If you are arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida, you have two separate legal matters. The first is the suspension of your driver’s license, while the second is the criminal trial you may face. Drivers that are found to be over the legal limit at the scene, or that refuse to submit to a chemical test, such as the Breathalyzer, will receive an automatic suspension of their driver’s license.
You lose your license the minute you are placed under arrest. However, you are able to apply for a DMV hearing and challenge the suspension, but you must do so very quickly.
What is a DMV Hearing?
If you have been arrested or charged with a DUI, you can try to reinstate your driving privileges. However, you must request a hearing within ten days of the arrest. To get your license back, you must submit a request for a Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) hearing. This is an administrative license hearing and is an important step when trying to reinstate your license before there is an outcome in your criminal case.
In some instances your attorney may advise you that it could be beneficial for you to waive your right to an Administrative hearing to best insure that you eliminate the chance that you would be without a license for a significant period of time
What to Expect During an Administrative License Hearing
It is important that you obtain qualified legal advice from a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you do not miss important deadlines, such as the ten-day deadline to request the hearing. During the hearing, you will have a chance to present a case as to why you should be able to keep your driver’s license. Your lawyer will present evidence and argument to the hearing officer to attempt to persuade a ruling in your favor. Your lawyer will also obtain important information and other details that they may use during a future criminal trial.
A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer will also try to determine if you were legally arrested, or whether the stop or arrest was illegal. To do this, the lawyer may cross-examine the law enforcement official and any other witnesses for the prosecution. This is very important when they develop a strategy for your DUI criminal trial.
If you are successful at the administrative hearing, you will retain your driver’s license until there is a decision made in your criminal trial. If you are not successful, your driver’s license will be suspended for a specific amount of time.
Our Criminal Defense Lawyers in Florida Can Help You Get Your License Back
If you have been charged or arrested with a DUI, our Orlando criminal defense lawyers can help you get your driver’s license back. At O’Mara Law Group, our knowledgeable attorneys will prepare you for your DMV hearing, give you the best chance of success, and build a solid defense to use in your criminal trial. Call us today at (407) 634-6604 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.