DUI Cases, Florida Accident Report Privilege and Hardship License
If you or your family member were involved in an car accident and subsequently arrested for DUI or any other charge, know this:
The most important thing in DUI/DWI cases is early intervention by your attorney.
This preliminary involvement will help you avoid the consequences of a conviction, which are very serious in Florida. There are defenses in DUI accident cases, which an experienced and capable lawyer can use. Even if you made a statement to police during your arrest, lawyers at Andrew D. Stine law firm can usually get that evidence thrown out of court. Any statement you give officers cannot be used against you due to the Florida accident report privilege.
Accident Report Privilege
Drivers who are involved in reported or alleged motor vehicle accidents have a legal duty to provide law enforcement officers with their name, address, driver license, and other relevant information under Florida Statute 316.062. To ensure that this requirement does not infringe on constitutional rights or protections (i.e.; 5th Amendment protection against self incrimination), the legislature has adopted the so-called Accident Report Privilege. The Accident Report Privilege is governed by Florida Statute 316.066 subsection (7), which provides that:
“Each crash report made by a person involved in a crash and any statement made by such person to a law enforcement officer for the purpose of completing a crash report required [by Florida law] shall be without prejudice to the individual so reporting. No such report or statement shall be used as evidence in any trial, civil or criminal.”
The privilege applies if no Miranda warnings are given; furthermore if law enforcement officers tell the defendant that he must respond to questions concerning an accident there must also be an express statement afterwards that “this is now a criminal investigation,” followed by Miranda, before statements made by the defendant can be admitted into evidence or used at trial.
Hardship License in Florida
Protecting Your Right To Drive
Unless your request a DMV hearing within 10 days of arrest, you will lose your driver’s license. Even if your license is revoked, we can apply for a hardship license, which is usually immediately granted to you. We have never had a hardship license denied to one of our clients. Contact DUI Attorney Andrew D. Stine.
Based upon its driver license system, Florida appears to be one of the most forgiving states the union. When you get your license suspended just about anywhere else, you have to wait a fixed period of time before you are eligible to drive again unless you can get it reinstated in a hearing.
In Florida, however, you can start driving again with full privileges after taking a Florida Advanced Driver Improvement (ADI) course. Even better, you can even start driving to certain restricted places before you finish the course itself with the help of a hardship license (source).
What Kind of License Suspensions are Eligible for a Hardship License?
There are lots of reasons that you might receive a suspended license, such as failure to pay child support, failure to appear for summons, or inadequate vision. But the only real eligible suspensions are for acquiring too many points on your record or certain cases of DUI suspensions. Here is the schedule of points violations suspensions and the length of the suspension:
- 12 points in 12 months: 30 day suspension.
- 18 points in 18 months: Three month suspension.
- 24 points in 36 months: 12 month suspension.
If you are unsure of whether or not you qualify for a Florida advanced driver improvement course, be sure to contact your local court clerk.
Where Can I Drive With the Hardship License?
There are actually two kinds of hardship licenses: one for “business purposes” and one for “employment purposes.” Which one you can receive depends upon your personal circumstances, as determined by the hearing officer.
The license restricted for “business purposes” restricts you to driving to and from work, necessary driving for your job, driving for educational purposes, driving to and from church, and driving for medical purposes.
The license restricted for “employment purposes” restricts you to driving to and from work and necessary driving for your job only.
West Palm Beach DUI/DWI Attorney
In addition to DUI/DWI charges, we represent clients in DUI accident cases, including:
- Leaving the scene of accident with severe bodily injury
- DUI/DWI severe bodily injury
- DUI/DWI homicide
- DUI/DWI manslaughter
There are defenses in DUI accident cases, which an experienced and capable lawyer can use. Even if you made a statement to police during your arrest, our lawyers can usually get that evidence thrown out of court. Any statement you give officers cannot be used against you due to the Florida accident report privilege.
Free consultation 24/7: Call West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at (561) 832-1170. Se habla español.