DUI & Traffic Offenses

 
A DUI is a serious offense that can result in various consequences depending on the circumstances of your current charge and whether you have any prior DUI offenses on your record. DUIs are unique in that they involve a traffic violation and a criminal charge. This means you will have a DMV hearing for the criminal traffic violation, and also a hearing in the county criminal court or possibly the circuit court if your DUI rises to the level of a felony.

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Were you or someone you know arrested for DUI or other traffic offenses? The Atcachunas Law Firm is here to assess your case.

 

Call (407) 896-4994

Important Deadlines Affecting Your Driver’s License

Ten Day Rule:

Your request for a Formal Review hearing with the DMV to contest your administrative license suspension must be submitted within 10 days from the date of your arrest.

Time is of the essence. If you wish to obtain a Temporary Driving Permit, it is important that you contact our office soon after your arrest so that our attorneys can submit this request within the 10-day period. After a timely request, a hearing will be set within approximately 30 days after your arrest and you will receive a Temporary Driving Permit that allows you to drive for business purposes.

If you do not hire our office within the 10-day period, we cannot submit the request for Formal Review, and your license will be suspended for a period ranging from 6 to 18 months.

Drivers License Suspension:

There are 2 types of suspension that may affect your license:

  • DHSMV Administrative Suspension: The DHSMV may suspend your license for refusing to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test or if you submitted to one of these tests and had a .08 or higher after your arrest. The suspension period may vary from 6 months, to 1 year, or to 18 months depending on the number of prior DUI-related suspensions you have.
  • Criminal Suspension: The Court suspends your license if you are convicted of DUI. This may include a mandatory suspension of 6 or 12 months beginning on the date of conviction.

 

Hardship Driver License for Administrative Suspension:

In the event your license is administratively suspended, you still may be able to receive a hardship license. You may receive a hardship license if:

  • You have never been criminally convicted of more than 2 DUIs;
  • You have enrolled in a DUI school; and
  • You have served the first 30 days of your administrative suspension for a blood alcohol content over .08, or the first 90 days for a refusal.

If you meet all of these requirements, we can request a Hardship Review Hearing. If you receive approval, you must then:

  • Present your approval to the DMV; and
  • Complete the DUI school within 90 days of receiving the hardship license.

Hardship Driver License for Criminal Suspension:

If you were criminally convicted of DUI, your eligibility for a hardship license depends on the type of DUI committed and existence of any prior DUI convictions.

 

Requirements by type of DUI:

1st Conviction:

  • Completion of DUI school;
  • Application with DHSMV f or a hearing to obtain a hardship license;
  • Blood Alcohol Content of .15+, must install an ignition interlock device for the first 6 months of your hardship license period.

2nd Conviction:

  • Within 5 years:
    • Application for reinstatement hearing after 1 year.
    • Completion of DUI school and attendance in DUI supervision program.
    • Before applying, you must not have consumed any alcohol or controlled substance or driven a motor vehicle for 12 months before your hardship reinstatement.
  • Other:
    • Application for reinstatement hearing after 1 year.
    • Before submitting an application, completion of DUI school and attendance in your DUI supervision program for the remainder of your revocation period.
    • Installation an ignition interlock device for one year.

3rd Conviction:

  • Within 10 years:
    • Application for reinstatement hearing after the first 2 years of your revocation;
    • Completion of DUI school and attendance in DUI supervision program for remainder of your 10-year revocation period.
    • Installation of an interlock device for 2 years.

 

Drivers License Revocation Periods for DUIs:

1st DUI Conviction:

  • Minimum 180 days revocation, maximum 1 year.

2nd DUI Conviction:

  • Within 5 years: minimum 5 years revocation. You may be eligible for a hardship reinstatement after 1 year.
  • Other 2nd DUIs: minimum 180 days revocation, maximum 1 year.

3rd DUI Conviction:

  • Within 10 years: minimum 10 years revocation. You may be eligible for hardship reinstatement after 2 years.
  • Other 3rd DUIs: minimum 180 days revocation, maximum 1 year.

4th DUI Conviction (regardless of when prior convictions occurred) and Murder with Motor Vehicle:

  • Mandatory permanent revocation. Not eligible for a hardship reinstatement.

 

DUI Manslaughter:

  • Mandatory permanent revocation. If you have no prior DUI related convictions, you may be eligible for hardship reinstatement after 5 years.

 

Manslaughter, DUI Serious Bodily Injury, or Vehicular Homicide Convictions:

  • Minimum 3-year revocation. DUIs with Serious Bodily Injury with prior DUI convictions have the normal revocation periods as above for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th DUI convictions.

 

Other Penalties for DUI:

If this is your 1st DUI conviction you may face penalties that include:

  • A fine of no less than $500 but no more than $1000;
  • incarceration for 6 months or less;
  • probation;
  • vehicle impoundment or immobilization.

If this is your 2nd DUI conviction you may face penalties that include:

  • A fine of no less than $1000 but no more than $2000;
  • Imprisonment for 9 months or less;
  • The installation of an ignition interlock device for at least 1 year; and

If this is your 3rd DUI conviction that occurs within 10 years after a prior DUI conviction:

  • Your charge rises to the level of a felony of the 3rd degree; and
  • You will be required to have an ignition interlock device for no less than 2 years.

If this is your 3rd DUI conviction that occurs more than 10 years after a prior DUI conviction you may face penalties that include:

  • A fine no less than $2000 but no more than $5000;
  • Imprisonment for no more than 12 months;
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device for at least 2 years.

If this is your 4th DUI conviction, regardless of the amount of time since your prior DUI conviction, you may face:

  • A charge that rises to the level of a felony of the 3rd degree;
  • A fine not less than $2000.

If you operate a vehicle with a blood or breath alcohol level of more than .08 and:

  • Cause property damage, you may be charged with a 1st degree misdemeanor; or
  • Cause serious bodily harm, you may be charged with a 3rd degree felony; or
  • Cause the death of another person, you may be charged with “DUI manslaughter” which is a felony. A conviction for DUI manslaughter requires a minimum imprisonment of 4 years.

 

Blood/Breath Alcohol Levels over .15 & DUI while accompanied by a child:

If you drive under the influence with a blood/breath alcohol level of .15, or if you have a blood/breath alcohol level of at least .08 and were accompanied by a minor:

  • If this is your 1st DUI offense you may face:
  • A fine of no less than $1000 but no more than $2000;
  • Imprisonment for a period no longer than 9 months; and
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device for no less than 6 continuous months.
  • If this is your 2nd DUI offense you may face:
  • A fine of no less than $2000 but no more than $4000;
  • Imprisonment for 12 months or less; and
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device for no less than 2 continuous years.
  • If this is your 3rd or subsequent DUI offense you may face:
  • A fine of no less than $4000; and
  • The other penalties listed above for 3rd or subsequent DUI offenses.

Substance Abuse Courses and Treatment:

All convicted DUI offenders get probation and must complete a substance abuse course accompanied with a psychological evaluation. You may also be required to complete a substance abuse treatment program in some cases. Failure to complete the course or treatment that you are required to attend may result in the loss of your driving privileges.

Mandatory Penalties for Some DUI Convictions:

If this is your 1st DUI conviction the Court may order the following mandatory penalties:

  • Probation for a period no longer than one year;
  • 50 hours of community service; and
  • Vehicle Impoundment or immobilization for 10 days.

If this is your 2nd DUI conviction within 5 years of a prior DUI, the Court may order the following mandatory penalties:

  • Prison for not less than 10 days;
  • Vehicle impoundment or immobilization for 30 days;

If this is your 3rd or more DUI conviction within 10 years after a prior DUI, the Court may order the following mandatory penalties:

  • Prison for a period not less than 30 days;
  • Vehicle impoundment or immobilization for 90 days.

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9.4Christopher John Atcachunas
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