DUI Formal Review Hearing
You only have ten (10) days after your arrest for DUI in Tampa or Plant City in Hillsborough County, Florida, to contest the administrative suspension of your driver's license.
Fighting the suspension of your driver's license gives your attorney the ability to subpoena and cross-examine all of the witnesses against you early in the case. For that reason, the formal review hearing is one of the most important parts of fighting your DUI case.
You should hire an attorney within ten (10) days after the arrest so that your attorney can demand a formal review hearing. When your attorney demands your formal review hearing, the attorney can get you a 42-day permit so that you can continue to drive for hardship or business purposes such as work, church, and school.
If you win the hearing, the suspension will be invalidated and forever removed from your driving record. Even if you are not ultimately successful in avoiding the suspension, the evidence gained at the hearing is essential to fighting your DUI charge in the criminal case.
Attorney DUI Formal Review Hearing in Tampa, FL
Contact the Tampa DUI Lawyers at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss your case today. We provide free initial consultations so that you can make an informed decision about hiring the best Tampa DUI attorney to fight your case.
Whether you are charged with a first DUI or a second or subsequent offense, we can help. We know how to fight a DUI case involving a breath test, blood test, urine test, or a refusal to submit to testing.
Click here to see our Recent DUI Case Results at DUI Formal Review Hearings.
Our main office is in downtown Tampa in Hillsborough County, FL. We also fight drunk driving charges in New Port Richey in Pasco County, FL. Our second office is located at 7509 Little Road across from the courthouse at the West Pasco Judicial Center.
During the consultation, we can talk with you about the steps we take in a formal review hearing to protect your rights. Call 813-250-0500 today to schedule a phone or office consultation.
Contest the Administrative Suspension - Don't Waive Anything
The formal review hearing is one of the most important parts of your case. To protect your right to the formal review hearing, you must request it in writing within ten (10) days of your arrest. Do not waive this important right.
Your right to a FORMAL REVIEW HEARING is explained on the back of the DUI citation that you received although it is intentionally worded in a very confusing way.
Information Regarding Review Hearing
This will serve as notice of final order of license suspension / disqualification effective on the date it was issued to you. You may, request a formal or informal review of the suspension / disqualification, or if this is your first DUI-related offense, you may waive the review and request a review to determine eligibility for a restricted license.
If you want the department to conduct a review of your suspension / disqualification, you must request such review at the location indicated on the reverse side.
Your request must be submitted in writing within ten (10) calendar days following the date of suspension / disqualification and include a copy of this notice.
When requesting a review, or if this is your first DUI-related offense and you wish to waive the review and request an eligibility review for a restricted license, you must include a non-refundable filing fee of $25 made payable to DHSMV.
The informal review shall consist solely of an examination of the materials submitted by you and the law enforcement officer or correctional officer. The formal review allows you to be heard and present witness in regard to this suspension / disqualification.
WAIVER OF FORMAL / INFORMAL REVIEW
If this is your first DUI-related offense and you otherwise qualify, you may waive your right to a review of the suspension and receive a business purpose only license for use during the period your driver license is suspended.
A non-refundable filing fee of $25 made payable to DHSMV is required for determination of your eligibility for a restricted license.....
Failure to request a review within the ten (10) day period shall result in the waiver of your right to a review of the suspension / disqualification and a review of your eligibility for a restricted license.
Formal Review Hearing to Invalidate an Administrative Suspension
For many people, the most difficult consequence of the DUI arrest in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL, is the driver's license suspension. During the hearing, the hearing office will complete a "checklist/case tracking" form (HSVM 78058)(REV 1/23/13 S) anytime there is a request for a review. The form will note any changes, contacts, or unusual occurrences and the reason for invalidation if any.
Winning the review hearing might occur for any of the following reasons:
- the indicators of alcohol impairment were insufficient to establish probable cause for the driver's arrest;
- the arresting officer or breath test operator failed to appear at the hearing;
- inconsistencies in the evidence;
- insufficient evidence to show the person arrested was behind the wheel, particularly in a DUI car accident case;
- failure to provide a legally sufficient reason for the traffic stop or DUI arrest;
- failure of the officer to strictly follow the 20 minute observation period;
- showing that any failure to take the DUI case should not count as a "refusal" because the failure was not willful;
- failure to show that BOTH of the breath test readings were over a .08; or
- showing the officer failed to properly read Florida's Implied Consent Warning.
Fighting the Administrative Suspension - An Important Part of Your DUI Case
Your attorney in a misdemeanor DUI case does not always have a right to take the officer's deposition before trial or motions. In many ways, the formal review hearing provides all of the same benefits of a deposition because your Tampa DUI Attorney can cross-examine all of the witnesses under oath.
That testimony can then be typed up into a transcript that can be used at trial or a motion hearing to impeach the officer's testimony.
Florida law provides for a procedure to enforce noncompliance by a witness with the subpoena issued under Florida Statute Section 322.2615(6)(b) appears in the next succeeding subsection and reads as follows:
(c) A party may seek enforcement of a subpoena under paragraph (b) by filing a petition for enforcement in the circuit court of the judicial circuit in which the person failing to comply with the subpoena resides. A failure to comply with an order of the court shall result in a finding of contempt of court. However, a person is not in contempt while a subpoena is being challenged.
See State v Leyva, 65 So 3d 1137, 1138 [Fla Dist Ct App 2011].
Location of the Bureau of Administrative Review Office in Tampa, FL
For any DUI arrest in Hillsborough County, Florida, the administrative review hearing to fight the administrative suspension of your driver's license will be heard at the Office of the Bureau of Administrative Review:Office for the Bureau of Administrative Reviews
2814 E. Hillsborough Ave.
Tampa, FL 33610
What Triggers the Administrative Suspension?
After the DUI arrest, the officer will take your driver's license and issue you a citation which contains a 10-day driving permit. During those ten (10) days, you must request a formal review hearing to protect your driver's license.
The hard suspension is the period during the suspension that you can not drive for any reason. After you have served the hard suspension period, you can apply for a hardship or "business purpose only" permit that allows you to time to work, school or church.
If you fail to take the important step of demanding the formal review hearing then your driver's license will be suspended for the following time periods:
The Administrative Suspension After a First DUI Arrest:
- Breath Test:
- If you took the breath test then your Florida driver’s license may be suspended for 6 months with a 30-day hard suspension.
- DUI Refusal:
- If you refused then your Florida driver’s license may be suspended for 12 months with a 90-day hard suspension.
- For a first DUI arrest that occurs after July 1, 2013, you can request a review of eligibility for a “Business Purpose Only” restricted driving privilege to avoid either the 30 day or 90 day hard suspension period but that request will forever waive your right to contest the suspension during a formal or informal review hearing. Instead, we recommend demanding a formal review hearing for a first DUI.
Administrative Suspension After a Second DUI Arrest and Suspension:
- Breath Test:
- If you took the breath test, then your Florida driver's license may be suspended for 12-month suspension with a 30-day hard suspension.
- DUI Refusal with a Prior High Breath Test:
- If you refused the test, and your first DUI suspension was after a breath test, then you will suffer a 12-month suspension with a 90-day hard suspension.
- DUI Refusal with a Prior Refusal:
- If you refused the test, and your first suspension was after a refusal, then you will suffer an 18-month suspension with an 18-month hard suspension.
Administrative Suspension After a Third or Subsequent DUI Arrest and Suspension:
- Breath Test:
- If you took the breath test then you will suffer a 12-month suspension with a 12-month hard suspension.
- DUI Refusal without a Prior Refusal:
- If you refused the breath test and if all prior offenses were after a breath test, then you will suffer a 12-month suspension with a 12-month hard suspension.
- DUI Refusal with a Prior Refusal:
- If you refused the breath test and one of the prior offenses was after a refusal, then you will suffer a 18-month suspension with an 18-month hard suspension.
Requirements for the Formal Review Hearing in Florida
Under §322.2615(6)(d), Fla. Stat. “[t]he Department must, within seven working days after a formal review hearing, send notice to the person of the hearing officer's decision as to whether sufficient cause exists to sustain, amend, or invalidate the suspension.”
In addition, Fla. Admin. Code R. 15A-6.013(11), states that “the hearing officer is authorized to enter a final order.” Such order must be transmitted to the driver no later than seven working days from the close of the hearing unless waived by the driver.
Keep in mind that hearsay is admissible at the formal review hearing at the DHSMV. For this reason, your criminal defense attorney should seek and serve a subpoena for every witness named in the packet (unless they have a very good reason not to do so). Since the failure to appear of the arresting officer or breath test operator results in the suspension being invalidated, these witnesses will often be served with a subpoena.
The Formal Review Hearing in Hillsborough County, FL
If you have been arrested for DUI in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL, contact the Sammis Law Firm to schedule a free confidential consultation to discuss the particular facts of your case.
During the consultation, you can discuss the particular facts of your case directly with an attorney so that you can learn what you need to do immediately to protect your driver's license for an administrative suspension while you fight your DUI case.
Call the DUI Lawyers in Tampa, FL, at 813-250-0500 today. Let us put our experience in fighting the administrative suspension to work for you.
This article was last updated on Friday, December 19, 2019.