Some Frequently Asked Questions About Florida DUI Law
At the law office of Epstein & Robbins, we defend many people who have never been in trouble with the law before. If you are facing a first-time drunk-driving charge, you may have many questions. We’ve got answers. Look below for some frequently asked questions about what will happen in the Florida DUI process.
Since 1975, our Jacksonville DUI defense attorneys have been protecting the rights and the driver’s licenses of people accused of drunk driving throughout north Florida. We provide aggressive, dedicated and skillful defense to minimize the harm of a DUI charge or drunk-driving conviction.
Q: Will I be able to get my case dismissed because I was not read my rights?
A: Not likely. The failure to advise you of your rights affects your statements, not physical evidence like breath or blood tests.
Q. Does the DMV administrative formal review hearing have any bearing on the criminal hearing?
A. No. They are two independent proceedings. However, having your lawyer attend the DMV hearing can help your attorney prepare for your criminal case.
Q: I lost my Florida license. Can I get a license in another state?
A: In most cases, no.
Q: I have an international driver’s license. Can I drive in Florida even though my Florida license is revoked?
Q. Why was my license taken away after my arrest? When will I get it back?
A. Under Florida law, your license can be administratively suspended for refusal to take a breath, blood or urine test or for a breath test result of .08 or greater. The length of this suspension can be from six to 18 months.
If You Are Convicted
Q. Will I be sentenced to jail?
A: On a first offense, probably not. On second or later offenses, it becomes more probable. There are mandatory minimum jail sentences for some subsequent offenses.
Q: If I’m sentenced to attend alcohol classes, how many hours of class will I have to attend?
A: Plan on at least 12 to 21 hours total, you will likely be referred to additional counseling.
Q: What will happen if I do not complete the classes or public service ordered by the court?
A: You can be found in violation of probation, and you may go to jail.
Q: If I’m convicted, how long will the DUI remain on my driving record? On my criminal record?
A: A DUI conviction is on both your driving and criminal records for life.
Q. What if I pled guilty or no contest at my bond hearing?
A. You can file a motion to have your plea withdrawn within 30 days of your conviction.
Q. What if it has been more than 30 days since my drunk-driving conviction?
A. There are some circumstances under which you may still be able to withdraw your plea. There are still time constraints, so you need to seek legal advice immediately.
Q: What is the difference between a guilty plea and a plea of no contest?
A. There is no difference in terms of your criminal record, your driving record or the penalties imposed. They will both result in a criminal conviction for DUI, and your case will be completed.
Q. What if I plead guilty or no contest at my bond hearing?
A. We never recommend that you plead guilty or no contest at a bond hearing. Both will result in you being convicted of the charge. However, if you do end up entering a plea, there are certain legal remedies where you can ask the court to allow you to withdraw your plea and get your sentence and conviction set aside.
This is a very time-sensitive issue. You should consult an attorney immediately if you find yourself in this position.
When the odds seem to be against you, put experience on your side. Call the Jacksonville DUI defense lawyers of Epstein & Robbins: 904-354-5645.