Anyone would be reeling after getting arrested for DUI. For good reason, too — there is a lot to do in order to prepare for a possible criminal trial. To add even more worries to the mix, most people facing DUI charges also have to deal with a license suspension completely separate from the criminal repercussions of DUI.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) issues a suspension to all valid driver’s licenses of Floridians who are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This suspension will kick in a mere 10 calendar days after your arrest unless you act quickly to challenge the suspension.
If you do not act within 10 days after your DUI arrest, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended. The administrative suspension period can be as short as 30 days or as long as 18 months depending on any prior arrests or the specific reason your license was suspended (you either tested above a .08 BAC on a chemical test or refused to blow into the breathalyzer). Within 10 days of your DUI arrest, you may request a formal administrative hearing with the DHSMV.
At this hearing, you and your attorney may cross-examine the arresting officer and other witnesses as well as present evidence. There are a number of strategies you and your legal counsel may choose to employ at the formal hearing. If you are successful at the formal hearing, you will likely regain your full driving privileges while you wait on the disposition of your criminal case.
Waiver of Review
One catch with formal hearings is that between the 10th day after your DUI arrest and the date of the formal hearing, you will not have any driving privileges. However, you may immediately request a hardship license after your DUI arrest. While this waives your right to a formal hearing and possible reinstatement of all driving privileges during the run-up to your trial, it allows you to quickly get a license for essential trips. So, if the only places you drive to are work and school, you should consider applying for a hardship license and waiving your right to a formal administrative hearing.
Figuring out whether or not you should request a formal administrative hearing after your DUI arrest largely depends on the length of the suspension you are facing. There are numerous suspension periods that apply to DUI arrests and convictions; the most effective way to ensure you experience the least disruption in your life due to a DUI arrest is to speak with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as humanly possible. Titan Law has represented countless Floridians facing DUI charges, and we would be honored for you to be the next. Reach out to our team today so we can begin constructing your defense.