What to do About Your License After a Florida DUI Arrest

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Getting Your Driver’s License Back on Track:

After a DUI arrest your license is automatically suspended. The DUI citation that the police officer gives you acts as a 10-day permit starting from the date of your arrest. During those 10 days you need to make a very important decision – do you choose to get a hardship license, or do you choose to fight your suspension. One of the first things that we address in your DUI case is how to best get your license back on track.

Getting a Hardship Permit:

If this is your first DUI arrest and you’d like to have a hardship license, you have only 10 days to apply. You need to go to the Bureau of Administrative Review to apply. You need to bring three things with you:

  1. Your DUI Citation
  2. $25 Check or Money Order
  3. Proof of Enrollment in DUI School (yes, you must enroll in DUI school before they will give you a hardship)

Please remember that choosing a hardship permit means that you waive your right to challenge the license suspension in an administrative review hearing. The benefit to choosing a hardship permit is that you won’t go a day without the ability to drive to work, school, church, the grocery store, or for any other reason to maintain your livelihood.

For more information on getting a hardship permit check out our guide to getting a hardship permit after a DUI arrest.

Fighting Your License Suspension:

You have the right to challenge whether your license should be suspended through a Formal Review Hearing. At the Formal Review Hearing, we can attack the evidence submitted by the arresting officer and we can even subpoena the arresting officer for sworn testimony. If we are successful in challenging your DHSMV suspension, you will get your license back immediately.

If you choose to fight your license suspension we will be fighting your case on two different levels: the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) and the State Attorney’s Office. Your DHSMV case and your criminal case with the State Attorney’s Office are completely different cases and must be addressed independently. Like applying for a hardship permit you must file th erequest for a formal review hearing within 10 days of your arrest.

Let Us Help You Evaluate Your Options:

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to whether you should get a hardship permit or challenge the suspension through a formal review hearing. The best choice depends on the unique facts of your case. If you have been arrested for a DUI, please do not hesitate to contact us so that we can help you immediately evaluate your options.

Hardship Permit Limitations


Your hardship permit limits you to “any driving necessary to maintain livelihood”, including any driving for:
– to and from work
– any necessary on-the-job duties
– educational purposes
– getting food or groceries
– getting household items
– church purposes, and
– medical purposes.

The DHSMV Hearing


If you choose to challenge your license suspension we will conduct the review hearing and present the best case possible for overturning the suspension.