DHSMV Formal Review Hearings
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Tampa you will not only be prosecuted in a criminal court but the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will attempt to suspend your unrestricted driving privilege through an administrative hearing. This is a very complicated process, all the while being a process the attorneys at The Mayberry Law Firm are intimately familiar with. We understand that time is of the essence for preserving your rights within DHSMV hearings and we will make sure to give you the opportunity you must have to save your driving privilege. Requirements within this administrative process are very strict. Our system ensures that dates aren’t missed and all paperwork is filed in conformity with DHSMV requirements. The Mayberry Law Firm has the experience necessary to give you the best shot at avoiding an administrative driver’s license suspension.
Upon arrest you will be asked to submit to a breath, blood, and/or a urine test. Should you give a breath test above a .08 or refuse any of the listed tests, you will be issued a criminal driving under the influence citation that puts you on notice that your driving privilege has been suspended. Within 10 days of issuance of your citation you have the right to challenge the DHSMV’s attempt to suspend your unrestricted driving privilege. Should you fail to demand this hearing within this 10 day period, you forever waive the right to make the challenge.
Considering the very limited scope of a DHSMV hearing, it would be in your best interest to hire a DUI attorney experienced with the DHSMV process. The Mayberry Law Firm handles DHSMV hearings in Tampa and the surrounding Tampa Bay area on a weekly basis and are well versed with the law involved. We will file your demand for a formal review hearing within the required 10 day period and in the process obtain a 42 day business purpose driving permit for you in most cases. The DHSMV is required per Florida Statute 322.2615(9) to hold your formal review hearing within 30 days after receipt of our demand. If the DHSMV fails to do this, they must reinstate your unrestricted driving privilege. During the formal review hearing we will argue that the evidence against you does not show by a preponderance of the evidence that the officer had probable cause to believe that you were driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence with a breath alcohol level above a .08, or that you refused a requested test after being informed that a first refusal would result in a 12 month driver’s license suspension or that a second refusal would result in an 18 month driver’s license suspension.
If our lawyers are successful in overturning your suspension, your driving privilege will be reinstated immediately. If we aren’t successful in overturning your suspension, at the expiration of your 42 day driving permit you will enter a period of “hard time” where you cannot drive for a period of 30 days if you blew above a .08, and 90 days if you refused a requested chemical test. It is during this hard time period that we advise our clients to sign up for and complete the appropriate level DUI school. This allows our clients to be prepared when the time comes to get a permanent restricted driver’s license if they are eligible.
Collaterally, formal review hearings can be useful to gain information from an officer involved in your case while he’s under oath. On occasion this information can be used as leverage in your criminal case to earn a charge reduction or to bolster your chances should you go to trial.
Though DHSMV suspensions are independent of the criminal court system and suspensions imposed therein, they carry a harsh penalty. Our lawyers are well versed in DHSMV hearing law and know the system well. Contact us today at 813-444-7435 and see how we can help you with your DHSMV hearing.