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How Do Florida’s DUI Laws Differ from Other States?

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense. No matter where you go in the United States, if you’re caught drunk driving, you face serious criminal and financial penalties.

Although there are plenty of similarities regarding how each state handles, charges, and deals with DUI offenses, there are still some state-by-state differences.

In the case of Florida, there are a few unique rules and laws that apply to how DUIs are handled.

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, you should consult with a team of Daytona Beach DUI attorneys. They’ll be able to guide you through Florida-specific statutes and fight your charges in court.

DUIs in Florida Are Not Expungeable

Unlike many states that allow for the expungement of DUI and DWI offenses, Florida law is unique in that it specifically prohibits DUI convictions from ever being removed from someone’s criminal record.

Expungement is a legal term that refers to the legal process of removing, destroying, or sealing a conviction from a criminal record. In many states, the process of expungement can be initiated after a certain time has passed following a conviction.

Unfortunately, under Florida law, DUIs are “ineligible” for court-ordered expungement under any means.

DUIs have the potential to follow you for the rest of your life, so you’ll want to avoid a conviction in Florida. Experienced criminal lawyers in Daytona Beach, Florida, can work to reduce your charges.

Florida’s 10-Day Rule for DUI Arrests

Previously in Florida, anyone arrested for DUI had to wait at least 30 days to request a “hardship license” and regain their ability to drive in a limited capacity.

Hardship licenses are restricted licenses that allow people charged with a DUI to drive to work, school, church, medical appointments, and for special reasons only.

Fortunately, since 1996, Florida law has allowed for a ten-day period that allows anyone arrested for DUI the opportunity to challenge their license suspension and regain their driving privileges without waiting 30 days.

As the name implies, you must file the appropriate paperwork with the DMV and request a review of your suspension within ten days of your DUI arrest.

Failure to file a challenge within ten days will result in a default suspension.

Though a successful hearing will likely result in your license being reinstated, a failed hearing can further delay your ability to obtain a temporary license.

However, you may also forfeit your right to a review hearing altogether and obtain a hardship license immediately. The duration of the hardship license will generally last the length of the imposed suspension: between six and 12 months.

Florida Underage DUI Laws

Unlike most states, Florida allows certain leniency to underage drivers who are charged with DUI.

Under Florida law, underage DUIs are not processed in the criminal courts. Instead, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles handles these cases through an administrative process.

Though underage drivers in Florida cannot receive jail time for a DUI conviction, they still face expensive fines and harsh penalties. Some of these include:

  • License suspension of up to six months
  • Mandatory DUI evaluation and courses
  • Probation
  • Financial penalties
  • Community service
  • Ignition interlock device (IID)

Unlike standard DUIs in Florida that require a 0.08% BAC or above in order to charge the driver, underage drivers face stricter guidelines and can be charged with a DUI if they have just 0.02% BAC or above.

Criminal Lawyers in Daytona Beach, Florida, for DUI

If you’ve been charged with DUI in Florida, a criminal defense attorney can help assess your arrest and determine what the best course of action is in your case.

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