DUI Suspension – Administrative Formal Review Hearing  – Waiver

When an individual is arrested in Florida, and charged with DUI, their driver’s license is almost always automatically revoked.  Depending on what happens during the incident leading up to the arrest, the individual’s license will either be automatically revoked for six (6) months or twelve (12) months (1 year), if at all.

There are three (3) major scenarios that a driver, being asked to submit to a breath test, will encounter when being charged with DUI for the first time:

Scenario 1: If, pursuant to a legal DUI investigation, a driver is asked to submit to a breath test, and the driver properly consents, and provides a breath sample that reports a reading of less than 0.08, then the driver’s driver’s license will not be automatically revoked.

Scenario 2: If, pursuant to a legal DUI investigation, a driver is asked to submit to a breath test, and the driver properly consents, and provides a breath sample that reports a reading of 0.08 or higher, then the driver’s driver’s license will be immediately revoked for a period of 6 months.  When arrested, the driver will be given a DUI Citation that acts as a hardship license for 10 days.  The first 30 days, once the ten day temporary license expires, is a “hard suspension” which means the driver is absolutely not legally allowed to operate a motor vehicle.  After this 30 day hard suspension has run its course, then the driver MAY be entitled to a hardship license.  The hardship license may only be available upon providing proof of enrollment in an approved Level 1 DUI School.  the Driver can only apply for a hardship license at the Bureau of Administrative Reviews.  Each county has a designated Driver’s License Location that houses the Bureau of Administrative Reviews (BAR), so before leaving your house, make sure to find out where the BAR is in your county.

Scenario 3: If, pursuant to a legal DUI investigation, a driver is asked to submit to a breath test, and the driver refuses to submit to a breath test, the driver’s driver’s license will be immediately revoked for a period of 1 year. When arrested, the driver will be given a DUI Citation that acts as a hardship license for 10 days.  The first 90 days, once the ten day temporary license expires, is a “hard suspension” which means the driver is absolutely not legally allowed to operate a motor vehicle.  After this 90 day hard suspension has run its course, then the driver MAY be entitled to a hardship license.  The hardship license may only be available upon providing proof of enrollment in an approved Level 1 DUI School.  the Driver can only apply for a hardship license at the Bureau of Administrative Reviews.  Each county has a designated Driver’s License Location that houses the Bureau of Administrative Reviews (BAR), so before leaving your house, make sure to find out where the BAR is in your county.

When faced with one of these scenarios, what options does the driver have?

As of July 2013, Drivers faced with either scenario 2 or scenario 3, now have the option of Waiving their right to a formal review hearing.

What does this mean?

First we must understand what a Formal review Hearing is…..

In Scenario 2 and Scenario 3, the driver has the opportunity to request a formal review hearing within ten days of the automatic driver’s license revocation.  A formal review hearing, is a hearing in front a neutral magistrate that is appointed by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), to review all of the evidence presented by the arresting officers, and any evidence the driver has to present.  At the formal review hearing, the driver, either pro se, or through the help of an attorney, can make arguments and present evidence that will be considered by the magistrate when determining the validity of the suspension.  After the hearing, which will usually last between 1 minute, and 1 hour, the magistrate will issue a decision within 10 days.  Their decision will be to either sustain the suspension (this means they rule against the driver), or to overrule the suspension (this means they ruled in favor of the driver).  If the magistrate rules in favor of the driver, the driver’s driver’s license will be restored and valid as if it were never revoked.  The formal review hearing often involves witness testimony, the arresting officers being subpoenaed to appear, and a great deal of time and resources on the part of all parties involved.

So What is a Formal Review Waiver, and why should I consider it?

A formal review waiver is exactly what it sounds like.  A formal review waiver is when the driver, who is entitled to a formal review hearing, waives his or her right to the formal review hearing.  In exchange for the driver waiving their right to a formal review hearing, the Bureau of Administrative Reviews will grant the driver eligibility to have a hardship license immediately, and without undergoing the “hard suspension” discussed earlier in this article.  Often times, this is an excellent opportunity for the driver to avoid the “hard suspension” down time that they would normally experience as a result of a DUI revocation.

Shouldn’t I just waive my right to a Formal Review Hearing?

the answer to this question depends on the facts of your case.  Ever DUI case has its own unique set of facts.  the Attorneys at GELLER – Criminal | Traffic | DUI – Defense Attorneys, are experienced in reviewing these facts, and helping their clients make the right decision.  In some circumstances, it may not be the best option to waive your right to a formal review hearing, while in other circumstances, the formal review waiver is the best option.

 

 

GELLER – Criminal | Traffic | DUI – Defense Attorneys, are able to help you with these types of cases in Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and Palm Beach County, including all of the following cities: Miami, Doral, Hialeah, Miami Beach, Homestead, Miami Lakes, Kendall, Miami Gardens, Hialeah Gardens, Ojus, Aventura, Perrine, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Wynwood, Midtown, Key Biscayne, Miami Springs, South Miami, Sweetwater, West Miami,  North Bay Village, Bay Harbor Islands, Opa-Locka, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Miami Shores, Brickell, Downtown Miami, Overtown, Florida City, Sunny Isles Beach, Golden Beach, Kendall Lakes, West Park, Pembroke Park, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Weston, Davie, Sunrise, Plantation, Margate, Coral Springs, Parkland, Deerfield Beach, Hallandale, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood Beach, Southwest Ranches, Oakland Park, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale Beach, Lauderhill, Lauderdale Lakes, Wilton Manors, Coconut Creek, Dania, Dania Beach, Pompano, Pompano Beach, Miramar, Tamarac, Cooper City, North Lauderdale