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DHSMV Hearing Attorney in Tampa, FL
If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you only have 10 days in which you can request your first hearing. Your first hearing will be with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) if you request it. This is an administrative, rather than a criminal hearing that concerns your driving privileges. If you fail to request this hearing, your opportunity to fight a license suspension will be lost. For these types of hearings, don’t waste any time in contacting a Tampa DHSMV Hearing lawyer from our firm. At Taracks & Associates, we can help you file a request for a hearing and represent you at your DHSMV hearing.
What Happens at the DHSMV Hearing?
In Florida, you could lose your driving privilege before your case even goes to trial according to this ten-day rule. Generally speaking, the DHSMV hearing gives you the opportunity to present evidence in your favor and explain why your license shouldn’t be taken away. After your arrest, you will be mailed a notice that will include the deadline for filing for this administrative license hearing. Until you are able to attend this hearing, you will be issued a temporary driving permit that is good for 30 days.
If your DHSMV hearing is not schedule within 30 days, then your temporary permit will be extended until you can attend a hearing. At your DHSMV hearing, you can expect to present your case before someone employed at the DHSMV. The law enforcement official who arrested you may or may not be present at this hearing. Again, this is not a criminal hearing and it will not have a bearing on your criminal hearing. If the evidence against you compels the DHSMV employee to refuse a license restoration, then you may be able to petition for a hardship license.
Changes to Florida Administrative License Suspension Laws
As of July 1, 2013, Florida has updated administrative license suspension laws. Once you are arrested for DUI, you will have ten days to request either: 1) a formal hearing, 2) an informal hearing or 3) a hardship license review. Prior to July 1, people arrested for DUI were required to have their licenses suspended for at least 30 days. Florida law has also changed in the area of administrative suspensions for breath test refusals. Prior to this recent change, the DMV could suspend a person’s license for a year. People who challenged this suspension and lost would have to endure three months of license suspension. Now, people who are required to drive for business purposes such as driving to school or work may be able to keep their right to drive during this period.
Defenses Against License Suspension
In order to get your license restored, you must combat the evidence against you. A Tampa DHSMV attorney from our firm will be able to evaluate your case in order to determine if there are any flaws in your arrest or the evidence obtained from your arrest. Consider the following options:
- Unlawful Police Stops: The law enforcement official that arrested you must have had reasonable cause to pull you over and search your person. If the arresting officer gave no reason for stopping you, then your license may be restored. If you were arrested at a DUI checkpoint, the law enforcement official must have been using a predetermined screening method (i.e. “every fourth car”).
- Faulty Breath Machine: Law enforcement officials use various brands approved by the Florida Highway Patrol to administer breath testing of blood alcohol concentration. Our firm can investigate the breath machine used in your case or breath machines like it in order to find if there are any glitches or history of errors.
- Poorly Administered Tests: There is very specific protocol that must be followed when administering field sobriety tests and breath tests. If the arresting officer failed to administer the test according to protocol, then the evidence obtained from that test is considered to be flawed and may be thrown out.
Fighting for You Every Step of the Way
Without a driver’s license, you may have difficulty completing everyday tasks like grocery shopping and getting to work. Protect your driving privilege and talk to a Tampa attorney from Taracks & Associates today. Even if you are unable to restore your driving privileges, you may be able to qualify for a hardship license. This type of license would allow you to drive only to certain places at designated times of the day. To learn more about qualifying for a hardship license, a DHSMV hearing or fighting your DUI criminal charges, please do not hesitate to contact a Tampa DHSMV hearing lawyer from our firm today!