When an individual wants to challenge the suspension of their license following a first offense DUI charge in Ft. Lauderdale, they will take a few different important steps starting by requesting an administrative review hearing at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
The department would then issue a temporary restricted license for the individual. A hearing would take place and if the department finds that the suspension is unlawful, they would get their license back. If the department finds that it is a lawful suspension, they would go forward in suspending the person’s license as they originally planned.
Administrative Review Hearings
For first time DUI offenders, the Florida Department of Motor Vehicle has a procedure called an administrative review. There are two different types of review hearings, one is a formal review and the other is an informal review. In a formal review, the individual can call witnesses to testify in front of a hearing officer at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
With the informal review, there are no witnesses. It is a review based on the paperwork and documents. If an individual wants to challenge the suspension of the driver’s license, they have due process rights. They have a right to a hearing and an opportunity to be heard before the department takes full action against their driver’s license.
One caveat to these reviews is that if a person waives their right to challenge the suspension of the driver’s license after a first-offense DUI in Ft. Lauderdale, they file that waiver within the first 10 days, and show enrollment into a DUI school, they can avoid the “hard time period” of suspension. That means they avoid the period with no driving at all, which the department would normally impose.
If a person goes through the waiver process and does that within the first 10 days and notifies the Department of Motor Vehicles that they are not challenging the suspension of the driver’s license, they forego that hard time suspension which is 30 days on a six months suspension for driving with an unlawful blood alcohol and 90 days on refusal type of case which involves a 12 months suspension of the driver’s license.
If acquitted of a DUI, depending on what else is going on with that person’s license and whether they are still involved with the administrative suspension which starts on the day of the arrest, they would have to finish out or abide by whatever restrictions they have administratively. Assuming at the time of the acquittal that the license is clear, there is nothing an individual has to do if they already served their administrative suspension and had their license returned.
Some people choose not to take any action at all until their case is over. In any event, if an individual is found not guilty and acquitted or has their DUI case dropped, it is always a good idea to check with their lawyer as to the status of their driver’s license. It is important to check with the Department of Motor Vehicles as to the person’s status and whether they need to apply for reinstatement.
Sometimes, even though a person is found not guilty, acquitted, or had their DUI case dismissed through litigation, the Department of Motor Vehicles may require an individual to take a DUI class. Many times, people neglect to do that.
Someone may have their DUI case dropped and feel that they have the ability to drive, only to find out later when they are pulled over for a traffic violation, that their license is suspended as a result of their failure to take a DUI class or show proof of completion.
Sometimes there is a reinstatement fee that they did not pay to the Department of Motor Vehicles and their license is not clear until that is done. It is always a good idea to check and find out the status of a person’s driver’s license. They can have their attorney do that, call the Department of Motor Vehicles, or check into that online.
Working with an Attorney
A person should check the status of their license at the conclusion of their case and it is always a good idea to do that during the case as well. Any experienced first-offense DUI lawyer in Ft. Lauderdale educates their client as to what to look out for, what the status of their client’s driver’s license is, determines if they are eligible for reinstatement or a hardship license, helps to challenge their license if necessary and makes sure that everything is in place and in good working order.