The Bigney Law Firm Protects Your Rights in DUI Cases

Driving Under the Influence

A conviction for Driving Under the Influence can drastically change the way you live your life on a day to day basis. Even before the Court addresses your case the Department of Motor Vehicles will seek to have your license suspended. The Florida Legislature has set forth mandatory penalties associated with the charge of DUI which can include, jail time, suspension of your drivers license, mandatory attendance at the DUI Counter Attack School and Victims Awareness Class, vehicle impound or immobilization, the instillation of an ignition interlock device upon your vehicle, community service, fines and court costs.

Your Driver's License.


There are two components to every DUI, a civil component and a criminal component. The civil component is conducted by the Department of Motor Vehicles and affects your privilege to drive. One of the criminal punishments of a DUI is also a suspension of your driver's license. The criminal and civil components of a DUI charge are independent of each other. While you may successfully challenge the suspension at a Formal Review Hearing, your license may still be suspended as a result of the criminal case against you. In addition, a suspension issued as a criminal penalty may result in an additional suspension of your drivers license even if you have completed the time allotted for the suspension issued pursuant to the civil component of your case.


Formal Review Hearing


It is imperative that you contact an attorney as soon as possible upon being arrested for DUI. When you are arrested for Driving Under the Influence your ticket will serve as your driver's license for 10 days. If you do not take action before this 10 day period expires your license will be suspended. You do have the right to challenge this suspension by requesting a Formal Review Hearing. In limited circumstances, you can waive your right to a Formal Review Hearing in exchange for a hardship license.  Contact the Bigney Law Firm to discuss what option is best for you.

Hardship/Business Purposes License

If you fail to timely request a Formal Review Hearing or are not successful in challenging the suspension, your drivers license will be suspended. However, you may be eligible for a hardship/business purposes license. Before applying for such a license, it is imperative that you show proof of enrollment in the DUI Counter Attack School. There is a delay ("hard time") that applies before you can request a hardship license.

  • First Suspension for a Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) above .08 = 30 days
  • First Suspension for a Refusal to Submit to testing = 90 days
  • Drug distribution, including the illegal sale, purchase, delivery or distribution of prescription drugs like OxyContin, Zanax, Adderall and other medications
  • Second or Subsequent Suspension with BAL above .08 = 30 days
  • Second or Subsequent Suspension for Refusal = NO Hardship


DUI minimum sanctions

The crime of DUI is taken very seriously in the state of Florida, and as such the legislature has set forth mandatory sentences as follows:

  BAL under .15 BAL above .15/with a Minor/Crash
  Minimum/Maximum Minimum/Maximum
1st Offense $500/$1000 $1000/$2000
2nd Offense $1000/$2000 $2000/$4000
3rd Offense $2000/$5000 $4000/$5000
1st Offense 0-180 days 0-270 days
2nd outside of 5 years 10-270 0-365
2nd w/in 5 years 10-270 10-365
3rd outside 10 years 0-365 0-365
3rd w/in 10 years 30-365 30-365
1st Offense N/A 180 days minimum
2nd Offense 1 year minimum 2 years minimum
3rd Offense 2 years minimum 2 years minimum


1st Offense 10 days
2nd outside of 5 years 10 days
2nd w/in 5 years 30 days
3rd outside of 10 years 10 days
3rd w/in 10 years 90 days


          <td valign="top" top"="" style="box-sizing: border-box; backface-visibility: visible; margin: 0px 0px 32px; border: 1px solid rgb(57, 57, 57); outline: 0px; font-size: 1em; vertical-align: baseline; background: transparent; line-height: 1.66667em; width: 300px; padding: 10px !important;">180 days 1 year
2nd outside of 5 years 180 days 1 year
2nd w/in 5 years 5 years  
3rd outside of 10 years N/A  
3rd w/in 10 years 10 years  



DUI Counter Attack School: Level I for first offense; Level II for subsequent offenses; Victim Awareness Class.  All classes can be found on the Florida Safety Ciuncil website.

Habitual Traffic Offender

As illustrated above, Driving Under the Influence is an enhanceable offense. This means that each time you are convicted the penalties increase. In addition, any combination of 3 DUI's or other driving related charges such as driving on a suspended license within a 5 year period will result in your being labeled a Habitual Traffic Offender and your license will be revoked for 5 years.

Defending Your DUI

Due to the immediate impact upon your license that comes with the mere allegation of a DUI, time is of the essence in seeking legal counsel. The attorneys at The Bigney Law Firm will explore all avenues of defense in protecting your rights against a DUI conviction. The first inquiry is whether or not the traffic stop was legal. If the traffic stop is illegal you may be successful in getting a motion to suppress granted and thus having all of the evidence excluded fromyour case. Secondly, when being arrested for DUI law enforcement typically be asked to perform field sobriety exercises. The Bigney Law Firm will use its years of experience to attack the administration and interpretation of the exercises. If you were not properly instructed on these exercises or your performance upon them was adequate you may have a defense. Finally, the attorneys at the Bigney Law Firm will examine the administration of any testing of your alcohol level (breath test, urine analysis or blood draw). If the proper procedures were not followed, our firm will fight to have the results of such testing thrown out.

The swift and harsh nature of the punishments associated with a DUI can not be emphasized enough. With only 10 days from the date of arrest to challenge the suspension of your driving privilege, time is of the essence. Call or Email the Bigney Law Firm to set up an appointment to discuss your case and any possible defenses.

Contact Our Orlando Office Today

If you or a family member is facing drug charges in Central Florida, you need an experienced defense lawyer who will fight to protect your rights and preserve your freedom. Contact us today for a free and completely confidential consultation. Team members are available around the clock to help you. Se habla español. The reproduction or retransmission of any or all contents of this Web Site is prohibited without the express written consent of Bigney Law.

With our office conveniently located in downtown Orlando, our lawyers handle cases throughout Florida.

The blog content should not be construed as legal advice.