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If you have been charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcoholic Beverages, Chemical Substances, or Controlled Substances (DUI), in Florida, you must get started on your defense right away, even if you were completely innocent.
Automatic Suspension – Ten Days to Keep Your License
When you are arrested for DUI, your driver’s license is taken away from you on the spot and the officer is to give you a temporary driving permit. If you have been charged with DUI or refusal to take a chemical test, you only have 10 days to appeal automatic driver’s license suspension before your temporary permit runs out.
If you are new to DUI law, you are probably wondering how it is legal for your punishment to begin without a conviction and before you even go to court.
The automatic suspension of your license is an “administrative” action by the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Technically speaking, it is not a criminal penalty, not does it deprive you of life or liberty because driving is considered a privilege rather than a right.
Breath, Blood, or Urine Test Refusal – Implied Consent
Another shocker for first-timers is the implied consent law. According to Florida law, by driving on Florida roads you automatically give consent to take a chemical test if it is requested of you.
If you are arrested for DUI, and refuse to take a chemical test, you can lose your driver’s license for one year for the first refusal. Second and subsequent refusals mean losing your license for 18 months and being charged with a misdemeanor.
There are ruled for invoking implied consent. The officer has to inform you of the consequences and give you the opportunity to accept the test after you have been advised of the consequences of refusal.
You should never plead guilty or no contest without talking to an experienced Miami DUI attorney first.
Contrary to how it may appear, Florida’s DUI law does not give police officers or prosecutors carte blanche to pursue DUI cases as they please, even if you were drinking.
There are a multitude of defenses available in a DUI case. You still have rights, and they still have rules to follow. But they will not be held to the law if you cave in and accept a plea deal or freak out and plead guilty or no contest before you talk to an attorney and explore your options.
However, if you have already made that mistake, under certain circumstances, you may have a very limited opportunity to withdraw your plea.