Fort Myers, FL – One of the penalties associated with any DUI case in the state of Florida is a driver’s license suspension. This is in addition to aspects of the sentence such as fines, probation, substance abuse treatment, and the possibility of jail time. Because these penalties are serious and they can affect the person’s ability to make a living if they cannot drive, anyone who has been charged with a DUI should retain a defense attorney and follow their advice.
Standard penalties for DUI cases
A person who is charged with a first DUI is subject to a license suspension for a minimum of six months. A second charge within five years of a prior DUI carries a minimum of a five year suspension. A person who causes injuries or fatalities during a drunk driving incident may possibly lose their license permanently. There is also the possibility of a permanent loss of driving privileges for certain other individuals who have multiple offenses.
People who have a commercial license may face more severe penalties, including loss of their commercial driving privileges. Some drivers may also qualify for a hardship license after a certain time period, which means that they can drive for work and other essential activities only. A person who refuses a chemical test of breath, blood, or urine will also face a mandatory license suspension due to Florida’s implied consent law.
Differences between criminal charges and an administrative suspension
It is important for people charged with DUI to know that cases for a license suspension are handled separately from the criminal case associated with the arrest. This is because a license suspension is a civil penalty with a lower burden of proof. Criminal charges must be proven beyond all reasonable doubt, which is one of the highest standards in the American legal system.
The administrative case for a driver’s license suspension is handled by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, while the criminal charges are handled by the criminal court system.
The services of a lawyer
Defense attorneys can handle both the criminal aspects of a DUI case, as well as the driver’s license suspension issues. It also may be possible for the lawyer to have charges dropped or reduced depending on the specific evidence that the state has available.
Learning more about DUI cases in Florida
Michael Raheb is an attorney in Fort Myers who is experienced in all aspects of DUI defense. Anyone who needs help from a local, licensed attorney can contact his firm for more information.
Firm contact info:
2423 First Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901