If you have been arrested for DUI, regardless if you were innocent or guilty, your license and driving privileges are going to be taken away from you while your case is ongoing and you are awaiting court dates. The good news is, you do have options to minimize the damage if you act quickly.

In Fort Walton Beach, you have 10 days from the day you were arrested for DUI to save your license and apply for a temporary permit or hardship license. As a DUI attorney in Fort Walton Beach since 2001, I have helped thousands of clients secure their driving privileges after a DUI arrest. Rest assured that I will do everything possible to ensure the shortest lapse in driving time possible. Call me at (850) 243-6097 for help resolving your driver’s license issues.

Formal Review Hearing vs. Waiver of Formal Review

There are two possible routes to take in order to secure your driving privileges. One is done through requesting a Formal Review Hearing with the DMV, which allows us to challenge the grounds of your license suspension. The second is called a Wavier of Formal Review, which waives your right to a hearing with the DMV, but lessens the amount of time where you can’t drive.

Formal Review Hearing

If you elect to do the formal review hearing, you will receive a temporary driving permit. Your temporary permit will allow you to drive for approximately six weeks after arrest. One “catch” with this option is that you can only use this permit for life-sustaining purposes such as work, school, religious services, child care, medical appointments or the grocery store. Basically, no joy riding on this permit! The only other downfall to this option is that there is a “Hard No Driving Period.” This period starts when your permit expires (no exceptions). The time for this period is:

  • 30 days Hard No Driving for a 1st offense if you consented to a breath test at the time of arrest.
  • 90 days Hard No Driving for a 1st offense if you refused the breath test at the time of arrest.

Fortunately, once you have completed your period of hard no driving, you will be eligible to receive an additional temporary driving permit. In Florida, you will be required to attend and complete DUI School, whether you end up being convicted or not.

Since you will have to do it eventually anyway, I encourage you to sign up for DUI School as soon as possible.

Although this may seem daunting, it is actually not a bad choice. The Formal Review Hearing gives me the chance to fight the facts surrounding your DUI arrest. During the Review Hearing, I will subpoena the arresting officer to be present at the hearing. I get to question the officer, under oath, in front of the hearing officer (who is somewhat like a judge). This can be very helpful in developing defenses for your criminal DUI case.

Waiver of Formal Review- For 1st Time Offenders

If you elect to waive the formal review hearing and apply for a Waiver within 10 days of arrest, you almost immediately receive a restricted driver’s license (hardship license). There are a few requirements in order to obtain this license. First, this option is only available for 1st time offenders. Second, you must enroll for the 1st offense DUI School (which is required by FL Statue for every DUI arrest) and show proof of enrollment. Once these requirements are met, you are eligible to go to the local DMV and obtain a hardship license. A lot of people choose to go this route, because it allows for little to no lapse in driving time.

Regardless of which option you choose, you may be required to pay a reinstatement fee of approximately $200.00 for the cost of the extended permit.

Defending your Driving Privileges after a DUI in Fort Walton Beach

I understand that being able to drive is imperative for most people and I will work tirelessly to ensure you are able to continue driving. When you call to talk about your DUI and available options to protect your driving privileges, I will make sure to explain to you in detail the 2 choices listed above. It will ultimately be your decision which route you take, but I am here to help you make the best decision for you.

The clock starts ticking as soon as you are arrested so make sure you call and speak with an attorney who has the knowledge and the experience in handling Fort Walton Beach DMV Formal Review/ Waiver of Formal Review related issues. I have practiced DUI defense in Fort Walton Beach for a long time, and have dedicated myself to making life easier for those who have gotten caught up in a web of legal problems. Call me today at (850) 243-6097 to schedule your free consultation and get the help you need to remain on the road.

Contact an Okaloosa County Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one have been charged with a DUI in Okaloosa County, call Flaherty & Merrifield today at (850) 403-6835 for a free consultation.