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Formal Review Hearings

Driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida can lead to your license being suspended. You may have refused DUI testing or failed DUI testing. No matter how you were arrested, it’s important to start your defense now. Fighting your suspension means you will have to file a request for a formal review hearing at the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

You only have 10 days after your arrest to contest your license suspension. It’s important that you never waive your right to a formal review hearing. Before the hearing, your attorney can get you a temporary 42-day permit for essential needs such as work or school. Even if you don’t win the evidence gathered in the hearing is vital to fighting your DUI.

If you or someone you know has received a “Notice of Suspension” for DUI, it’s important that you contact a seasoned criminal defense attorney.

DUI Attorney for Formal Review Hearings in Brevard County, Florida

Living in Florida without a usable license is hard. Many use their cars for work, school and to transport their family members. A license suspension is a hindrance on your life that you don’t need. Thankfully, there are options. Don’t waive your right to a formal review hearing and contact the attorneys at Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy.

The attorneys at Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy have years of experience handling DUI cases. We have represented clients in both trial proceedings and formal review hearings. With our knowledge, Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy can create a strong defense for you. Stay ahead of your suspension with Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy.

Contact us today at (321) 248-7742 for a free consultation. Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy accepts clients throughout the greater Brevard County and surrounding counties including Volusia County and Indian River County.

Overview of Formal Review Hearings in Florida

  • Is Your License Suspended Immediately After a DUI?
  • Length of Suspension for a DUI
  • Formal Review Hearing Proceedings
  • Benefits of Having an Attorney at a Formal Review Hearing
  • Additional Resources

Is Your License Suspended Immediately After a DUI in Florida?

If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, the answer is yes. Police officers have the right to arrest you for DUI if they have probable cause. They can even arrest you if you’ve been injured due to a DUI accident. Probable cause can be a tricky to define. It basically means that the police officer has sufficient enough evidence to warrant belief that you’re committing a crime.

You can also have your license suspended for refusing to comply with DUI chemical testing. Law enforcement uses a series of physical and chemical tests to determine impairment. Typically, they begin with field sobriety testing and move onto chemical testing such as breath analysis afterwards. If you refuse to submit to chemical testing, then your license is immediately suspended.


Length of License Suspension for a Florida DUI

The suspension length of your license relies on if you refused or failed chemical testing. Most attorneys will advise you to refuse testing. Even though the suspension term is normally longer for a refusal, it’s always a better option to refuse. Refusing chemical testing will mean that the prosecution will have no concrete evidence against you. Additionally, you can contest your suspension with an attorney through a formal review hearing.

Listed below are the suspension lengths for a Florida DUI.

Suspension Term After First DUI Arrest:

  • Failed Chemical Testing: 6-month suspension.
  • Refused Chemical Testing: 12-month suspension.

Suspension Term After Second DUI Arrest:

  • Failed Chemical Testing: 12-month suspension.
  • Refused Chemical Testing with Prior Failed Test: 12-month suspension.
  • Refused Chemical Testing with Prior Refusal: 18-month suspension.

Suspension Term After Third or Subsequent DUI Arrest:

  • Failed Chemical Testing: 12-month suspension.
  • Refused Chemical Testing with Prior Failed Test: 12-month suspension.
  • Refused Chemical Testing with Prior Refusal: 18-month suspension.

Formal Review Hearing Proceedings in Florida

Formal review hearings are scheduled at the Bureau of Administrative Reviews office. You only have 10 days to file the appropriate paperwork and forms for a formal review hearing. Once the request is filed, the Department will have 30 days to schedule a formal review hearing.

If you’re eligible, you may qualify for a 42-day temporary permit for business purposes. This is to ensure that you can still perform essential tasks while awaiting your hearing date. It may be beneficial to have a temporary permit, but once the 42 days are up the fate of your license depends on the outcome of the hearing.

At the hearing you can contest your license suspension. Your arresting officer may also make an appearance at the hearing. In some cases, the officer will provide evidence and testimony that you were impaired while driving and the stop was lawful.

It’s not just important, but necessary that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can collect the appropriate evidence and paperwork to battle for your license. An attorney can also argue that the equipment or samples used during chemical testing were faulty.

Factors that determine the outcome of a formal review hearing include:

  • If the officer had probable cause;
  • If the defendant’s BAC level was .08 or higher;
  • Whether the car was on or not;
  • Whether the car was operable or not;
  • The defendant’s position in the car;
  • If the defendant was read their Miranda warnings;
  • If the defendant refused testing or not;
  • Any inconsistencies in the evidence;
  • If the defendant appeared impaired;
  • If the police officer performed an illegal search and seizure;
  • Different readings for BAC level;
  • If the defendant was told about Implied Consent Laws; and
  • If the samples or equipment used for chemical testing were faulty.

Benefits for Having an Attorney During a Formal Review Hearing

Some may waive their right to a formal review hearing because they believe they’re already in hot water. It’s incredibly important that you don’t waive your right to a formal review hearing. A formal review hearing is the only opportunity you have to contest you license suspension.

If you hire a criminal defense attorney, your chances of winning a formal review hearing significantly increase. A skilled attorney can argue on your behalf, collect the appropriate paper work and cross-examine your arresting officer. There are many benefits to hiring an attorney including:

  • Your attorney will get a chance to cross-examine your arresting officer (which isn’t always an option in a criminal trial);
  • Testimony used in the formal review hearing can be used in your trial;
  • Formal review hearing evidence can be used in your trial; and
  • If the hearing deems you to be “not guilty,” you may be able to reduce or dismiss your charges entirely.

Additional Resources

Florida DUI Laws – Visit the official website for Online Sunshine, a collection of Florida state laws and legislation. Find more information surrounding driving under the influence including charge specifics, penalties and admissible defenses in court.

Administrative Suspension Review Rules – Visit the official website for Florida Administrative Code and Register to learn more about formal review hearing rules. Gain access to important forms, consequences for failure to appear and what separates a formal and informal review hearing.


Lawyer for Formal Review Hearing in Brevard County, Florida

If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI, you must not be idle. You only have 10 days to file for a formal review hearing. If you miss the deadline you lose your only chance to contest your license suspension. Don’t wait a second longer to retain your driving privileges. Contact the attorneys at Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy.

The attorneys at Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy are skilled at representing clients in a criminal and administrative setting. We will do whatever is possible to help you drive again. Additionally, we can utilize any important evidence from your hearing in your trial. Have some peace of mind now and call Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy.

Call today at (321) 248-7742 to schedule a free consultation. We practice throughout the greater Brevard County area and surrounding counties including Volusia County and Indian River County.

Why Hire Germain & McCarthy?

  • Our attorneys have over 20 years of combined experience.
  • We have an exceptional reputation & hundreds of happy clients.
  • Our attorneys have a proven track record in handling cases like yours.
  • We offer free consultations to all of our clients no matter the case.
  • We are available and accessible 24/7 for all of your legal needs.