For many people who are arrested, the number-one thing they dread isn’t
the possibility of jail time or the large fines, but the possibility that
their driver’s license may be suspended. Even first-time offenders
will lose their driving privileges for a full 90 days as a result of a
DUI charge, plus the possibility of even more time depending on the outcome
of administrative hearings. That means you have a lot to lose when you’re
arrested and charged with this crime, and that means that you shouldn’t
hesitate to reach out to a Birmingham DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
Here are the two ways in which your driver’s license could be suspended
as a result of being arrested and charged with driving under the influence.
The first way your license could be suspended is one that will come up
quickly: an administrative license suspension. What this means is essentially
that if you are arrested and charged with driving under the influence
and you either refuse to take a blood or breath test OR your test reveals
a result of .08 or greater (for adult, non-commercial drivers), then your
license will automatically be suspended.
For your first conviction, your license will be suspended for a minimum
of 90 days, and for each subsequent conviction the suspension will last
longer and longer, with the maximum of up to five years if you are arrested
for driving under the influence for the fourth time within a five-year period.
However, if you fail your blood alcohol content test or you refuse to take
the test at all, you’ll have 10 days to appeal your automatic suspension
through an administrative hearing. This means you’ll need to act
quickly and retain an attorney who can fight back against your license
suspension on your behalf. An attorney can represent you at your hearing,
and work to actively fight back against your suspension in order to save
your ability to drive. That being said: your administrative hearing has
no bearing on your criminal trial, and just because you avoided a license suspension
in your administrative hearing doesn’t mean you’re on your
way to a not-guilty verdict at a trial.
The Alabama Department of Public Safety can opt to suspend, revoke, or
cancel your license if you are convicted of driving under the influence
in criminal court. These suspensions are different from administrative
suspensions in that they are almost completely up to a judge’s discretion
based on the outcome of your case. If you’re found guilty, you could
have your case referred to the Department of Public Safety and have your
license revoked all the same.
Just like in the administrative hearing, your license suspension will depend
on several factors, including the number of prior offenses you have on
your record within a five-year period. First-time offenders will likely
receive a 90-day license suspension, while subsequent offenders will likely
receive the following penalties:
- Second-time offenders: mandatory minimum one year suspension
- Third-time offenders: mandatory minimum three-year suspension
- Fourth-time offenders: mandatory minimum five-year suspension
Losing your ability to drive is an extremely detrimental penalty that can
have serious ramifications on your life. Those who have their license
suspended lose their driving privileges entirely for an indicated period
of time, which could impact your ability to go to work and earn a living,
travel to pick up food or other living necessities, and much more.
Don’t leave your case up in the air; fight back against your license
suspension by contacting Tidwell Law Group, LLC to schedule a case evaluation.
Call us today by dialing 205-800-8596.