LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney David Ashley Haenel | Feb 6, 2013

Why is a DMV hearing after a Tampa DUI important?

When you are charged with a DUI in Tampa, the first thing you need to do is obtain a DUI Defense Attorney so they can attend the DMV hearing. The DMV hearing is a separate case from your DUI charges and, in many circumstances, people fail to realize this. The purpose of the DMV hearing is to provide you with the opportunity to challenge your license suspension.

You have ONLY Ten Days:

Another factor many drivers do not realize is that they only have a ten-day period of time following their DUI arrest to request the DMV hearing. Otherwise, it is not possible to challenge the license suspension related to your DUI arrest. When an administrative hearing is not requested, your right to one is automatically waived. Therefore, your DUI-related license suspension goes immediately into effect. Because this is such a short period of time, it is your responsibility to seek a Tampa defense attorney who will work aggressively toward representing your case.

What Occurs During the Hearing?

During this hearing, in addition to making every attempt to protect your driving privileges, your attorney will also be working toward gathering evidence necessary to defend your case. However, an experienced attorney will know that, during the hearing, the DHSMV will not be focusing on whether you are criminally guilty or not. They will be looking specifically at the circumstances surrounding your arrest, though. The process involves determining if the police officer had probable cause during the traffic stop, and if they believed you were driving under the influence.

The Following Questions Will Be Asked During the Hearing

  • Was the driver operating a vehicle when their BAC was at or greater than .08?
  • When offered the breath, urine, or blood test did the driver refuse these tests following their arrest?
  • Did the officer alert the driver to the fact that, if they refused to submit to any testing, they would have their license suspended?

You Could Still Lose Your License:

Keep in mind that, even if your license is not suspended during the Tampa DMV hearing, that does not mean you are not at risk of losing it later on in the process. When you go to court to face your criminal charges, you are at risk of losing your license again during those proceedings. The findings that occur during the DMV hearing will not have any impact on your criminal court case because they are two separate situations independent from one another.

A Summary of Your Responsibilities:

Remember, you are the one facing these charges, and it is your responsibility to make sure you follow through with everything that is required:

  • You will receive a Florida DUI Uniform Traffic Citation: this serves as your ten-day driving permit.
  • You have only ten days to request a DMV administrative hearing: this is when you have the right to challenge your license suspension.
  • You must hire an attorney immediately: remember that, if you do not request the hearing during that ten-day period, you are automatically waiving your rights. Therefore, you must hire an attorney during this period of time as well.

Additional resources provided by the author

Finebloom & Haenel P.A. 3426 West Kennedy Blvd Tampa, Fl 33609 (813) 649-8690

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