In a first-time DUI case, a person can lose their license post-arrest or post-conviction. The Government issues a citation that says, effective 10 days following the arrest, the person’s license is going to be suspended for either failing a breath test or refusing to take a breath test. Because of Due Process, however, the Government cannot take anything from you without giving you an opportunity to be heard.
Under Due Process, if a person comes to a lawyer within the first few days after an arrest, the lawyer has time to start challenging a first-time West Palm Beach DUI license suspension. The seasoned DUI attorneys at Leifert & Leifert have years of experience fighting for the rights of people accused of DUIs. Get in contact with us today to set up a free case review.
One way to challenge the suspension is called an Informal Review. In this process, we have to put in a written request to a specific office at the Department of Motor Vehicles called the Bureau of Administrative Review.
They will grant an informal hearing where they will make sure all the paperwork is correct and the right forms are submitted and properly sworn to. They have to give that hearing within 30 to 45 days, and because the person invoked their Due Process rights, they will get a temporary license to drive until the hearing.
Another method of challenging a first-time West Palm Beach DUI license suspension is to ask for a Formal Hearing. At a Formal Hearing, the West Palm Beach DUI lawyer or the arrestee has the right to subpoena witnesses to appear in person. The witnesses must testify as to the facts of the case. It is almost like a Trial, but there is no Judge or Prosecutor in attendance. It is like a free Trial to find out what happened in this case and try to beat the suspension.
If one invokes their right to a Formal Hearing, the Hearing will be held somewhere between 30 to 45 days following the date of the request, and because the person is invoking their Due Process rights, the Government has to give the person a hardship license or a temporary license pending the final outcome of the hearing.
Consequences of Informal and Formal Reviews
It used to be that everyone who spoke to an attorney after an arrest for DUI filed for either an Informal Review or Formal Hearing because the person had nothing to lose.
Under the review process, if a person did not file for review, they lost their license for six months or a year at a minimum and they would not be eligible for a hardship license from anywhere from 30 to 90 days. If the person failed a breath test it is 30 days without a license, and if they refused the breath test it is 90.
If the person challenges the suspension and loses, the penalty is the same. The person has nothing to lose, whether they challenge it or not. Until a couple of years ago, everyone would ask for a review. As a result, the attorneys filled up the driver’s license offices around the state with the hearings.
Hardship Eligibility Review
In the last couple of years, the Hardship Eligibility Review program has been instituted. If a person agrees to waive their right to challenge the suspension and jumps through a couple of hoops and hurdles, the person is eligible for a hardship license to drive the entire time throughout the suspension, thus rendering it fairly harmless.
The person is giving up their right to challenge the suspension, but what the person is getting in return is their driver’s license back for the entire time. The person does not have to suffer a 30-day suspension or a 90-day suspension.
Benefits of Hiring a DUI Attorney in West Palm Beach
If a person talks to an experienced DUI lawyer soon enough after the person’s arrest, it is quite possible that they are able to avoid losing their license for any period whatsoever. An attorney could help by exercising the defendant’s rights and challenging a first-time West Palm Beach DUI license suspension.
Leifert & Leifert have been fighting for individuals in West Palm Beach for decades and know how to build a successful case. If you face DUI charges, call today to schedule a free consultation.