Understanding driver’s license suspension laws in Florida

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If you have been convicted of a DUI in Florida-tough penalties are ahead. Unfortunately, loss of a driver's license is one repercussion.

Losing your driver's license can have a negative effect on your life-you may not be able to get to your job or get your children to daycare or school. However, there are ways to preserve your right to drive. Following the driver's license suspension process precisely is vital. You may also want to seek the help of a DUI attorney who can offer guidance on the best course of action.

The suspension process in Florida

When you were arrested, you received a DUI citation. This citation will serve as a temporary hardship driver's license for 10 days. However, within 10 days from the date of the arrest, you must request a formal review hearing with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). (The purpose of the formal review hearing is to challenge the validity of the driver's license suspension.) If you do not request this hearing within 10 days, you waive your right to contest the suspension and you will lose your license for the set suspension period.

Florida driver's license suspension periods

If you fail to request a hearing or you are not successful at the DHSMV hearing, your license will be suspended for the full suspension period. Each period is different depending on the offense:

For your first offense, your driver's license will be revoked for a minimum of 180 days and maximum of one year.

  • For your second offense (within 5 years of your first offense), you face a five year revocation. You may be eligible for hardship reinstatement after one year.
  • For your third offense (within 10 years of your second offense), you face a minimum of 10 year revocation. You also may be eligible for work release or hardship reinstatement after two years.
  • For your fourth conviction (in a lifetime), you face mandatory permanent revocation and no hardship reinstatement.
  • For a conviction of murder with a motor vehicle, you face mandatory permanent revocation and no hardship reinstatement.
  • For a conviction of DUI manslaughter, your license will be permanently revoked. If you have no prior DUIs on your record, you may be eligible for a hardship reinstatement after 5 years.
  • For a conviction of manslaughter, DUI Serious Bodily Injury, or Vehicular Homicide you face a minimum 3 year revocation.

To reinstate your license you will need to provide proof of completion of DUI School and if you were referred to a treatment program, you will have to show proof that you completed that program. You will also have to pay all of the applicable fees associated with reinstating your license.

Contact an experienced traffic violations attorney

The laws listed above are stated in general terms. To find out what repercussion you face as they pertain to your specific circumstances, contact an experienced traffic violations attorney.