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How to Get Your License Back After You Have Been Arrested for DUI

When you are arrested for DUI and have a BAC above the legal limit or refuse to take a breath/urine/blood test, the police will take your license. A license suspension will go into effect 10 days from the date of your arrest.  You have only ten days from the date of your DUI arrest to file a request for a temporary driving permit and a formal review hearing of your driver’s license suspension.   A Temporary Driving Permit will allow you to drive for work, school, medical purposes, and church.  If you fail to file this Request within this 10 day time period, you WILL lose your license and will not be eligible for a temporary driving permit. If you contact Stechschulte Nell within 10 days of your arrest, however, our criminal defense attorneys can challenge an automatic driver’s license suspension at a Formal Review Hearing and demand that you receive a Temporary Driving Permit. 

An experienced Tampa DUI attorney will help you in a number of ways to get you back driving again so you do not experience the inconvenience that comes along with the automatic suspension of your driver’s license. At this Formal Review hearing, we can challenge both the basis for pulling you over and the overall evidence against you. Ben Stechschulte has successfully challenged the DMV's and the police’s case for many clients and has won back their drivers’ licenses.

Another option is to argue for a hardship license that will allow you to drive your car on a limited basis such as to attend work, school, or for medical purposes when you have no other available means of travel.  In order to obtain a hardship license, you may be required to attend a Level I DUI School.

Knowing how to appeal your license suspension and doing it effectively is very complex and is very important since you do NOT want to be unable to drive after a DUI arrest. To keep your license and avoid a suspension, it is imperative to consult with an experienced Tampa DUI attorney as soon as possible. We can demand a hearing with the DMV to challenge their evidence and help you obtain a hardship license.  Remember, if you miss the 10 day deadline for appeal, you will have to deal with the license suspension and may be without your license for a long time. 

Administrative License Suspensions and DUI Charges

When you are arrested for a DUI, the period of time for which your license will be suspended by the DMV will vary depending upon your blood alcohol content at the time of your arrest as well as whether you have had any prior related convictions for driving while intoxicated. For example:

  • Your driver’s license can be suspended for between 180 days if you submitted to a breath test and a year if you refuse to submit to a breath test for a first offense.
  • Your driver’s license can be suspended if you refuse to take a test demonstrating your blood alcohol level.
  • Your driver’s license can be suspended for five years if you commit two DUI offenses during a five year period of time. After a year, you can petition for a hardship reinstatement.
  • Your driver’s license can be revoked for ten years if you commit a third DUI in a period of ten years. After two years, you may petition for a hardship reinstatement.
  • Your driver’s license can be permanently revoked if you commit DUI manslaughter. A hardship reinstatement may be available after five years.

DMV Appeals

If a DMV administrative hearing results in the suspension of your driver’s license as a result of a DUI arrest, you may appeal the license suspension by a petition for writ of certiorari to the circuit court in the county where you live or where review of your case was conducted. When you file for a writ of certiorari, the court will reconsider the DMV’s administrative action but the license suspension will not be delayed until after the review. If you plan to appeal, it is imperative to contact an experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney to get legal help with this complicated process.

Getting Your License Back

If your license has already been suspended, you may petition for a hardship license if you meet the requirements and a sufficient amount of time has passed. You will also have to fulfill certain requirements to reinstate your license at the end of your suspension term including demonstrating that you have obtained a special FR-44 insurance form (formerly an SR-22 insurance form) evidencing that you have valid insurance.  

Getting Help from Stechschulte Nell

An experienced Tampa criminal defense lawyer can help you understand your obligations and the required procedure for getting your license reinstated after a suspension. To learn more about protecting or reinstating your license after a DUI, contact a Tampa DWI lawyer at Stechschulte Nell today.