Administrative License Suspension Defense Attorney in Miami
Defending Your Driving Privileges in Fort Lauderdale
Under Florida Statute § 322.2615(1)(a), a police officer must suspend the driving privilege of a person who either is driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle and who has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, or refused to submit to chemical test to determine his or her BAC. The statute further notes that the officer must take the person’s driver license, issue a 10-day temporary permit if the alleged offender is otherwise eligible for the driving privilege, and issue a notice of suspension.
The 10-day window is crucial because it signifies the very limited timeframe in which a person can request an administrative review hearing to challenge his or her suspension. It is also important to keep in mind that an administrative hearing is an entirely separate matter from the criminal case that stems from a DUI arrest, so it is entirely possible that a person could still have his or her license suspended even if he or she is not convicted of drunk driving.
Has your Florida driver's license been suspended or revoked because of a DUI arrest in Fort Lauderdale or the surrounding areas? You will want to contact The Hoffman Firm as soon as possible. Our Miami license suspension defense attorney is prepared to fight for you.
Types of Florida Administrative License Suspension Hearings
The Florida Bureau of Administrative Reviews (BAR) is authorized under to conduct hearings and reviews to determine eligibility to reinstate driver license suspensions and revocations. The BAR conducts hearings on a wide variety of issues, but many concern DUI arrests.
The three types of hearings that are most common following a drunk driving arrest include:
- Formal review: Drivers can challenge suspensions or revocations of their driving privileges and have legal counsel and witnesses present
- Informal review: A hearing officer is the only person present for a review of all materials in the case file to challenge the suspension or revocation of a person's driving privilege
- Hardship hearings: Drivers can request business or employment-restricted licenses because of undue hardship resulting from the suspension or revocation of their driving privileges
Under Florida Statute § 322.2615(7), a hearing officer will determine by a preponderance of the evidence whether sufficient cause exists to sustain, amend, or invalidate the suspension.
The scope of the review is limited to the following issues when the license was suspended for driving with a BAC of 0.08 or higher:
- Whether the law enforcement officer had probable cause to believe that the person was driving a motor vehicle in this state while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or chemical or controlled substances
- Whether the person whose license was suspended had an unlawful blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher
When a license was suspended for refusal to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test, the scope of the review is limited to the following issues:
- Whether the law enforcement officer had probable cause to believe that the person was driving while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or chemical or controlled substances
- Whether the person refused to submit to any such test after being requested to do so by a law enforcement officer or correctional officer
Administrative License Suspension Periods in Broward County
Florida Statute § 322.271 and Florida Statute § 322.28 establish the following revocation periods relating to DUI offenses:
- First offense without bodily injury: Minimum 180 days up to one-year revocation
- First offense with bodily injury: Minimum three years revocation
- Second offense within five years of prior DUI conviction: Minimum five years revocation with eligibility for hardship reinstatement after one year
- Second offense five or more years after first conviction: Minimum 180 days up to one-year revocation if the offense did not involve bodily injury, minimum three years revocation if the case involves bodily injury
- Third offense within 10 years of the second conviction: Minimum 10 years revocation with eligibility for a hardship reinstatement after two years
- Third offense 10 or more years after the second conviction: Minimum 180 days up to one-year revocation if the offense did not involve bodily injury, minimum three years revocation if the case involves bodily harm
- Fourth conviction: Mandatory permanent revocation with eligibility for hardship reinstatement after five years (revocation period begins upon date of release from incarceration if the alleged offender is incarcerated)
- DUI manslaughter: Mandatory permanent revocation with eligibility for hardship reinstatement after five years if there are no prior DUI related convictions
- Manslaughter, DUI serious bodily injury, or vehicular homicide convictions: Minimum three-year revocation.
Under Florida Statute § 322.2616, license suspension periods are different for alleged offenders who are under 21 years of age.
In such cases, periods of revocation are as follows:
- First suspension for DUI arrest involving BAC of 0.02 or higher: Six months
- Second or subsequent suspension for DUI arrest involving BAC of 0.02 or higher: One year
- First suspension for refusal to submit to breath testing: One year
- Second or subsequent suspensions for refusal to submit: 18 months
Another group of drivers who have different license suspension penalties is people with commercial driver's licenses (CDLs). A DUI arrest involving a BAC of 0.04 or higher or refusal to submit to testing will result in a one-year revocation of the driver's CDL, but a second or subsequent conviction or refusal results in permanent disqualification from operating commercial motor vehicles.
Work with Our Miami License Suspension Defense Attorney
If your driver's license has been suspended or revoked because of a DUI arrest in Broward County, it is in your best interest to quickly retain legal counsel. The Hoffman Firm represents clients aggressively.
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