3 Things You Should Do After A Florida License Suspension

A driver’s license suspension can occur for numerous reasons, including a DUI conviction, accruing too many points on your record, or even failing to pay child support.

Fortunately, you have options.

A seasoned Orlando traffic defense lawyer can help you to get your license reinstated so you can again enjoy your driving privilege. Following are the three actions you should take in the event your driver’s license is suspended.

#1 – Appeal The Suspension

If the suspension stemmed from your refusal to submit to field sobriety tests under suspicion of DWI, you have the right to challenge it.

When such circumstances lead to a license suspension, you’re issued a 10-day permit. This permit allows you to retain your driving privilege for a short period. Once this period expires, the suspension goes into effect.

You have 10 days to challenge the suspension and request an appeal.

#2 – Start The License Reinstatement Process

If you failed to submit an appeal before your permit expired or your appeal is unsuccessful, you will lose your driving privilege. At that point, your focus should be on getting your driver’s license reinstated.

In most cases, the suspension period must pass before reinstatement becomes possible. That said, an experienced attorney may be able to get your license reinstated earlier. Much depends on the circumstances.

Reinstatement usually involves paying all associated fines and attending all associated court dates. It may also include going to traffic school, attending an alcohol treatment program (if you were convicted of a DUI), or serving time in jail following conviction for a serious crime.

#3 – Apply For A Hardship Driver’s License

If you rely on your driving privilege for important tasks, you may be eligible for a hardship driver’s license. Plan to apply for one.

Eligibility depends largely on the reason your license was suspended. If the suspension stemmed from accruing too many points on your record, you may be eligible. If it stemmed from a DWI conviction, you won’t be eligible.

The Florida traffic ticket attorneys at Skubiak & Rivas can help you get your driver’s license reinstated. We’ve successfully defended our clients’ rights in all types of traffic-related cases since 1993. If your license was recently suspended, call us at 407-894-4449 or complete this form to schedule a free, no-risk consultation with one of our seasoned lawyers.

Florida DWI: What Happens If You Refuse A Breathalyzer Test?

Florida DWI: What Happens If You Refuse A Breathalyzer Test?

A breath test is one of the most common ways that police officers determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). An officer who suspects you of intoxication might ask you to breathe into a breathalyzer, an instrument that measures BAC via the presence of ethanol in your breath. If the device measures your BAC above 0.08, you’ll likely be arrested on suspicion of DWI in Florida.

You can refuse to take this test. In fact, refusal may be your best option depending on the circumstances. Just be aware that refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test carries consequences.

Implied Consent

When you apply for a driver’s license in Florida, you implicitly grant consent to field sobriety tests. If a police officer suspects that you’re driving while intoxicated, he or she can ask you to submit to such tests.

You cannot be forced to take a breathalyzer test (unless the police officer has a warrant). In fact, if you’re reasonably certain that your BAC is above 0.08, refusing to submit to a breath test may be a good idea.

Consequences For Refusing To Comply

If you refuse to take a breath test, the police officer can confiscate your driver’s license. Moreover, your license may be suspended for up to 12 months if this is your first time refusing to submit to sobriety testing.

If you refused to submit to a breath test in the past, your license can be suspended for up to 18 months. Additionally, you can be charged with a crime for the refusal.

It’s also worth noting that you can be taken into custody, and prosecutors may use your refusal to argue knowledge of guilt.

How To Fight DWI Charges In Florida

Suppose you refused to submit to a breathalyzer test and were subsequently charged with a DWI. Should you fight the charges?

Always.

An experienced Florida DUI lawyer can design creative defenses aimed at getting the charges dismissed. These defenses may include questioning whether the officer followed proper procedure and whether he or she had probable cause to suspect you were driving while intoxicated in the first place.

Skubiak & Rivas’s Florida traffic ticket attorneys have more than 60 years of combined experience successfully defending clients. Let us help you to avoid a DWI conviction, keep your record clean, and retain your driving privilege. If you were recently charged with a DWI, call 407-894-4449 or fill out this short form for a free, private consultation.

What Are The Consequences Of A Florida Speeding Ticket?

It’s estimated that more than 100,000 speeding tickets are given each day. They’re so common that people have grown accustomed to paying them rather than fighting them.

But doing so may be unwise.

Although receiving a speeding ticket in Florida may seem inconsequential in the present, it can carry consequences that plague you for years. It can even put your driving privilege at risk. Following are the reasons to contact an Orlando traffic ticket attorney if you’ve been cited for speeding in Florida.

Points On Your Driving Record

Speeding tickets impose points on your driving record. The number of points you receive depends on the extent to which you exceed the posted speed limit.

In Florida, if you’re caught driving up to 15 miles per hour above the posted limit, you’ll receive three points. If you’re caught driving over 15 mph above the posted limited, you’ll receive four points. If your speeding causes an accident, you’ll receive six points.

Your driving record influences your life in ways you may not realize. It can affect your car insurance rates, employment opportunities, and even your ability to drive. The more points you accumulate, the worse the effects.

Fines

Speeding tickets, like most traffic violations in Florida, are expensive. Following is a breakdown of the fines imposed according to how fast you’re caught driving above the posted limit (figures vary by county):

  • six to nine mph: up to $151
  • 10 to 14 mph: up to $226
  • 15 to 19 mph: up to $276
  • 20 to 29 mph: up to $301
  • 30+ mph: up to $376

Attending traffic school will prevent points from appearing on your record. The problem is, it’s not always an option. Moreover, you may still have to pay the fine for the ticket and pay for the traffic school course itself.

Given the above, what is your best option if you receive a speeding ticket in Florida? Call an experienced traffic ticket defense lawyer. He or she will fight to keep your driving record clean and reduce the penalties.

Skubiak & Rivas have helped thousands of drivers like yourself avoid points and fines related to speeding tickets. Our Florida traffic ticket attorneys have more than 60 years of combined experience defending clients and winning cases. If you recently received a speeding ticket, call 407-894-4449 or fill out this short form to schedule a free consultation.

How To Fight (And Beat!) A Speeding Ticket In Florida

Speeding tickets generate billions of dollars in revenue each year. For that reason alone, police departments and courts hope that drivers will simply pay the tickets rather than contest them.

And to their delight, that’s precisely what most people do.

But you can choose not to play that game. Instead, you can fight your speeding ticket in Florida. With a seasoned Orange County traffic attorney at your side, it’s possible to get your case dismissed, keeping your driving record clean in the process. Here’s how…

Hire A Florida Traffic Ticket Lawyer

This is the most important step. Although you can represent yourself when fighting traffic tickets, doing so puts you at a disadvantage.

An experienced attorney will know how to identify flaws in the police officer’s process – flaws that can result in the judge dismissing the ticket. In the event the officer’s process is perfect, your attorney can negotiate the form and extent of disciplinary action.

Inform The Court

You must enter a “not guilty” plea to contest your speeding ticket. This takes place at the courthouse.

Note that this isn’t the actual trial. It’s just a preliminary hearing. After you plead not guilty, you’ll be given a trial date.

This date may be months in the future. Don’t despair as this can work in your favor. For example, the officer may be less likely to show up in court, prompting the judge to dismiss your case. The long wait may even violate the Speedy Trial Clause, which can lead to the same outcome.

Prepare For Your Trial

Find out how the police officer determined your speed. Did he or she use a radar? Was pacing used? Or did the officer rely on VASCAR? None of these measures are flawless.

Next, inspect the documentation related to your speeding ticket. Review the evidence. Check the date and time noted on the ticket. Look for a citation number. If a radar device was used, look for a notation regarding when the unit was last checked and calibrated. If there’s anything wrong with the documentation, it may provide an opportunity to get your ticket dismissed.

Your attorney will do the heavy lifting. His or her experience in fighting speeding tickets and getting them thrown out or having the penalties reduced will prove invaluable.

The Orlando traffic defense lawyers at Skubiak & Rivas have successfully defended clients in all types of traffic-related cases since 1993. We’re ready to aggressively defend your case, as well. If you recently received a speeding ticket in Florida, don’t pay it without first speaking to one of our attorneys. Call 407-894-4449 today or complete this form to schedule a free consultation.

4 Most Common Reasons For A License Suspension In Florida

Florida imposes serious penalties for knowingly driving with a suspended license. The first time you’re convicted of this offense, you could end up spending 60 days in the county jail and paying $500 in fines. If you’re convicted a second time, you could spend a year in jail and pay $1,000 in fines.

Thus far, the offense is considered a misdemeanor. But a third conviction is a felony. It can result in a 5-year prison sentence along with $5,000 in fines.

Following are the top four reasons your driver’s license can be suspended. If you were caught driving with a suspended license , the first thing you should do is contact an experienced Florida traffic ticket attorney.

#1 – Conviction For A Grave Offense

If you’re convicted of another traffic-related offense, you can lose your driving privilege as a result. Such offenses include driving while intoxicated (DWI), vehicular manslaughter, and leaving the scene of a car accident in which you’re involved.

#2 – Driving Without Insurance

Auto insurance coverage is mandatory in Florida. If you’re caught driving without it, or are unable to provide proof of coverage when an officer pulls you over, a judge may suspend your license.

#3 – Too Many Points On Your Driving Record

Points are added to your record each time you’re convicted of a traffic-related infraction. If you receive too many points within a short time frame – e.g. 24 points within 36 months – your driving privilege could be put in jeopardy.

#4 – Status As A Habitual Traffic Offender

If you’re convicted of numerous moving violations over a relatively short period, the state of Florida may consider you to be a habitual traffic offender (HTO). And that can result in a driver’s license suspension.

These aren’t the only reasons your license can be suspended or revoked in Florida. Suspensions can also be ordered by the court for failing to pay child support, failing to pay court fines, and even convictions for petty theft.

The Orlando traffic ticket lawyers at Skubiak & Rivas have successfully defended clients against traffic-related charges for decades. If you’ve been charged with driving with a suspended license, we’re ready to aggressively defend your case. Call us at 407-894-4449 or fill out this form to schedule a no-risk consultation.

Top 4 DWI Defenses In Florida (And Why You Need A Lawyer!)

Florida courts use a heavy hand in their treatment of offenders who drive while intoxicated (DWI). If you’re convicted of a DWI, you might be forced to pay significant fines and spend up to six months in jail.

And that’s for a first-time conviction. The penalties are much harsher for second and third offenses.

For this reason, it’s highly advisable that you talk to a Florida traffic attorney if you’ve been charged with a DWI. Your attorney can create a defense aimed at getting the charge dismissed or reducing the penalties. Following are potential options to that end.

#1 – Challenge The Traffic Stop

The officer who stops you must have a good reason for doing so. If he or she didn’t have such a reason, the stop may have been illegal and can be challenged on those grounds.

#2 – Challenge The Search

Often, an arrest for driving while intoxicated follows the officer’s discovery of an open container or other evidence of alcohol in the vehicle. But such evidence can be thrown out by the court if you show that the officer’s search was conducted without your permission or probable cause.

#3 – Challenge The Breathalyzer Test Results

The use of equipment to gauge drivers’ blood alcohol levels must adhere to rigid standards. The equipment must be properly calibrated; the officer is prohibited from requiring you to “continue blowing” during the test; and the officer is supposed to observe you for 20 minutes prior to conducting the test.

Your attorney may be able to challenge your test results on any of these grounds.

#4 – Challenge The Field Sobriety Tests

A DWI charge may stem from the results of a field sobriety test if the officer believes your performance suggests intoxication. But the results of such tests can be challenged on numerous grounds.

For example, your attorney may be able to show that the arresting officer lacked sufficient knowledge regarding your true coordination and balance. Or perhaps you were suffering from an injury (e.g. ligament tears in the knees) at the time of the test that affected your performance.

You should consult an experienced traffic attorney whenever you’ve been charged with a traffic-related offense. This is doubly important if you’ve been arrested for driving while intoxicated. A DWI conviction can jeopardize your driving privileges, as well as your freedom.

The Orlando traffic lawyers at Skubiak & Rivas have helped thousands of drivers avoid severe penalties related to DWI charges. We’re ready to help you, too. If you were arrested for DWI, call us at 407-894-4449 or complete this form for a private, no-risk consultation.

3 Reasons To Contact A Florida Speeding Ticket Attorney

A speeding ticket can impact you in several ways. You may be forced to pay a hefty fine; the infraction can add points to your driving record; and it can cause your insurance rates to rise. Depending on the number of points you have on your driving record, it can even jeopardize your driving privileges.

That’s why it’s smart to contact a Florida traffic lawyer if you’re cited for speeding. An experienced lawyer can help prevent the above from happening by working diligently to win your case.

Get Your Speeding Ticket Dismissed

An attorney will know his or her way around the laws concerning speeding tickets. He or she will be familiar with technicalities that can prove instrumental in getting your case dismissed. This includes identifying errors made on the ticket and asking the court to dismiss the case if the charging officer fails to appear.

Protect Your Driving Record

The more points on your record, the greater the risk you’ll lose your driving privileges.

In Florida, if you’re caught driving 15 miles per hour over the posted limit, three points may be added to your record. Driving more than 15 MPH over the limit can result in four points being added. If your speeding causes an accident, your record may be burdened with six points.

An experienced Orlando traffic ticket attorney will defend your case, helping to keep your driving record clean and protecting your driver’s license from suspension.

Prevent Your Insurance Rates From Rising

Auto insurers set their rates based on the risk that their customers will cause incidents that cost the insurers money. This risk assessment takes points into account. As a general rule, the more points you have on your driving record, the more you’ll pay for insurance coverage.

By contesting this traffic infraction, your attorney may be able to prevent your insurance rates from rising.

The Florida traffic violation attorneys at Skubiak & Rivas have helped thousands of clients fight all types of traffic-related charges, including speeding tickets. We’re ready to aggressively defend your case in court, as well. Contact us by calling 407-894-4449 or complete this form to schedule a free consultation.

Your 3 Options When You Get A Speeding Ticket In Florida

Speeding tickets are an annoying inconvenience. But they pose more than just a disruption to your day. They carry heavy fines, can add points to your driving record, and can force you to pay more for car insurance.

Worse, if you’re caught doing it often enough, the state of Florida may label you a habitual traffic offender. At that point, your license can be suspended or revoked.

So what should you do if you’re pulled over by a police officer and charged with breaking the posted speed limit? Following are your 3 options.

Option #1: Attend Traffic School

You can elect to attend a certified Basic Driver Improvement (BDI) course. Such courses, along with the schools that offer them, are regulated by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV).

A certified course is four hours in length and imposes a fee. The upside is that no points are added to your driving record stemming from your speeding conviction.

Note that you must complete the course within 60 days of receiving your ticket (select Florida counties allow 90 days). Also note that you can only take advantage of this option once in a 12-month period and five times during your life.

Option #2: Pay The Associated Fine

Most people choose this option. It’s simple and allows them to get on with their lives without further inconvenience.

But there are downsides. First, fines for speeding are steep in Florida. You may end up paying nearly $400 depending on how fast you were caught driving.

A second downside is that points will be added to your driving record. These can stick around for years. The more you accumulate, the greater their impact; they can cause your insurance rates to surge upward and even imperil your driving privileges.

Option #3: Fight The Ticket

Fighting a speeding ticket may seem daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. The most important thing you can do is hire an experienced Florida traffic ticket lawyer to defend your case.

A seasoned attorney may be able to reduce the charges, lessen the number of points added to your record, or get your case dismissed. The result is a cleaner driving record. And that yields benefits that pay dividends year after year.

Skubiak & Rivas have more than 60 years of combined experience in defending clients against all types of traffic violation charges, including speeding tickets. If you were cited for speeding, contact our Florida traffic ticket attorneys today. Call 407-894-4449 or complete this short form for a free, private consultation.

What Constitutes Driving Without A Valid Driver’s License?

It’s unlawful to drive without a valid driver’s license in Florida. If you’re caught doing so, you could face fines and jail time. The problem is, some circumstances that could potentially result in a conviction may be less than obvious.

It’s possible to run afoul of this law without realizing it.

Below, we’ll cover the most common situations that prompt a no valid driver’s license (NVDL) charge. If you’re charged with this offense, contact an experienced Orlando traffic ticket attorney who can help keep your record clean.

Your Driver’s License Is Expired

An expired license is considered invalid. It’s tempting to think you still have the right to drive with an expired license. But Florida’s traffic laws preclude you from legally doing so.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) will send you a renewal application 45 days before your license is scheduled to expire. Don’t forget to complete and file this document.

You Don’t Have Possession Of Your Driver’s License

Having a valid license isn’t enough. You must be in possession of it while operating a motor vehicle. If you inadvertently leave your license at home, and a police officer pulls you over, there’s a good chance you’ll be arrested and charged with NVDL.

Your Driver’s License Has Been Suspended Or Cancelled

If you’re caught driving with a suspended license (DWLS), expect to be arrested by the police officer on site. This offense is more serious than NVDL. While both NVDL and DWLS are considered misdemeanors, a third DWLS is treated as a felony.

Why You Should Hire A Florida Traffic Lawyer

There are a number of potential defenses to a NVDL charge. Don’t just concede to the charge and accept your fate. Hire a lawyer. A seasoned traffic attorney will create a defense strategy aimed at getting the case dismissed, keeping your record clean in the process.

At Skubiak & Rivas, we have decades of combined experience in handling all traffic-related cases, including charges related to driving without a valid driver’s license. Contact us today if you’ve been charged with NVDL. Call 407-894-4449 or complete this form to schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our Florida traffic ticket attorneys.

Are You Driving With A Suspended License Without Knowing It?

Most people know whether their driver’s license is in poor standing. For example, someone who’s been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) knows whether his or her license has been revoked. Likewise, most drivers realize that a conviction for reckless driving in Florida can result in a license suspension.

But there are several ways your license can be suspended that are less clear. In some cases, it’s possible to be completely unaware of the suspension. Unfortunately, if you’re caught driving with a suspended license (DWLS), you could still face jail time and significant fines despite this lack of awareness.

Reasons Your Driver’s License Can Be Suspended

Your license can be suspended for any of the following reasons:

  • DUI arrest
  • DUI conviction
  • refusal to take a Breathalyzer test
  • conviction for a drug-related offense
  • conviction for theft
  • driving without auto insurance
  • delinquent child support payments
  • too many points on your driving record
  • failure to appear in court
  • failure to pay fines related to other offenses

Some of these reasons may be surprising to you. And that’s the problem. You may not realize you’re driving with a suspended license at the time you’re pulled over by a police officer.

DWLS With Knowledge Vs. Without Knowledge

The state of Florida makes a distinction between driving with a suspended license with knowledge and without knowledge. Knowingly driving with a suspended license is a criminal offense that comes with criminal penalties. Doing so without knowledge is a civil infraction with less-serious penalties.

The prosecutor bears the burden of proof. He or she must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had actual or constructive knowledge of your license suspension.

An example of actual knowledge would be your admittance that you knew about the suspension. An example of constructive knowledge would be a letter mailed to you by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), notifying you of the suspension.

The prosecutor might also attempt to prove knowledge via a prior DWLS conviction.

What Does This Mean For You?

Never concede to a DWLS charge without first consulting an experienced Orlando traffic ticket lawyer. The penalties that accompany a conviction can be severe, particularly for a third offense. Your attorney will examine the circumstances surrounding your case, and design a defense strategy to resolve the matter with minimal penalties.

Our Florida traffic ticket attorneys possess more than 60 years of combined experience in defending clients against all types of traffic violations. We’ve successfully resolved thousands of cases for our clients. If you were arrested for DWLS, call us today at 407-894-4449 or fill out this simple form for a no-risk consultation.