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DUI/DHSMV Hearing

When you are arrested for DUI, you license is suspended. The officer will issue you your DUI citation, this citation will act as a temporary driving permit for the next 10 days. This is a temporary hardship permit. You only have 10 days after your DUI arrest to request a formal review hearing or you will forfeit your right to challenge your suspension and your license will automatically be suspended. limit.

There is No Downside to Requesting the Formal Review Hearing

Some advantages of requesting the Formal Review Hearing under Florida law include:

  • Requesting the formal review hearing allows you the opportunity to continue driving for work or business purposes for another 45 days;
  • You may win the hearing easily if one of the witnesses do not appear after been subpoenaed by your Fort Lauderdale DUI hearing attorney.
  • You may win the hearing if there is insufficient evidence related to any necessary showing required to uphold the suspension.
  • If you win the hearing your driver’s license will be returned to you, and you will not suffer an administrative suspension of your driver’s license
  • Even if you lose the hearing, your Ft Lauderdale DMV hearing lawyer will have the opportunity to subpoena witnesses and documents, inspection calibration records, and explore possible defenses early in your case.
  • The officers or civilian witnesses will be locked into their story which allows your Ft Lauderdale DMV hearing lawyer to exploit inconsistent statements or disprove certain versions of events early in the case.

Opportunity to Explore Defenses

Even in those cases where Mr. Sobel is not able to invalidate the DHSMV administrative suspension of your driver license, Mr. Sobel will nevertheless be able to cross-examine all of the state’s witnesses. This cross-examination is important because it may be your Ft Lauderdale formal review hearing attorney’s only opportunity to question the witnesses before the trial or pre-trial motions in the case. It gives Mr. Sobel a preview of the strengths and weaknesses of the state’s case.

The cross-examination can then be typed up into a written transcript which can be used to impeach a witness at trial if they attempt to change their testimony. The transcript can also be used to convince the prosecutor to drop the charges completely, or reduce the charges to reckless driving or another non-DUI resolution of the case.

Adminstrative Suspension of your Driver’s License After a Florida DUI Arrest

First Offense

If you took the breath test your driver’s license will be suspended for six (6) months with a thirty (30) “hard suspension” – meaning that you can not driver for any reason for those thirty (30) days.

If you refused the breath test your driver’s license will be suspended for twelve (12) months with a ninty (90) day “hard suspension” – meaning that you can not driver for any reason during those 90 days.

Second Offense

If you took the breath test: twelve (12) month suspension with a thirty (30) day hard suspension.

If you refused the breath test and the first offense was after a breath test, then a twelve (12) month suspension will follow with a ninety (90) day hard time suspension.

If you refused the breath test and the first offense was after a refusal, then your license will be suspended for eighteen (18) months with all eighteen months being a hard suspension – meaning that you can not get a hardship license.

Third or Subsequent Offense

If you took the breath test: twelve (12) month suspension with all twelve (12) months being a heard suspension – meaning that you can not get a hardship license.

If you refused the breath test and all of the prior offenses were after a breath test, then a twelve month suspension with 12 months of hard time will follow – meaning you can not get a hardship license.

If you refused the breath test and one of the prior offenses was a refusal, then an 18 month suspension with 18 months of a hard suspension will follow – meaning you can not get a hardship license.

Issues for the DUI Administrative Hearing

At the formal review hearing, the Florida DHSMV hearing officer will determine by a preponderance of the evidence presented whether sufficient cause exists to sustain, amend or invalidate the suspension of the driver’s license pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 322.2615. The issues to be determined during the DUI formal review hearing when it is alleged that the driver blew over the limit are as follows:

  • Whether the DUI officer had probable cause to believe the individual was either driving or in actual phyiscal control of the vehicle in the State of Florida while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or chemical or controlled substances.
  • Whether the individual had an unlawful blood-alcohol level or breath alcohol level of .08 or higher as provided in Florida Statute 316.193.

The issues to be determined during the DUI formal review hearing when it is alleged that the driver refused to submit to a breath or urine test are as follows:

  • Whether law enforcement had probable cause to believe the individual was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle in the State of Florida while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance;
  • Whether the individual refused to submit to a urine or a test of his breath or blood alcohol level after being request to submit by a law enforcement officer; and
  • Whether the individual was told that if he refused a test that his privilege to operate a motor vehicle would be suspended for a period of one year, or in the case of a second or subsequent refusal, for a period of eighteen months.

Conclusion

If you have been arrested for drunk driving or DUI in Florida, you must act quickly to preserve all of your rights to attack the administrative suspension of your drivers license. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain in challenging the suspension of your Florida driver’s license.