When you’re arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), you face a host of consequences, including incarceration, fines, and collateral penalties that affect every aspect of your life – from custody and visitation with your children, and more. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could even face the loss of your driver’s license.

When so much is on the line, you need a skilled Sarasota DUI attorney to help you navigate the legal process. Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. can help you get your life back on track by getting your license back after a Sarasota drunk driving arrest. To schedule a free and confidential consultation of your case, call (941) 363-7900 today, or reach out through the online form.

Understanding Administrative Suspension

Following an arrest for a DUI, you only have 10 days to request an administrative hearing before your license will automatically be suspended. Understand that a license suspension is an administrative penalty; it is totally separate from your criminal case, and you do not have to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to lose your driver’s license as a civil punishment.

When you are issued a ticket for a DUI, you will be granted a 10-day temporary driving permit. You are allowed to drive without restrictions to work, school, or anywhere else for the next 10 days after your arrest.

Administrative DMV Hearings

At the DMV hearing regarding your administrative driver’s license suspension, you will have the opportunity to fight to retain your license. If you prevail at the hearing, you will get your license back and be able to drive without restrictions. If the suspension is upheld, your temporary permit will expire at midnight at the end of the 10-day period from when it was granted. You will be prohibited from driving for 30-90 days after the expiration of your initial temporary permit, and after that time you may request a hardship license, depending on the details of your arrest. You may also elect to waive the administrative hearing, but the suspension will become part of your permanent driving record.

Requesting a Hearing

Some DUI cases may be complicated, especially if you have multiple prior offenses. In such a situation, the DMV might require you to attend a hearing or complete additional requirements to get your license reinstated. If you have moved to another state since your license was suspended or revoked, you should reach out to an attorney for help in understanding your options moving forward.

Requesting a Hardship License

If you do not succeed at the administrative hearing, you and your attorney can request a DUI hardship license. Depending on the type of hardship license you apply or qualify for, you may drive for purposes such as:

  • Going to and from school
  • Attending medical appointments
  • Driving to and from work
  • Driving for work if your job requires it
  • Driving to and from religious services and activities

What if I’m Found Not Guilty of DUI at Trial?

If your criminal case makes it to trial and you are found not guilty, this does not mean that your driving privileges are automatically reinstated. You still need to notify the office of driver control about the outcome of your case. You can get a certified copy of the verdict from the clerk’s office and present it to the office of driver control. If you had to pay any costs for DUI classes, these might be reimbursed, and your reinstatement fee might be waived. If you have no other holds on your license such as unpaid child support or failure to appear for court, your license will be reinstated after the DMV office processes your request.

Consequences of Driving on a Suspended Driver’s License

Driving on a suspended driver’s license is taken very seriously by Sarasota prosecutors. If you are caught driving on a suspended driver’s license, you may be facing fines, jail time, and points on your driving record. This can make it more difficult to have your license eventually reinstated – even after you have paid the fines for the original charge and the period of suspension has expired.

Speak to a Sarasota DUI Attorney

If you have questions about getting your license back after a drunk driving charge, don’t wait. Driving without a license will only make matters worse. An experienced DUI lawyer can save you time, money, and possibly the inconvenience of needing to attend a hearing by working with the local DMV office and fighting the suspension if you request a hearing. Reach out to Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. by calling (941) 363-7900, or by sending a message through the online form.

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