I Got Arrested for a Florida DUI. Will DMV Take My License Like the Cop Said?
What is an administrative suspension and how does it effect my criminal charges?Administrative suspensions are separate and distinct from criminal cases. If you blow over .08 or you refuse to blow, you will be administratively suspended after a ten day grace period. During that first ten day period you can drive using your DUI citation as your d/l. The purpose of that ten day period is to allow you apply for a "formal review hearing" with the DHSMV, if you choose to do so. You can demand your right to one of these hearings by filing a copy of your citation with a letter demanding the hearing at the local DHSMV "Bureau of Administrative Reviews" office. Once you make this demand they have to give you a hearing and a business purposes only license to drive until the date of your hearing. At the hearing the DHSMV hearing officer (no judge or jury) will determine whether there was probable cause to arrest you and whether you blew over or refused. You have a right to subpoena witnesses. Whether you win or lose has no bearing on the outcome of the criminal case.
What happens if I either lose the hearing, don't ask for one, or I subsequently get suspended by the criminal case after winning at DMV?As referenced in section one, above, the administrative case is separate from your criminal case. You can "win" your license back in the administrative action and still later be convicted of DUI in criminal court and have it suspended by the judge. You can also not ask for a review hearing or lose the hearing. In any event that you are suspended, DHSMV takes the position that first time offenders are entitled to Business Purpose (or "Hardship") licenses after 30 days from date of effective suspension, if you blew; or 90 days, if you refused. To get the hardship you only have to show that you are signed up for DUI School (you have to follow up on the school later or they will take it back). Drivers with prior DUIs are not eligible for BPOs. In some cases drivers may choose not to contest the suspension at an administrative review hearing, so they can get the hard suspension period over with. Good DUI firms handle administrative hearings as part of the representation in a DUI.