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With a recent change in Florida law, DUI-arrested drunk drivers may apply for their own hardship license to allow them to get to work.

Florida is deadly serious about not drinking and driving, and if caught, the driver gets an immediate license suspension. That is inconvenient for sure, but overall that is the least of an offender’s worries, should they be caught more than once.

Being without a license means not having a way to get to work. Now, instead of hiring a criminal defense lawyer to help you obtain a hardship license, you may apply for one on your own. A hardship license is a special, limited purpose driver’s permit, usually only applicable in certain circumstances, such as getting to work or needing to attend medical therapy of some sort (e.g., dialysis) on a regular basis.

Before this law was passed, a criminal defense attorney could request a hardship license be issued while their client was waiting for their day in court. Now, an accused may head down to a local Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), waive their right to contest the license suspension, and apply for a hardship license immediately. This must be done within ten days of being arrested, and the offender must bring a copy of their DUI citation, show proof they have registered in approved DUI classes, and pay a fee.

Inherent in waiving their right to contest the license suspension is an admission of guilt. Most good criminal defense attorneys would not advise their clients to do something that may incriminate them, and this new development in the area of DUI enforcement is a wrinkle with potential glitches, particularly when it comes to an alleged drunk driver’s rights.

Most people do not understand that if they waive a right, thinking it just means they get a license faster and can get on with their lives, that they have admitted their guilt, when in fact they may not be guilty of driving under the influence. There are medications that mimic the symptoms of DUI.

Just because someone was issued with a DUI citation does not mean they were driving while under the influence, does not mean the citation was issued in accordance with all departmental policy, does not mean the roadside breathalyzer was working properly, and does not mean the officer administering the tests was properly trained in the correct methods of using the equipment.

It remains to be seen if this new nod to expediency is anything more than a speedy rush to justice without the right to be duly represented by an experienced criminal defense attorney, with an eye to protecting falsely accused drunk drivers. Those who have been arrested for DUI should seek legal advice on whether this new law is in their best interests before they go apply for such a license.


Tags: driving under the influence DUI


Nov 2013


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112 E Poinsettia St Lakeland, FL, 33803

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4107 N. Himes Ave #200 Tampa, FL, 33607

(813) 789-6404


24140 FL-54 #101e Lutz, FL, 33559

(727) 457-8660


Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

After my husbands DUI, I met with a couple of lawyers but NONE were as attentive as Thomas Grajek. Thomas was able to beat the DUI charge that I thought would be impossible. Not only did he save us money, he also helped put our lives back. I would recommend Mr. Grajek to anyone in our situation. Thsnkd Tom!!!

Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

Excellent Attorney....called this attorney on a Saturday. He was quick to call me back and even gave me free advice as to how to handle the situation we were in. We ended up hiring him best decision we made. Would recommend this attorney to anyone.

Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

Got a DUI a few months ago and got Toms name from a friend of mine.. I am more then satisfied with the way he handled my case and the way he kept me informed the whole time.. I got off on reckless with a with hold which i am more then happy to have on my record then a dui... He's a very down to earth guy and definitely trys to relate to where ur comin from.. I would with no doubt recommend Tom to friends and family... Thanks Tom ur the best!!!!!!

Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

Great DUI Lawyer!! He got my DUI dropped to a reckless driving charge!! definitely went above and beyond for my case!!!He is very easily accessible and always promptly returned my phone calls/emails.

Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

I have just moved to the Tampa area. I was intoduced to Tom after being arrested for a DUI. Within minutes of being bonded out Tom came to my place of employment with all needed documents to "get the ball rolling". He always kept me informed on my case and when the time came for my hearing, I plead guilty to wreckless and had no fines and very little commuity service. Thomas Grajek is a great attorney and I feel he would be a valuable assett in anyone's defense.