There are two options when it comes to DMV administrative review hearings - formal and informal.
In a formal administrative review, your hearing will be held within 30 days of the filed request date. You and/or your attorney may bring in evidence, witnesses and perform cross-examinations. It’s also a great way for you and/or your attorney to collect evidence that can aid in your DUI defense. Should you be unable to attend, due to work or other circumstances, your attorney may also represent you at the formal hearing.
During an informal administrative review, the hearing officer will review all materials submitted by you and the officer who made the arrest. Unfortunately, you will not be able to testify on your behalf, nor will anyone else (such as witnesses) be able to testify for you.
Regardless of which type of review you request, the hearing officer will determine whether to uphold the suspension or return your license based on the evidence presented. If there is insufficient evidence, the suspension is generally overturned.
Although your temporary permit expires 10 days after your arrest, an experienced DUI attorney can help you get an extended temporary driving permit that would give you an extra 30 to 45 driving days while you are waiting for your DMV administrative hearing. This permit will allow you to drive to work, school, the grocery store or the doctor’s office – in other words, it’s for business purposes only.
How Do I Get a Hardship License?
If your license suspension is upheld at the DMV hearing, you still may be able to obtain a hardship license, if this is your first DUI and you blew over .08 or refused to take the breathalyzer test. If you blew over .08, you will need to wait 30 days after your temporary permit expires to apply for the hardship. That increases to 90 days, if you refused to take the breath test.
This no-drive period is typically referred to as “hard time” by the DMV. During this waiting period, you must also enroll in a DUI school and get a copy of your driving record from the county clerk’s office. You will need both of these forms and be required to pay certain fees before your hardship license is granted. Should you fail to complete the DUI classes, your hardship license will be revoked.
Another option is to voluntarily waive your rights to the formal or informal DMV administrative review, if this is your first DUI offense. Instead of the review, your attorney can request an immediate hardship license. This will trigger the immediate suspension of your driving license, but also allow you to skip the regular no-drive period of 30 or 90 days typically required before you can apply for a hardship license.
Hire an Experienced DUI Attorney!
Before you decide which temporary driving permit path is right for you, it’s best to consult with an experienced DUI attorney. He or she can review your specific case and facts, and determine whether an administrative hearing or hardship license application is the best course of action for you. He or she will also be able to file motions on your behalf to move hearing dates, or to change from a formal to an informal DMV hearing. Dealing with a Florida DUI can be overwhelming, so don’t try to handle everything on your own. Contact a local attorney who has the experience and knowledge required to help you through this difficult time.
The Reinhold Law Firm is located in downtown Jacksonville, FL. We concentrate exclusively on criminal law cases, such as drug offenses, domestic violence and DUIs. If you have questions regarding your rights, please contact our office at 904-354-2444 for a free case evaluation.