DHSMV Hearing Lawyer Miami
If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), you have probably experienced the terrible feeling of uncertainty, not knowing if your driving privileges would be revoked due to one mistake or miscalculation. Those feelings aside, you must take action to preserve driving privileges withing 10 days from the date of arrest by speaking with a Miami DUI lawyer about your rights regarding your driving privileges.
At my firm, Jonathan B. Blecher, P.A., I have more than 40 years of legal experience and can represent you at a hearing with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) to ensure that your driving privileges are protected!
What Is an administrative hearing?
The DHSMV process begins after the arresting officer takes your driver’s license and issues you a temporary permit which is good for 10 days, if you are eligible. Police notify the DHSMV of your arrest and they suspend your license. You must take action to the DHSMV within 10 days of the arrest to preserve your driving privileges.
You have two options: request a Formal Review Hearing to challenge a driver’s license suspension or waive the Formal Review Hearing and request a review for eligibility for a restricted business purposes license. If you have no prior DUI convictions, you should be eligible for this expedited process.
If you don’t request an administrative hearing within 10 calendar days, your driving privileges will be automatically suspended for a period ranging from 180 days if you blew over the legal limit of .08, or one year for a refusal to submit to a breath, urine or blood test.
After a DUI arrest, you face two different cases – one involving the criminal court where you fight the DUI-related charges, and one involving the DHSMV where you work to have your driving privileges reinstated.
For commercial drivers, I know how important it is to your livelihood to preserve your driving privileges because your income and your family depend on your ability to drive. My firm has been able to secure positive results even in the most complex and challenging cases. Even if you think there is no hope or no legal solution to your DUI case, I have been able to attain successful results in cases involving automobile accidents with police cars, excessive points, high breath test results, and drug possession charges.
The DHSMV Hearing Process
The state of Florida allows you to request an informal or formal DHMSV hearing. An informal hearing is conducted by one of the hearing officers from the department and involves the officer reviewing all materials submitted by police relating to your case. Witnesses are not questioned during this type of review and the arresting officer does not need to be present. The decision to sustain or invalidate the suspension is based only on these documents.The department is required to send their decision regarding your hearing within 10 days and before the temporary permit expiration date.
If you request a formal hearing, the hearing officer will study all evidence presented by the arresting officer, whose presence is mandatory. Witness testimony and evidence relating to your case must be presented. If you have an attorney representing you, they can provide their own evidence, cross-examine any witnesses, challenge the evidence provided by the arresting officer, and make legal objections. Depending on your case, they may be able to argue the arresting officer did not have probable cause to pull you over or that the breath tests you were subjected to were administered incorrectly.
The purpose of the DHMSV hearing is not to discuss your guilt or innocence – it is to determine if your arrest was legally sufficient. The arresting officer must be able to prove that you were under the influence of alcohol at the time they pulled you over and arrested you among other things.
The standard of proof at a review hearing is very narrow:
- Was your BAC 0.08% or higher?
- Did the officer have reasonable suspicion to stop your car?
- Was the probable cause to arrest you for DUI?
- Did you refuse to take a breath, blood, or urine test after the arrest?
- Were you warned that test refusal would mean license suspension?
While the DHMSV may not decide to suspend your license after a hearing, the criminal court still has the ability to revoke or suspend your license based on your case. The two agencies act independently from one another.
Protecting Your Florida Driving Privileges
With the right legal representation by your side, you won’t have to think about the consequences you fear. You can be trust me to keep you informed and the legal options available to you. I have defended more than 5,000 DUI cases throughout Florida and have been defending suspended license cases for three decades. I have an extensive and practical knowledge of Florida’s DUI laws from my experience serving as an Assistant State Attorney and on the Florida Bar Traffic Court Rules Committee, on which I helped write DUI and traffic court rules.
If you are looking for a professional DUI defense lawyer in Miami who is committed to protecting your rights as a driver, you have come to the right place. I know that your choice in legal representation is one of the most important decisions that you will make right now. I can be trusted to defend your case from start to finish. If you are ready to enlist the service of a fierce advocate, contact my firm as soon as possible.
I handle each case that comes through my doors personally. Because I am directly in charge of your legal matters, I take your matters seriously. I will exhaust every avenue to ensure that you retain your license. Call now to schedule a free case evaluation and get started with my firm.