is upheld at the hearing, your license is suspended starting the day your permit expires. For a one-year license suspension, you will not be able to drive for 90 days. After this period, you can apply for a hardship license in order to get to and from school or work.
Call a Kissimmee Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help
If you were pulled over for a DUI in Kissimmee and had your license taken away, contact Salazar & Kelly Law Group, P.A. at 407-483-0500 right away. When facing an ALS, you need to act quickly. If you wait to see what happens with your criminal case, you will lose your license.