If you are caught DUI of alcohol and/or drugs anywhere in Florida, the arresting officer would have the right to confiscate your driver’s license on the spot. The state sees driving as a privilege, not a right, which is why your license suspension will be handled separately from your criminal trial. Once you have been arrested for DUI, you will only have 10 days to request a DMV administrative review hearing.
Requesting a DMV hearing is the only way for you to contest the suspension of your driver's license, which is why you should waste no time in speaking with a criminal defense lawyer at Rudenberg and Glasser, P.A. as soon as you have been arrested. If you fail to submit a written request within 10 days, the suspension will automatically go into effect—rendering you unable to drive for at least 30 days, but usually much longer.
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When you request a DMV hearing, a hearing officer will be responsible for reviewing all of the evidence in your case. Once both sides have presented their case, the hearing officer will need to decide whether or not it would be lawful to suspend your license.
Some of the issues that your attorney may raise include:
All of these questions will be critical to your case. For example, if the arresting officer did not have probable cause to stop you in the first place, your criminal defense attorney could argue that any evidence collected thereafter was done so in violation of your rights.
When it comes to DMV hearings, you can expect one of two outcomes: either you win or lose. If you win, your driver’s license will be returned to you without restriction, although you will still have to prepare for your criminal trial. If you lose, the driver's license suspension will go into effect immediately thereafter. While the suspension will usually last for 30 to 90 days, you could be prohibited from driving for up to one year.
Even if you lose your DMV hearing, one upside is that you have gained about four weeks of temporary driving privileges that you wouldn’t have otherwise been entitled to. The benefit of this is that you will have some time to make arrangements for alternative transportation if, or once, your driver's license suspension goes into effect. For this reason, you would have nothing to lose by requesting a DMV hearing after your arrest.
The process of requesting a DMV hearing can be complicated. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. Call a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer at our firm to schedule a free, confidential case review.