DUI Aftermath: What you need to know
After a DUI arrest, in all likelihood you’ve lost your license as a result of either taking a breath test and being above the legal limit, or refusing a breath test. In order to get that license suspension overturned which is an administrative suspension, you have to have a hearing which is called a formal review hearing, and you have to win. Obviously, if you win the hearing that administrative suspension is set aside and you’re able to go down and get your license fully reinstated.
That’s only one of the two suspensions, however, that you might face in a DUI case because there’s both an administrative suspension that happens as a result of either a breath test that’s above the legal limit or refusal. In addition to that, there’s a potential suspension that comes as a result of a court ordered suspension which is a direct consequence of a DUI conviction. That’s something that you definitely need to speak to your lawyer about and they’ll be able to answer the questions as to what specifically you need to do, to get your license reinstated.
What Might I Expect After Being Convicted of DUI
First, a DUI conviction is a permanent record. If you’re convicted of a DUI, that adjudication of guilt will remain on your record for life, unless and until you secure some type of pardon from the governor. I can tell you, in my experience as a DUI laywer, those don’t happen. If you are convicted of a DUI, it remains on your permanent criminal history as well as your permanent driving history.
Unfortunately, you can’t have a drunk driving conviction expunged. In fact, you can’t have any kind of conviction expunged, meaning if you’re adjudicated guilty of a crime, that crime is going to permanently remain on your record, regardless of whether it’s a DUI or other type of offense. If you’ve been adjudicated guilty, which means if you’ve been formally convicted of a DUI, then it is permanently on your record.
Drunk Driving Class
If you’ve been convicted of a drunk driving offense in Florida, on a first offense you’ll be required to take a 12-hour class called the DUI Counterattack School. That’s the level 1 class. If you’ve had a prior DUI conviction however, you’ll have to take a 21-hour class, also the DUI Counterattack School but it’s called level 2. So 12 hours for a first DUI offense, 21 hours for a second, or subsequent DUI offense. That does not include counseling and treatment, which is also likely to be imposed. This just the DUI driving class.
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The court might use the SCRAM bracelet to punish you before or after you have been convicted of drunk driving. A SCRAM bracelet is a device that is attached to your body that is able to determine the alcohol that’s emitted from your pores. What it does is it is used for one of two reasons. Either as a precondition to your release on bond to ensure that you’re not consuming an alcohol while your DUI is pending. In certain circumstances it may be imposed as a condition of your sentence, where the judge requires you to wear it to ensure that you’re not consuming alcohol during the pendency of your probationary sentence. It can be used in either capacity. It’s not impermissible but sometimes it can be done away with. If it’s an issue that’s causing you a problem with employment or other circumstances or if you have another opportunity to address that, you might want to speak with your lawyer about whether the SCRAM monitor needs to be a component to your sentence or pre-sentence release or whether there is something you can do to have it removed.
Talk With Your Attorney
If you’ve been charged with DUI and have lost your license, either because you have refused a breath test or you’ve taken a breath test and tested above the 0.08 legal limit, you have two options on a first offense as it relates to addressing your driver’s license.
The first option is you can request a formal review hearing through the Department of Motor Vehicles Bureau of Administrative Reviews. That hearing can be done by your lawyer, and in fact can be requested by your lawyer, but must be requested within 10 days from the date of your suspension. Alternatively, you can waive your right to that hearing and secure a business purpose license that lasts for the entirety of your license suspension. There are some collateral consequences to that route as well.
We recommend that you speak to a qualified, experienced DUI lawyer and find out which one of those two options is best for you.