Kristen Rodger
Attorney at Law


Arrested for DUI in Naples, Florida?

You have been accused of Driving Under the Influence. This can involve either drugs or alcohol, or both.

The moment you were arrested, two separate prosecutions began against you. The first is administrative in nature, and pertains to your driver's license. The other is criminal, and will be handled in the court system.

License Proceedings:

(NOTE: If you are licensed in another state, you will need to discuss this with a DUI Attorney in the state you reside.)

Your license has been suspended for one of two reasons:
Either you have been suspended for 6 months for having a breath or blood alcohol level over .08, or you have been suspended for 12 months for refusing to submit to a breath or blood test.


You have a right to contest the suspension. In order to contest the suspension, YOU MUST request a FORMAL REVIEW HEARING with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) WITHIN 10 DAYS OF YOUR ARREST. Failure to do this waives any review of your suspension.

I automatically request a formal review hearing in all cases when I am retained in time to do so. Your hearing will be scheduled approximately 30 days from the request. In the meantime, you do have a limited right to drive. You should have received a DUI citation from your arrest. This citation serves as your driver's license for the first 10 days following your arrest. This citation is unrestricted, and allows you to drive, anytime, anywhere, for any reason. If you timely request a formal review hearing, the DMV will issue a permit that will cover the time between the expiration of your citation, and the time of your hearing. It is very important to understand that this permit is restricted to BUSINESS PURPOSES ONLY. BUSINESS PURPOSES ONLY includes anything that is necessary to maintain your livelihood. This includes DIRECT trips to and from:

--Work locations
--Medical appointments
--Church services
--Legal appointments

Be prepared to explain your purpose in driving ANYTIME you get behind the wheel during the period of your restricted permit. Your permit will last until approximately one week after your hearing in order to give the DMV time to issue their ruling. If we win the hearing you will regain your full privilege to drive. If we lose the hearing, then your suspension will be upheld, for the length of time originally imposed.

The hearing is similar to a trial, but is significantly less formal. I have the power to subpoena witnesses to testify about your case. This allows me an important opportunity to view the evidence against you without the prosecutor present. With very few exceptions, I will not have you appear at the hearing.

The formal review:

At the formal hearing, the DMV hearing officer will decide, by the greater weight of the evidence, whether your driver's license suspension should be upheld or set aside. The hearing officer will consider:

(1) Whether the law enforcement officer had probable cause to believe that you were diving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle within the state of Florida, while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or chemical or controlled substances.

(2) Whether you had an unlawful blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level of .08 or higher.

(3) In the case of an alleged refusal to blow, whether you refused to submit to any such test after being requested to do so by the police at the scene or in the jail.

(4) Whether you were told that if you refused to submit to such test, your diving privilege would be suspended for one year, or in the case of a second or subsequent refusal, for a period of 18 months.

If we lose the hearing, you will go through a period of no driving at all, also known as "hard time." Your hard time will begin upon the expiration of your last permit. If your license was suspended for 6 months for an unlawful alcohol level, then the hard time will be for 30 days. After the 30 days are up, you are eligible to reinstate your license on a restricted basis (BUSINESS PURPOSES ONLY) for the remainder of your suspension.

If your license was suspended for 12 months for a refusal then the "hard time" will be for 90 days If your license was suspended for 18 months for a second refusal, then you will have no permit for the full suspension period.

DUI and refusal to blow:

If you refused to blow, you will face a 12-month revocation of your driver's license effective from your arrest date, or an 18-month revocation if your license has ever been suspended for a prior refusal.

The DUI citation serves as a license for 10 days from the date of arrest and is not restricted if your license was otherwise valid.

A formal review hearing must be requested within 10 days from the date of arrest. The DMV will issue a temporary license restricted to business purposes only (meaning any driving necessary to maintain livelihood). You may drive on this license up until the time that the hearing is scheduled, and your permit will usually extend 10 days past the hearing date.

If we win the formal review hearing, the administrative suspension is cleared from your record and you are eligible to receive a duplicate license. If we lose the formal review hearing you must go 90 days with no driving before being eligible for a hardship license. The 90 days will begin when your last temporary permit expired. After 90 days, you can apply for a hardship license at the Bureau of Administrative Review in Fort Myers.

If you have two DUI convictions or two prior refusals on your record, the Department of Motor Vehicles will not issue you a hardship license.

DUI Penalties:

Penalties for a first DUI (without an accident, without a child in the car) include Probation. (1) Probation means you check in monthly and are subject to random alcohol and drug tests.
(2) Suspension of your driver's license. This suspension is independent of any administrative suspension imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
(3) DUI School
(4) Fines
(5) Community service
(6) Impoundment of your vehicle. This means you can't use the vehicle for a period of time, usually ten days. You pay for someone to come to your house and put a lock on the steering wheel, for example. They come back ten days later, remove the lock, and give you a certificate that you bring to probation.
(7) Victim Impact Panel: You will have to listen to a person whose life has been affected by a drunk driver.
(8) No alcohol during the period of probation. This means you can't have alcohol in your home, even if it's not yours. (Your roommates would have to choose between you and the beer.)

If you have prior DUI convictions or if there was an accident in your case, you may be at risk for jail time, in addition to all the penalties listed above.

Winning your DUI case:

There are some rare circumstances when I am able to get a DUI case dropped completely. Usually, however, a "win" in a DUI case is getting the State to reduce the DUI charge to a lesser charge. In Florida, the lesser change is "Willful and Wanton Reckless Driving." As I work your DUI case, my goal is to find issues that could persuade the prosecutor to agree to reduce your DUI charge to a reckless driving charge. Most cases end with a negotiated settlement between you and the State, in which both sides agree on the resolution and the specific penalties. Some cases proceed to a trial by jury. It is solely YOUR decision whether to accept a negotiated resolution, or to proceed to trial. Once I have completed my investigation of the circumstances of your DUI arrest, and after I have thoroughly reviewed the police reports, videos, and any other evidence the State has in their possession, I will advise you as to whether or not you should accept a negotiated resolution, or proceed to trial. I will also advise you of the risks that go along with each possible resolution. Call me for a free consultation at 239-331-2999