Orlando, FL (PRWEB) July 09, 2013
A new law went into effect today affecting how and when a person’s license is suspended if they are arrested for DUI in Florida.
Under the old system, an officer who made a DUI arrest would administratively suspend the driver’s license. The driver would then have ten days to decide whether or not they would challenge the suspension of their driving privilege. Those who chose not to challenge the suspension would have the same penalties imposed as if they had challenged the suspension and lost.
If a driver won their “Formal Review Hearing”, they would get their regular driver’s license back with no restrictions. However, if they did not challenge the suspension or lost the hearing, their license would be suspended for either 6 months if they took the requested alcohol test or 12 months for a first refusal or 18 months for a second or subsequent refusal to take a requested Breath, Urine or Blood test.
Further, if they took the requested test, the suspension would begin with a period of thirty days during which they could not drive, followed by the balance of the suspension on a hardship license. A suspension for refusal began with a 90 day no driving period followed by the balance of the suspension on a hardship license. A hardship license would allow driving for restricted purposes including work and education among other activities.
Now, under the new rules, those who wish to fight the suspension are punished if they lose. If a driver does not request a hearing, they are immediately eligible for a hardship license and have no period of time during which they cannot drive. This applies to all first time offenders, regardless of whether or not they agreed to participate in a requested test of their breath, blood or urine. First offenders who do not fight the suspension will have NO period of no driving even if they refused testing.
The removal of the period of “hard suspension” will likely cause the number of “Formal Review Hearings” requested to plummet as drivers will be scared to risk fighting for their rights. Those who choose not to fight should be warned however that the administrative suspension they are agreeing too will remain on their driving record even if their criminal case is dismissed and under Florida law, will remain on their driving record even if they seal or expunge their criminal record.
According to Katz, “We have already seen a decline in the number of clients who want to fight the administrative suspension of their license. Although understandable, as they will be able to continue to drive to work and keep their jobs, the long term effects of the suspension on their driving record will be something they have to live with forever.”
About David Katz:
David S. Katz is an experienced Orlando DUI lawyer and the co-founder of Katz & Phillips, PA. Mr. Katz is one of only three lawyers in the State of Florida who is Board Certified by the National College for DUI Defense as a DUI Defense Expert. Mr. Katz is also a frequent speaker nationwide at continuing legal education classes where he teaches other lawyers to defend clients accused of DUI. Katz & Phillips has offices in Orlando, Tampa, Gainesville, Tavares and Longwood. David Katz can be reached toll-free Statewide at 866-464-0782.
Katz & Phillips, PA
509 W. Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL 32804