Need to Drive But Have a DUI? Here’s what you need to know about Florida Hardship Licenses
If you made a mistake in the past and have a DUI hanging over your head, don’t worry. While a DUI is a very serious offense, the state of Florida recognizes that sometimes a vehicle is necessary for gainful employment. If you have been convicted of a DUI, you may be eligible to apply for a hardship license.
Penalties and Revocation of Driver’s License
DUI penalties differ depending on whether it is your first, second, or third DUI, and whether anyone was injured. In addition, if it is your second or third DUI (or more) within a certain timeframe, you will face steeper penalties. If convicted of a DUI, you can expect to lose your license for a minimum of 180 days.
Driving drunk is a mistake you shouldn’t have to live with for the rest of your life. It can damage relationships and job prospects and leave a stain on your criminal record. One way to start rebuilding your life is to show initiative and responsibility by maintaining a job and working hard to reinstate your license.
To reinstate your license, you will need to complete any DUI schooling or alcohol or drug treatment that the judge has ordered. For a hardship reinstatement, you must complete this before applying. Also, be prepared to pay an administrative fee and a reinstatement fee, in addition to any DMV licensing fees. To reinstate after your revocation period has ended, you must complete the training within 90 days of your license being returned. Your Florida criminal defense attorney can further explain the process to you.
Cancellation of Driver’s License
If you fail to complete the necessary requirements stated by the court after your license has been reinstated, your license may be canceled. Unfortunately, if your Florida driver’s license is canceled, you may have to wait a specified time before reapplying to reinstate your driving privileges. In the meantime, it is important to complete all parts of your DUI penalties to show the state that you are working hard to regain your license.
When You Aren’t Eligible For a Hardship License
Florida DUI statutes penalize repeat offenders with steeper penalties. One of these penalties is the inability to apply for a hardship license.
If you are convicted of a second DUI that is more than five years after your first DUI, you cannot apply for a hardship and your license will be revoked for 6 to 12 months. If you are convicted of a second DUI within five years of your first, your license will be revoked for at least five years, however, you can apply for a hardship reinstatement after a year.
If you are convicted of a third DUI more than ten years after your first two DUIs, you will lose your license for 6 to 12 months and cannot apply for hardship. If your DUI is your third in 5 years, you will lose your license for 5 years and cannot apply for hardship. If your DUI is your third within 10 years, you will lose your license for 10 years, but can apply for hardship after two.
If you are convicted of a fourth DUI (or more), you will lose your license for at least 5 years before being able to apply for a hardship license. Other convictions, like DUI manslaughter, face steeper penalties. These should be discussed with your Florida criminal defense attorney.
So what does this mean for traveling and job prospects? Unfortunately, you don’t have too many choices. You will need to ask friends and family for rides, carpool, use public transportation, or hire taxis or Uber.
In the meantime, plan to save money for reinstatement fees and take the time to check the terms of your reinstatement. You may be required to attend DUI school or receive treatment for alcohol or drug use. Plan to complete these before your reinstatement date so you can safely get back on the road and back to your life.
Recently Arrested for a DUI? Get Help From a Florida DUI Defense Lawyer
Are you researching the penalties of a DUI because you or a loved one were recently arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence? If so, know that a DUI conviction is not a given after a DUI arrest. A skilled Florida DUI defense lawyer can review your case and help determine whether procedure was properly carried out. The criminal defense lawyers of Florida Ticket Firm know DUIs. They know where to look for mistakes in processing and understand the system. Their knowledge can help you ensure that you aren’t taken advantage of by the system and are given a fair trial.