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Formal Review Hearings after being arrested for Driving Under the Influence

By Hager & Schwartz, P.A.

February 26, 2013

It's your worst nightmare. You were out at the bar with your friends drinking and made the terrible decision to drive home. You were blocks away from your house when you see the lights and sirens behind you. The officer approaches the car after pulling you over and makes the determination that you are going to be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). Now what? After being released from jail, what do you do? In Florida, you have ten (10) days from the date of your arrest to ask for a formal review hearing at the Bureau of Administrative Reviews for the Department of Motor Vehicles. Why is this so important? In criminal cases that are misdemeanors, such as a first DUI charge, you are not allowed to request depositions (question the police officers under oath) without the criminal court judge first determining that there is good cause shown to take these depositions. This is a rare occurrence. However, at the administrative hearing, a process in which a hearing officer determines to suspend or reinstate your license, you are automatically afforded the right to question the officers that arrested you. This is important especially when you want to be able to make an informed decision to go to trial or not. Knowing what and how the officers will testify is crucial into making that informed decision. It should be noted that you only have the first ten days after the arrest to request such hearing, and, thereafter, you will be forbidden from requesting such hearing and will automatically have your license suspended. That's why it is extremely important to hire the attorney's at Hager & Schwartz, PA immediately so that we can protect your rights and defend your freedom.