The Ten Day Rule
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, you won’t just have to go to court. You will also have to go to a Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles hearing. You should move fast after a DUI arrest because you only have ten days to request a DHSMV Administrative Review hearing to prevent your drivers license from being suspended. If you don’t do so your license will automatically be suspended by the DHSMV no matter what the result is in court for your driving under the influence criminal charge. If you refused to take the breathalyzer test your license will automatically be suspended for at least twelve months. If you are charged with a felony DUI you could face an automatic 5 year, 10 year or lifetime suspension!
It is very important when you first get arrested for a DUI that you immediately contact our office. Mr. Swiatek is the DUI attorney in Okaloosa county to call. He can meet with you and we can contact the DHSMV on your behalf to demand that an Administrative Review hearing be set. Once we do that this will preserve your driving privilege and you will be able to continue to legally drive pending the outcome of the Administrative Review hearing.
It is critical to understand that the sentencing practices vary widely depending upon the specific court your case is pending in. Walton and Santa Rosa Counties typically impose harsher sentences than Okaloosa County. In fact the unwritten policy in Walton County is that you will spend at least ten days in the Walton County Jail for a first time DUI with property damage. If you have a second offense, even without property damage, you typically will spend ten to thirty days in the Walton County Jail. A lot depends on how recent your first offense was. Remember, if you live in another county your jail time cannot be done in your home county it must be done in the county where the DUI offense occurred.
As stated above, some courts demand jail time on a first DUI offense. In other courts you can avoid jail time and do additional community work service in addition to the 50 hour statutory requirement. The court may grant leave to complete the community service work in your home county. You will have to complete an alcohol school program which must be approved by the court. The court will also suspend your driving privilege for six months upon a DUI conviction. Some courts may demand you complete Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. You will have to attend a victims’ rights class and you may have to have an ignition interlock device on your car. This is why it is so vital that you retain the services of a law firm like Glenn Swiatek, Criminal Defense Attorney, P.A. Glenn Swiatek knows the procedures in the local court where your case is pending.
Special circumstances, like a very high BAC, speeding or refusing to take a BAC test will add more time to any of the basic penalties. Future violations will be punished more severely if you have a DUI on your record. Clearly, repeat offenses carry increasingly harsh punishments, which include significant time in jail and the loss of your license. In general, a DUI conviction is a huge, life-changing event that will affect your employment, your family and your financial well-being. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, you should call Glenn Swiatek as soon as possible. Glenn Swiatek has the experience and the technical knowledge to find the weak points in the prosecution’s case and win your case or get your charges reduced or dismissed.
Glenn Swiatek has never been a prosecutor. He views every case with the presumption that his client is INNOCENT of the pending DUI charge. Glenn Swiatek knows what the State Attorney must prove in a DUI case and he makes certain that the State can prove each element of the crime. Otherwise he will not allow his client to enter a plea. He will work very hard to negotiate a reduced charge to allow his client to remain free from jail time and to retain their driving privilege. Glenn Swiatek only practices criminal law and has the experience as a DUI attorney that you can trust. He has the knowledge and expertise to handle your DUI case and wants to thoroughly, aggressively and competently represent you.
Contact us and we will be glad to provide you with a free prompt and confidential case evaluation or you can call us now at 850-609-0940 and we can begin to help you immediately.