Jacksonville Attorneys Defending Drivers Against DUI Charges
Driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida may result in criminal and administrative penalties, including the loss of your driver license. If you are facing a license suspension following an arrest for drunk driving, you can discuss your concerns with a Jacksonville DUI lawyer. At Ellis and Bryant, we represent individuals in both criminal and administrative DUI proceedings. We can help you contest a license suspension and fight against the underlying DUI charge, as well as assist you in seeking to have your driving privileges reinstated.
License Revocation for Florida DUI Convictions
If you are convicted of a DUI in Florida, the criminal penalties may include imprisonment, probate, fines, substance abuse counseling, and the installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. In addition, the court will revoke your driver license. The revocation period generally runs concurrently with any administrative license suspension that is in effect. The revocation period for a first-time DUI may range from six to twelve months unless someone was injured, in which case the minimum revocation period is three years. If you are convicted of a second DUI within five years of the first, you will face a minimum five-year revocation period. The revocation period continues to increase for subsequent DUIs, and your license may be permanently revoked for a fourth DUI or a DUI manslaughter conviction.
Even if your license has been revoked for a DUI, you may be eligible for hardship reinstatement in many cases. A hardship license will allow you to drive for work-related and other purposes when certain conditions are met, such as installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. A DUI lawyer can assist you in determining whether and when you may qualify for a hardship license.
Florida Administrative License Suspension Law
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) has the authority to suspend a person’s license for alcohol and drug-related driving violations by administrative action. An administrative license suspension by the FHSMV is separate from the DUI proceedings that take place in criminal court. There are a couple of situations that may trigger an administrative DUI suspension. First, an administrative license suspension may be imposed if you submit to a chemical test and your BAC level registers above the legal limit. For most adult drivers, a BAC level of .08% or higher will result in a six-month suspension for the first offense. Second and subsequent offenses are subject to a one-year suspension period.
An administrative license suspension may also arise from a DUI refusal. If a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that you have been driving under the influence of alcohol, he or she may ask you to take a breath, urine, or blood test to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Refusing to submit to a chemical test is considered a violation of Florida’s implied consent law. A DUI refusal is subject to an automatic suspension of your license, effective immediately. The suspension period may range from one year for a first-time DUI refusal to eighteen months for second and subsequent DUI refusals.
In most cases, notice of the license suspension is issued by the arresting officer and goes into effect immediately. However, a driver may challenge the license suspension by requesting a formal review hearing within ten days.
Jacksonville Lawyers for DUI Defense
If you are seeking advice about a DUI-related license suspension, the Jacksonville attorneys at Ellis and Bryant can assist you. We can provide dedicated representation to people who have been arrested for DUI offenses, drug crimes, and other criminal offenses. We serve areas throughout Duval and Clay Counties, such as Jacksonville Beach, Orange Park, Middleburg, and other locations. To schedule a free consultation, call Ellis and Bryant at (904) 551-4120 or submit our contact form online.