If you have been arrested for DUI in Florida, you only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to fight the administrative suspension of your driver’s license through a Formal Review Hearing. You should always fight the administrative suspension of your driver’s license after an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) cases in Tampa, Hillsborough County, and throughout the State of Florida.
In fact, there is no downside to fighting the administrative suspension. If you win the hearing and invalidate the suspension – then no consequences to your ability to drive will occur on an administrative basis (but you must still fight the criminal charges).
If you lose the hearing, your attorney was able to gain valuable information during the hearing by questioning all of the state’s witnesses that could potentially testify against you and developing evidence for potential defenses that can be used to win your case during a motion to suppress, motion to dismiss, or during a jury or bench trial on the criminal charges.
In fact, many criminal defense attorneys agree that the administrative hearing is the most important part of your case. Find out more about how the DUI attorneys in Tampa, FL, at the Sammis Law Firm use the formal review hearings to protect Florida driver’s license and also preserve evidence that can be used to fight the criminal case.
The Florida DUI Administrative Suspension – How Long Will My Suspension Last?
After a DUI arrest your driver’s license will be administratively suspended if you either took the breath test and blew over the legal limit or if you refused to take the breath test.
The “hard suspension” refers to the time period in which you are not able to obtain a “business purpose only” or restricted driver license. In other words, during the hard suspension you can not drive for any reason. If you are caught driving, then you will not qualify for the “business purpose only” driver license for the remainder of the suspension period.
- First Offense
If you took the breath test then your Florida driver’s license will be suspended for 6 months with a 30 day hard suspension.
If you refused then your Florida driver’s license will be suspended for 12 months with a 90 day hard suspension.
- Second Offense
If you took the breath test, then you will suffer a 12 month suspension with a 30 day hard suspension.
If you refused the test, and your first offense was after a breath test, then you will suffer a 12 month suspension with a 90 day hard suspension.
If you refused the test, and your first offense was after a refusal, then you will suffer a 18 month suspension with a 18 month hard suspension.
- Third or Subsequent Offense
If you took the breath test then you will suffer a 12 month suspension with a 12 month hard suspension.
If you refused the breath test and if all prior offenses were after a breath test, then you will suffer a 12 month suspension with a 12 month hard suspension.
If you refused the breath test and one of the prior offenses was after a refusal, then you will suffer a 18 month suspension with a 18 month hard suspension.
What would you do if you could not drive for any reason for 3 months, 9 months, 12 months or 18 months ?
The most devastating consequence of a DUI arrest is the administrative suspension of your driver’s license. You may be able to avoid that administrative suspension by winning your formal review hearing. Hundreds of other reasons exist for invalidating the suspension. A few of the most common issues that can invalidate the suspension include:
- A critical witness fails to appear;
- Inconsistencies in the reports;
- Mistakes in the affidavits;
- Insufficient evidence of who was driving in a car accident / crash case;
- Failure to provide a legally sufficient reason for the stop, detention and arrest;
- The driver was observed for the entire 20 minute observation period;
- The refusal was intentional or not willful; or
- Failure to show that BOTH breath test readings were over .08.
The Administrative Hearing with the DMV may be one of the most important stages of your DUI Case.
Aggressively litigating the formal review hearing with the DMV is one the most important steps in preserving evidence that can later be used to fight the DUI case, especially in DUI refusal cases in which the prosecutor relies almost exclusively on the testimony of the arresting officer. Even in those cases in which you lose the DMV hearing, the fact that your DUI attorney has been able to question all of the officers against you under oath early in your case can be very crucial in fighting the criminal accusation.
For more information on the important of requesting an administrative formal review hearing, visit our main website for more information – DUI Attorney in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL.