Asked over 3 years ago - FloridaFlag
How do I know which type of hearing to request to contest administrative license suspension when I dhave not been appointed a public defender yet? Arraignment is scheduled later than the 10 days to file contest
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First of all, an administrative suspension is a civil matter and thus the public defender has no authority or funding to represent or assist you in that matter. It is up to you to either make the call and set the hearing or to hire an attorney to do so. I strongly advise having an attorney attend the hearing on your behalf as they are a kind of Alice-In-Wonderland type of proceeding. Look for an attorney with experience in these hearings as nothing else can really prepare you for one.
Setting the hearing is always a good idea. It preserves your driving privilege until at least when the decision is rendered. It often provides an opportunity to see the State's evidence against you and it provides an opportunity to question, and lock in, the officers about what happened.
If you cannot afford an attorney, write a letter requesting a hearing and send it to the driver's license bureau by registered/certified mail to prove you sent it within the time limits and that it was received. Request an administrative hearing to contest a driver license suspension as the result of your citation, and provide the citation number.
Mr. Mosca is right. A public defender does not assist in these matters. It is considered a non-criminal matter. HURRY UP and hire an attorney. If you really cannot hire an attorney, go ahead and do it yourself anyway. Set a hearing ASAP. If you request an informal hearing, then you and the LEO do not go and the Hearing Officer just reviews any paperwork you provide and paperwork from LEO (cop). If you request formal review, both you and the LEO will show up and it's a sort of mini-trial where you can question the LEO and the hearing officer can question anyone. The PD will not be there for the formal review, it will be nerve-wracking, but you could do it and take notes and provide them to the PD. The PD may like it that you take in interest in your case. PD's seem to get a lot of clients that just don't care, but understand PD's are very very busy.
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