What happens when you get arrested for DUI

What happens When You Get Arrested for DUI?


     Two things happen when you get arrested for a DUI. One is the criminal
charge that we all know goes with a DUI arrest.   You will get a court date to to before a Judge on the criminal charge of DUI.  The other thing that normally happens is that the police officer takes your drivers license from you and a suspension is immediately entered against you.
Both processes begin, one is criminal and one is administrative. They are
unrelated and neither one has an effect on the other.

      The administrative suspension

     If you are arrested for a DUI and you take a breath test and you blow over .08 the police officer will take your license and you will be suspended for six months. If you do not have a prior DUI arrest or conviction then you will have a choice of either requesting what is called a formal review hearing with the DHSMV or enrolling in DUI school and getting a hardship permit which is good for the entire six month suspension. You should talk with an experienced DUI defense attorney before determining which choice you want to make.
     If you choose to obtain the hardship license the fact that you blew over a .08 and were suspended for six months will stay on your drivers license record even if you win the DUI criminal case or it gets dismissed. This may be important in regards to cost of insurance, future jobs, or other things.
     If I request the DHSMV formal review hearing what happens to my license? If you request the hearing you will receive a hardship permit for
approximately 40 days. A hearing will be set within approximately 30 days.
If you win the hearing the six-month suspension will be lifted and the
administrative procedure is over. If you do not win the hearing, then when
you’re 40 day permit expires you will go into a 30 day period where you
cannot get a hardship license and cannot drive. After that 30 day “no drive”
period, if you have signed up for the DUI school you can get a hardship
permit for the remainder of the suspension period.                                                                                                                                                                                                

      If I refused to take a breath test? Can I get a hardship?

     If you refused to take a breath test you still have  the same choices to whether to request a DHSMV hearing or waive the hearing are the same if it is your first DUI. However, the suspension period is not six months but is one year on a refusal. If you win the formal review hearing, as with taking a breath test, you will receive your license back in the remainder of the one year administrative suspension will be lifted. However, you do not win the formal review hearing you will go into a 90 day period after your 40 day permit expires where you cannot drive and cannot get a hardship permit. After the 90 days, if you have taken the DUI school, you can obtain a hardship permit for the rest of the one year suspension.
     If you have a prior DUI, you will not have the choice of getting a hardship
permit immediately and you should talk with your attorney about requesting the DHSMV formal review hearing within 10 days of your arrest. If you do not request it or make choices above within 10 days then you will not get a temporary permit until you sent out a period of time without driving.

      How does the administrative suspension affect my DUI case?

     It does not affect your DUI case unless you have the hearing and your
attorney finds out some information in the hearing that will help in the
defense of your DUI case. You should discuss these choices and this
possibility with your Pinellas County DUI defense attorney.  We have handled thousands of DUI cases and can help you. 

     Is there a separate suspension for the criminal charge of DUI?

     There is a separate suspension in court if you are convicted of the DUI or
plead to the DUI. On a first time DUI conviction that suspension is a
minimum of six months up to one year. Very often your defense attorney can keep the suspension down to six months. If you received an administrative suspension it takes place immediately. The suspension on a DUI conviction does not start until the conviction takes place in court. The suspensions will run concurrently, or at the same time even though they may start at different times.   One may end before the other, but you
must complete both suspension periods before you can obtain a full driving

Criminal Court

What is different about the criminal charge that goes to a Judge?

     Number one the legislature had made DUI a crime with all of the consequences of any criminal conviction.  A DUI conviction has additional penalties and consequences that other criminal charges do not carry.  The criminal charge of DUI carries with it  potential penalties including
the possibility of jail time, probation, community service, an interlock device, impoundment of your vehicle or other conditions of probation that you should discuss with your DUI defense attorney. A DUI conviction has longer lasting effects than many other types of criminal convictions.   A DUI conviction will stay on your driving record for 75 years. The penalty, including the amount of suspension time for your license, increases for each subsequent DUI conviction you receive.  Administratively, if you have a prior refusal, even if you won the original DUI case, and you refuse on the second DUI you will get a longer administrative suspension and you will not be eligible for a hardship permit for the entire suspension period.



  •  Evaluation of Your DUI Case – The first thing to look at in a Florida DUI case is the stop.  A law enforcement officer must have a stated legal ground to stop your vehicle.
  •  Other Types of DUI Accusations – Many DUI cases involve the accusation of impairment due to drug ingestion. Not only are we experienced in this area, we have access to experts including renowned chemists to review your case and offer testimony if necessary.
  •  Felony DUI & DUI with Serious Injuries – A DUI can become a felony if it is the third DUI conviction and the previous conviction is within 10 years. A fourth DUI conviction is also classified as a felony.
  •  DUI Manslaughter – A DUI MANSLAUGHTER occurs when there is a death of a human being caused or contributed to by a person who is driving under the influence to the extent his or her normal faculties are impaired.
  •  Possible Penalties for DUI – Penalties for DUI can increase if a person has any prior convictions for driving under the influence. The number of convictions, when they occurred, and even whether you were represented can have dramatic affects on your license and penalties.
  •  Traffic DUI Law – Arrested for a Florida Traffic DUI? In Florida, if you have been arrested for DUI and your breath test result was .08 or higher, or if you refused to take the breath test, the officer probably took your driver’s license from you.
  •  Florida DUI Developments – Larry Sandefer attends valuable programs locally and nationally such as “Masters of DUI”, “Blood, Breath and Tears”, as well as the National DUI Conference put on by the National College of DUI Defense
  •  FREE DUI Case Evaluation – Contact us today for a Free Florida DUI Case Evaluation.




Background and DUI Experience

     Larry Sandefer attends valuable programs locally and nationally such as “Masters of DUI”, “Blood, Breath and Tears”, as well as the National DUI Conference put on by the National College of DUI Defense and The National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys in Las Vegas.

      He is a former DUI court supervisor at the State Attorneys office and has tried a large number of DUI cases to jury as well as DUI Manslaughter.

     He keeps abreast of the latest developments regarding DUI defense and networks and interacts with DUI practitioners from across the nation and the state of Florida. He has access to and has used many state and national experts. He is a member of several state and national DUI defense attorney organizations.

  • DUI Continuing Education Schools/Seminars
    • DUI,- Defending with Ingenuity, Las Vegas, NV, 2003, by the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and the National College of DUI Attorneys
    • Winning with DUI, Las Vegas, NV, 2008, by NACDL and National College of DUI Attorneys
    • “Blood, Breath and Tears”, presented by the Florida Bar, 1998, 2000, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2017, 2018
    • Intoxilyzer 8000, Fl Bar 2005, 2010
    • “Masters of DUI”, Fl Bar, 1999, 2009, 2017
    • Strategies in DUI cases, Lorman 2000, 2005
    • DUI defense tactics 1997
  • DUI School Information


Free consultation- No Obligation

     Our consultations are free and confidential. You should set up this
consultation within 10 days from the date of your arrest to avoid missing out on choices and decisions that must be made within 10 days from the date of the arrest. We would be glad to help you. Larry Sandefer has over 35 years of experience in DUI cases and  worked for the state attorney’s office in Pinellas and Pasco County where he was a senior supervisor. You can put his experience and knowledge to work for you. The initial consultation is free and there is no obligation. If you retain Mr. Sandefer you will find his fees are and terms are reasonable.