What to expect after your DUI conviction

Driving Following Conviction

In a Florida drunk driving case, if you are convicted, you will lose your license in a first offense for no less than 6 months and upwards of a year. In addition, you can expect to have a number of other consequences, including being put on probation for a year, being required to do the DUI Counterattack school which is a 12-hour DUI-related class, a drug and alcohol evaluation, the victim awareness panel, 50 hours of community service, a minimum fine of $500.00 plus court costs and other fees, as well as a 10-day vehicle impoundment. As you can see, the 6-month driver’s license suspension at a minimum is only 1 of a number of sanctions that you suffer if you’re convicted of a DUI, which is why it’s so critical that you hire the best DUI lawyer that you can afford.

What Happens to My Car

Part of a mandatory DUI sentence on a first offense is that your vehicle be impounded or immobilized for a period of ten days. However, the judge does have some latitude in waving the impoundment or immobilization under certain circumstances. For example, if you can demonstrate that it is a hardship on somebody other than you, within your household that that vehicle be impounded or immobilized, such as a minor child that’s dependent upon you for getting to and from school or to and from doctors appointments or if there’s somebody else within the household that only has access to that vehicle as a means of getting to work. It will not be forfeited or taken away from you but it can be impounded or immobilized for ten days on a first offense.

Limited License or Work Permit

In Florida, a first time DUI conviction does come with a license suspension of no less than six months, however, you do generally qualify to receive what’s called a BPO, or Business Purposes Only license, which will allow you to drive to and from work, to and from school, medical appointments, and anything that is in furtherance of your job. There are some restrictions, but yes, you can qualify to get a hardship license, also called a business purpose license. In order to qualify, you need to register for and complete the DUI counter attack school, which is a 12 hour driving course, which also comes with an accompanying drug and alcohol evaluation. That is the precursor, or precondition, to securing a hardship license after a conviction for DUI in Florida.

Obtaining Out-Of-State License

Typically you’re not going to be able to get a license in another state if you’ve got a DUI conviction in Florida, unless and until you satisfy the conditions in Florida that would allow you to get a license. In other words, the states at this point all have general reciprocity with one another, meaning they’re all going to cooperate with one another. They’re going to share information with one another. License records are electronically maintained and shared amongst the DMVs, so if you have a suspended license in one state, whether it’s Florida or otherwise due to a DUI conviction, you’re not going to simply be able to move into another state and get a license. They’re going to know about the DUI conviction and you’re going to do certain things to clear up your license sufficiently that you’ll be allowed to get a license in that state. The same thing holds true for Florida. If you got a DUI out of state and you move to Florida, you’re also going to have problems getting a license unless and until you address those issues.

Prior Convictions

In Florida drunk driving cases prior DUI convictions can be used as a basis to enhance your case. Meaning, that on a third or subsequent DUI it can be a felony. Even a second DUI can be enhanced from a lower level misdemeanor to a higher level misdemeanor, and the sanctions that are required of you also go up. Any prior DUI conviction will absolutely have a bearing or impact on what the state’s willing to offer you, and if you’re convicted will have an impact on what the mandatory sanctions are.

Next Step

After a DUI conviction, there are certain preconditions to getting your license reinstated. If the court has ordered a first time suspension, you’ll be required to complete the DUI counterattack school before you can apply for your license to be reinstated. That’s even after the expiration of that suspension. Say for example, the judge orders that your license be suspended for six months. You can get a hardship license by taking the counterattack school and completing the alcohol and drug evaluation. Once the six months expire, you can then request that your full license be issued or reinstated if you will. As long as you comply with the DUI counterattack school requirements, your license should be able to be fully reinstated after the termination of that period of suspension.

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