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Arrested for DUI in Miami

Arrested for DUI in Miami

Posted By Parks & Braxton, PA || 5-Jul-2016

The most common phrase used by my clients who were arrested for driving under the influence is how overwhelmed they are. Not simply overwhelmed at the prospect of being charged with a crime and having no idea how to handle it. But more specifically, overwhelmed at the prospect of losing their driver’s license and not being able to get to work. The following should provide a solid understanding of what to expect as it relates to the suspension process resulting from a DUI arrest.

The officer told me I have ten days. What does that mean? First, presuming a person held a valid license prior to the arrest for DUI, they can drive for 10 days with the DUI citation. In addition, those ten days are for unlimited purposes. Meaning, there are no driving restrictions during the ten day period. However, at the conclusion of the 10 day period after an arrest for DUI in miami, most people will face an administrative suspension of their driving privileges. It is important to understand the difference between the administrative process as opposed to the criminal process which takes place in court. The administrative suspension occurs well before a person appears in court. It happens simply by virtue of the fact that they either had a breath or blood alcohol level in excess of a .08, or they refused to submit to a breath, blood or urine test. If the person blew in excess of a .08, the suspension is for a period of six (6) months for a first suspension or twelve (12) months if the person had a prior administrative DUI suspension. On the other hand, if an individual refuses to submit to a breath, blood or urine test the suspension is for a period of 1 year for a first refusal or 18 months if the person has refused to submit to testing in the past. If an individual took a breath or blood test and the level was under a .08 there is no administrative suspension. There is never an administrative suspension if an individual takes a urine test regardless of the results.

From the date of the arrest, a person has 10 days to challenge the administrative suspension. This is accomplished by filing an application for a formal review hearing with the DMV. The formal review hearing is a person’s due process right to fight the suspension. The hearing takes place at the DMV rather than court. In addition, there is no Judge. Rather, a Department Highway Safety Motor Vehicles hearing officer presides over the formal review hearing. Once the application is filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles, a hearing will be set within a period of 30 days. In addition, the defendant will receive a permit to drive for a period of 42 days. It is important to note that the permit is restricted to non­recreational driving. During this period of time, the attorney representing the defendant will request a copy of all the documents that were provided by the police which allegedly support the suspension. Subsequently, the DUI attorney must determine whether to subpoena witnesses. If the DUI lawyer believes that the documents do not legally support a suspension, than he/she will not request any subpoenas. This means that rather than questioning the witnesses, the miami DUI lawyer is going to make legal argument explaining why the license should not be suspended. On the other hand, if the lawyer believes that the documents do in fact support a suspension, witnesses will be called in to testify. At the conclusion of the hearing, the DMV will render a verdict within 7 business days. If successful, the driving privileges are reinstated. Otherwise, the suspension remains. Additionally, the defendant is not eligible for a hardship for (1) 30 days if they provided a breath/blood test in excess of a .08, (2) 90 days if they refused testing, (3) 18 months if they refused and had a prior suspension for refusing to submit to testing. If the individual does not have a prior suspension for DUI and has never been previously convicted of a DUI there is an alternative to the above procedure. As of 2013, Florida law provides that a person may apply for a hardship within the first 10 days of arrest and waive the formal review hearing. As a result, the defendant must be prepared to swear under oath that the above facts are true and correct. In addition, the individual must sign up for DUI school with the promise to complete it within 90 days. It should be noted that the completion of DUI school cannot be used against the defendant in the criminal charge. Ultimately, the defendant will receive a hardship permit and guarantee that they will be able to drive uninterrupted for the entirety of the suspension. Many of my clients hold a commercial driver’s license. Since the hardship does not provide a person with the opportunity to drive for CDL purposes, the individual must apply for the formal review hearing if they want to keep driving with the commercial driver’s license. In deciding whether to apply for the formal review hearing or apply for the hardship, the answer is consult with a Miami DUI lawyer. In many case, the Miami DUI attorney can give you a better perspective relating to your chances at a formal review hearing. If you have any questions, feel free to call Parks & Braxton, P.A. at (305) 655­-2900.

Categories: DUI