We fight every DUI case with the goal of getting the best possible result. In many cases, the goal is to get the charges dropped or reduced to the less serious charge of reckless driving. Contact McCulloch Law, P.A. today to start building your DUI defense and help you get your license back on track.
A DUI often consists of two separate cases, a criminal case and a civil case, which are completely independent of each other. The criminal case deals with the charges against you, while the civil case deals with your driver’s license suspension. McCulloch Law, P.A. can help you navigate the civil case and find the best option for restoring your driving privileges and fighting your criminal charge.
- Investigate the details of your arrest, including probable cause, handling of evidence, and other critical factors.
- Review every aspect of your case with you, go over your options, and help you achieve the most favorable outcome
- Prepare a strong, capable and aggressive defense.
Formal Review Hearing
Requesting a formal review hearing is the only option that gives you the chance to fight your license suspension. Your attorney can demand a formal review hearing within 10 days of your arrest and obtain a 42 day driving permit so that you can continue driving until the outcome of your hearing is decided. If you do not request a formal review hearing within 10 days after your arrest, you waive the option for the hearing. You can choose to opt out of the 42-day driving permit and have your hard suspension start immediately after the 10 days after your arrest.
The formal review hearing is a vital part of your case because it gives your attorney the opportunity to obtain important information that can be used in your criminal case. When requesting a formal hearing your attorney is able to request the packet of information the office has regarding your arrest. This includes the arrest report, DUI video and discovery from the state attorney’s office.
If you win your hearing, your license suspension will be invalidated, the administrative suspension will be removed from your driving record and your driving rights will be restored immediately. Your hearing may be won due to the arresting officer or breath test operator failing to appear, insufficient evidence, illegal stop, etc. It is common for attorneys to lose formal review hearings, but they are able to gain important evidence and testimony from the hearing to use in your criminal case. If you lose your hearing, you will have a 30 day (if you took the breathalyzer) to 90 day (if you refused the breathalyzer) hard suspension (no driving at all) before you are able to request a hardship permit for the remainder of your suspension.
Obtaining a hardship permit may be the best thing for you if you cannot be without a license for any period of time. You can only apply for a hardship permit within 10 days of your arrest. This option lets you obtain a hardship permit immediately after the 10 days after your arrest to use for the remainder of your suspension. If you choose to obtain a hardship permit, you waive your right to a formal review hearing and the chance to fight your suspension. A hardship permit limits you to only doing any driving that is necessary to maintain your livelihood. This includes driving for employment, educational, religious and medical purposes.
You must enroll in DUI school and present proof of enrollment at the Bureau of Administrative Review to get your hardship license. If you do not complete the DUI course within 90 days of receiving you hardship license, your license will be suspended until you complete the course.
Take No Action
If you wait longer than 10 days after your arrest to take action, your license will be suspended for a 30 day (if you took the breathalyzer) to 90 day (if you refused the breathalyzer, blood or urine tests) hard suspension (no driving at all) before you are able to obtain a hardship permit. If you do not attempt to obtain a hardship license, your license will be suspended for the full 6-12 month suspension period.
*This information applies to 1st time DUI arrest only. Please contact us to discuss your options for 2nd, 3rd, 4th DUI’s and other DUI related convictions.
A DUI conviction can affect many aspects of your life. DUI convictions carry harsh penalties including jail, probation, DUI school, community service hours, driver’s license suspensions, fines, etc… (see Chart below). Even after probation and/or jail time, a DUI conviction can affect your insurance rates, your driver’s license, and your ability to get a job.
Below is a chart of general DUI penalties. (Please keep in mind that although we strive to keep these penalties up-to-date, statutes change and case facts can dictate different sanctions.)
- A DUI carries mandatory adjudication of guilt, court costs, and cost of prosecution (approx. $50).
- “Within 5 years” or “within 10 years” means between last conviction date and new arrest date.
- Fla. Stat. 322.28 governs Driver’s License Suspension and revocation requirements (See Case vs. DMV).
- 3 hours with the Victim Impact Panel is often ordered.
- A Judge may not accept a plea of guilty to a ‘lesser included offense’ if a person is charged under Fla. Stats. Chapter 316 and had breath results of .15 or higher (Fla. Stat. 316.656).
- Restitution is often ordered and reserved upon in crash cases.
- “Enhanced” sanctions may apply if a person has breath results over .15 or if there is someone under the age of 18 in the car at the time of the offense.
- A 3rd DUI within 10 years or a 4th of subsequent DUI may be charged as a felony, in which case, different and more substantial penalties would apply.
- The State Attorney has the ability to amend and reduce the charged offense and offer a different deal based on the merits of the case (and other relevant information).