If you hold a commercial driver's license (CDL) and are charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida, you face serious consequences that could jeopardize your livelihood. Florida has strict laws regarding DUIs, and CDL holders are subject to even stricter penalties.
In this blog post, we will discuss the consequences of a Florida DUI charge for CDL holders, how to navigate the legal process, and the importance of working with an experienced DUI attorney.
Consequences of a Florida DUI Charge for CDL Holders
CDL holders are subject to stricter penalties for a DUI charge in Florida than non-commercial drivers. If you are convicted of a DUI while holding a CDL, you face the following consequences:
Suspension of your CDL for one year for a first offense, or lifetime revocation for a second offense Disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle for at least one year for a first offense, or lifetime disqualification for a second offense Mandatory completion of a substance abuse treatment program Significantly higher insurance rates Potential loss of employment or inability to find new employment in the commercial driving industry
Additionally, if you are charged with a DUI while driving a commercial vehicle, you may also face fines, criminal charges, and potential jail time.
Navigating the Legal Process
If you are charged with a DUI in Florida while holding a CDL, it is crucial to take immediate action to protect your rights and your livelihood. Some steps to take include:
- Hiring an Experienced DUI Attorney: An experienced DUI attorney can help you navigate the legal process and develop a strong defense strategy. It is essential to choose an attorney with experience in representing CDL holders in DUI cases.
- Requesting a DMV Hearing: If you are charged with a DUI in Florida, you have ten days from the date of your arrest to request a DMV hearing to contest the suspension of your driver's license. Failing to request a hearing within this timeframe can result in an automatic suspension of your license, regardless of the outcome of your criminal case.
- Reviewing the Evidence: Your attorney will review the evidence against you and determine if any errors were made during the investigation or arrest. This could include challenging the validity of field sobriety tests or breathalyzer results.
- Negotiating with the Prosecutor: Your attorney may negotiate with the prosecutor to potentially reduce the charges or penalties you face. This could include pleading guilty to a lesser charge or agreeing to a plea deal that includes completing a substance abuse treatment program.
- Going to Trial: If a plea deal cannot be reached or if you choose to contest the charges against you, your case will go to trial. Your attorney will represent you in court and advocate for your rights.
Working with an Experienced DUI Attorney
Working with an experienced DUI attorney is essential when facing a DUI charge in Florida as a CDL holder. A knowledgeable attorney can help you navigate the legal process, build a strong defense, and potentially reduce the consequences of a conviction. Some factors to consider when choosing a DUI attorney include:
- Experience: It is essential to choose an attorney with experience in representing CDL holders in DUI cases. This includes experience with DMV hearings, negotiating with prosecutors, and representing clients in court.
- Track Record of Success: Look for an attorney with a proven track record of success in defending clients against DUI charges. This includes successful negotiations with prosecutors and successful outcomes in court.
- Personal Attention: Your attorney should provide personalized attention and guidance throughout the legal process. They should be available to answer your questions and address your concerns.
At Fowler Law Group, our attorneys have extensive experience in defending CDL holders against DUI charges in Florida. We understand the serious consequences that a DUI charge can have on your livelihood and your future. We are committed to providing personalized attention and aggressive representation to protect your rights and help you