What Happens After I Get a DUI?

Getting charged with a DUI in Florida is a serious matter, but the first and immediate step to take after being arrested in St. Petersburg is to call a DUI defense lawyer.

These kinds of cases are complex and often lengthy. There are many steps and moving parts to the process, and making just one bad move can lead to serious consequences. Ideally, you could have the charges dropped against you, or more commonly, reduced—often to a “reckless driving” charge.

But in order to get the best results possible for your case, you must first understand what happens after you have been arrested, and why hiring an experienced DUI defense lawyer in St. Petersburg is so important.

You Will Lose Your License

The first thing that will happen after being arrested for driving under the influence in the state of Florida is that you will have your license suspended, which is effective 10 days after the date of your arrest. You essentially have two separate cases: one with the court system and one with the DMV.

The chances of you being granted a hardship license depend largely on whether or not you took a breathalyzer. If you did, and you blew above the legal limit, you likely will be denied. However, in the state of Florida, refusing to take a breathalyzer results in an automatic license suspended for a minimum 30 days. After these 30 days are up, you will have the DMV hearing.

DMV Hearing & DUI School

The DMV hearing will determine whether you are eligible to get your license back before your court date. You will apply for a “hardship license,” which permits you to drive during certain hours, for example to go to work. Your St. Petersburg DUI defense lawyer will attend the hearing for you.

You will also need to enroll in a DUI class and bring proof of your enrollment to the DMV. Without this proof, they will not be able to give you your hardship license. While enrolled, you will have a sit-down meeting with one of the counselors for an evaluation to determine whether or not you need further counseling.

Investigation

Your St. Petersburg DUI defense lawyer will be conducting an investigation of your case, looking for any mistakes that could have happened during the time of your arrest that could work in your favor. You will be given a report of the investigation findings, then work with your lawyer to determine the best course of action.

Your attorney will have a meeting with the prosecution and determine whether you should plead guilty or go to trial. When it comes to DUI cases in Florida, often pleading guilty will result in less severe penalties than if you were found guilty at trial.

Being arrested for driving under the influence is a complex process and the lawyer you hire will play an integral role in the outcome of your case. To schedule an appointment with an experienced and aggressive DUI defense lawyer in St. Petersburg, call the office of Scott Flint, P.A. today.