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DMV Hearings & Administrative Suspensions

DUI Driver's License Suspensions

As a result of your Tampa DUI arrest, your driver's license is subject to two different suspensions.

  1. The first is a DMV Administrative Suspension (Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles)
  2. The second is a Criminal Suspension (Court Suspension)

 

Florida DMV Administrative Suspension

The first driver's license suspension is imposed by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. This administrative suspension is imposed if:

a) Law enforcement arrested you for DUI, and you refused to submit to a breath, blood or urine test, OR

b) you were found to be driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher.

 

Florida's Ten Day Rule

Within 10 days from the date of your DUI arrest, the DMV will automatically suspend your driver's license. The suspension of your driver's license is handled separately from the criminal DUI offense.

To challenge the DMV's suspension of your driver's license, formal paperwork must be filed on your behalf within 10 days of your DUI arrest. An administrative hearing will be set and you will have the opportunity to challenge your driver's license suspension and potentially have your driver's license fully reinstated.

If you hire the Capaz Law Firm within 10 days of your DUI arrest, we will file the appropriate paperwork on your behalf to request a formal review by the DMV. As your Tampa DUI lawyer, we will obtain a temporary driving permit from the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles that will allow you to drive under a business-purpose restriction for 42 days until the formal review hearing. A business-purpose restriction allows you to drive for business, education, medical or religious reasons.

 

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Formal Review Hearing

The formal review hearing gives your DUI lawyer the opportunity to potentially have your driving privileges fully reinstated. See Florida Statute 322.2615.

Your DUI attorney will demand that the police department produce the evidence they allegedly have against you, including but not limited to: (1) police report, (2) probable cause affidavits, (3) witness statements, (4) breathalyzer results, and (5) video evidence. As your defense lawyer, we will also have the opportunity to subpoena the arresting officer to appear at the hearing and to challenge his findings before a DMV hearing officer.

After the formal review hearing, the DMV will issue an order within 7 days, either reversing or upholding the DUI suspension. If your DUI attorney prevails at the formal review hearing, you will be eligible to have your driver's license fully reinstated pending the resolution of your criminal DUI case.

 

Tampa DUI Hardship License

If the DMV upholds the driver's license suspension, you may be eligible for a hardship license. With DUI driver's license suspensions, a driver typically falls under one of two categories:

  1. DUI with a blood or breath alcohol level of .08 or higher. In this scenario, the driver must wait 30 days after the suspension before he can seek to obtain a hardship license.
  2. DUI where the driver refused the breath, blood or urine test. In this scenario, the driver must wait 90 days after the suspension before he can seek to obtain a hardship license.

To obtain a hardship license, you must enroll in a DUI substance abuse education course and evaluation. If you have not completed the DUI substance abuse education course and evaluation, the DMV could grant a hardship driver's license if you agree to complete the approved DUI substance abuse education course within 90 days of the reinstatement. Failure to complete the DUI education course or any other required substance abuse treatment will result in the cancellation of your hardship license until the DUI course and treatment is completed.

 

Florida Criminal Court Driver's License Suspension

As mentioned above, there are two potential suspensions involved with a DUI charge. The administrative suspension imposed by the Florida DMV and the criminal suspension imposed by the criminal court. If you are convicted of DUI in a Florida criminal court, a second and mandatory statutory suspension of your driver's license begins on the date of your criminal DUI conviction.

 

Criminal Suspension Periods

Depending on the type of DUI charge for which you are convicted, the following driver's license suspension periods could be imposed by the criminal court system:

First Conviction: Minimum 180 days driver's license revocation; max 1 year.

Second Conviction: Minimum 180 days driver's license revocation; max 1 year. Ineligible for a hardship license.

Second Conviction Within 5 Years: Minimum 5 years driver's license revocation. May be eligible for hardship after 1 year.

Third Conviction Within 10 Years of the Second Conviction: Minimum 10 years driver's license revocation. May be eligible for a hardship after 2 years.

Fourth Conviction (Regardless of When Prior Convictions Occurred): Mandatory permanent revocation of driver's license.

DUI Manslaughter: Mandatory permanent revocation of driver's license. If no prior DUI convictions, may be eligible for hardship after 5 years.

Manslaughter, DUI Serious Bodily Injury, or Vehicular Homicide Conviction: Minimum 3 year driver's license revocation.

 

Eligibility for Hardship License Following a Criminal Suspension

If the Tampa criminal court imposes a statutory suspension of your driver's license, you may be eligible for a hardship license following the suspension.

First Conviction: You must complete the DUI school and apply to the DMV to obtain a hardship license.

Second Conviction Within 5 Years: (5 yr Revocation) You may apply for a hardship hearing after 1 year. Before your application, you must complete the DUI school and remain in the DUI program for the remainder of your revocation period.

Third Conviction Within 10 Years: (10 yr Revocation) You may request a hardship reinstatement hearing after the first 2 years of your revocation. To apply, you must have completed the DUI school and remain in the DUI program for the remainder of your 10 year revocation period. Additionally, you will be required to install an ignition-interlock device for the first 2 years.

 

Contact Tampa DUI Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested or charged with a DUI offense in Tampa, contact DUI lawyer Dereck Capaz, Esq., at the Capaz Law Firm at (813) 440-2700. Having a capable and knowledgeable Tampa DUI defense lawyer working for you can make a difference in the outcome your case. The initial consultation is free, and we are always available to advise you on the proper course of action for your DUI charge.

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