HOW TO GET A HARDSHIP DRIVERS LICENSE IN FLORIDA AFTER A DUI CHARGE
When you are charged with a DUI in Florida, you’ll receive a driver’s license suspension for a specific time. However, you can get a hardship license in Florida with the help of an attorney like Joe Knape.
Joe Knape is an experienced criminal defense attorney located in downtown Orlando. He has helped countless people reclaim their suspended licenses and obtain a Florida hardship license allowing them to get back to work.
HARDSHIP LICENSE FACTS IN ORLANDO
If you carry a Florida driver’s license and are pulled over with the suspicion of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence, you are subject to Florida’s implied consent laws. Once the police officer believes there to be probable cause for a DUI arrest, he will administer a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) approved breath test.
This breath test is typically done at the police station or county jail; however, the police office may have a portable breathalyzer. The breathalyzer results determine whether the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) office will suspend your driving privileges.
There are likely at least three (3) possible outcomes on the night of the DUI arrest.
- You blow zero (.00) or under .08. There will be no administrative license suspension time or suspended license unless the arresting officer believes the impaired driving to be caused by drugs, and then implied consent for a urine screen is read and applied.
- You blow above .08. This will cause the DHSMV’s administrative review office to suspend your driver’s license for six months. You can challenge the suspended license within ten days of the test by making a formal request to the DHSMV office for a hearing officer to review the arrest and test. If the request is made, the driver is eligible for a temporary Florida hardship license, pending administrative review. This temporary hardship license has limited driving privileges, is restricted for business purposes only, and is typically valid for 30-42 days. You should also know that if you choose to blow over the .15 threshold, you will be subjected to greater court-imposed penalties, including having a breathalyzer installed in the car when you get your driver’s license reinstated.
- The third outcome is to refuse the breathalyzer. Suppose you don’t blow or provide a valid sample; the DHSMV considers this a refusal. A special provision of implied consent is read at the breath test center, providing that should you refuse to blow, your driver’s license is suspended for one (1) year. The same request can be made for administrative review by a hearing officer for the driving license suspension to see if you are eligible for a hardship license for the first 30 to 45 days. Still, if the driving license suspension is upheld following the hardship hearing, the one-year license suspension goes into effect.
SECOND REFUSAL & HOW THAT EFFECTS YOUR HARDSHIP LICENSE
According to Florida law, a second refusal could result in a separate misdemeanor charge and maximum punishment of up to 1 year in jail. If you refused the breath test once before, you need to be aware of the consequence of a second refusal and that you will likely not receive a hardship license.
HOW TO GET A HARDSHIP LICENSE IN FLORIDA WITH AN ATTORNEY
If you got your license suspended, it’s not entirely a “hard” license suspension as you are eligible for a hardship license after 30 days with a blow over .08 and after 90 days for a refusal, and proof of enrollment in DUI school taking a DUI course (or a Florida ADI course (advanced driver improvement course) if court ordered).
For first offenders, it is typically a straightforward hardship hearing explaining that you have served a license suspension period, have not driven, and have taken the steps necessary to reinstate your license. There is a cost, possibly a license fee and filing fee, but to apply for a hardship license in Florida is better than not having a driver’s license.
Contact attorney Joseph Knape today to begin the process of obtaining a hardship license so you can drive legally again.