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Following a DUI arrest, you have only 10 days to request a formal review hearing regarding the suspension of your driver’s license. Most commonly referred to as a DMV hearing or DHSMV hearing, this is your chance to contest your license suspension and have your driver’s license reinstated. If you do not request your DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest or receiving your notice of suspension, your driver’s license will be suspended – regardless of whether you are found guilty in criminal court.

An experienced DUI attorney, such as one the attorneys at Katz & Phillips, P.A., can help defend and preserve your rights during your DMV hearing. By scheduling and preparing for your hearing as a criminal court case, your attorney gathers important information and evidence to support your defense. This process is valuable in all phases of your defense, as the information gathered during this early preparation may be used to support your criminal defense as well as during your administrative license suspension hearing.

Working With a Sanford, Longwood, and Tavares DMV Hearing Attorney

Attorneys play a crucial role in DMV hearings, particularly in cases involving DUI-related license suspensions. Their expertise and strategies are pivotal in navigating the complexities of these hearings. Here’s how they assist:

  • Evaluating Evidence: Attorneys meticulously review all the evidence presented in the DUI case, including police reports, breathalyzer results, and witness statements. They look for inconsistencies or procedural errors that could be used to challenge the suspension.
  • Challenging Test Results: If the suspension is based on breath or blood test results, attorneys may question the accuracy and calibration of the testing equipment, the qualifications of the person who administered the test, and the procedure followed during testing.
  • Probable Cause Examination: They scrutinize the officer’s probable cause for initiating the DUI stop. Any indication of an unlawful stop or lack of reasonable suspicion can be grounds to contest the license suspension.
  • Presenting Alternative Explanations: In some cases, attorneys may present alternative explanations for the behavior or symptoms that led to the DUI charge, such as medical conditions or environmental factors.

What is a DMV Hearing?

A DMV hearing is held in the event of a DUI arrest in which the defendant took a breath or blood test and failed, or refused the testing altogether. A formal review hearing concerning a failed breath test will be set to determine:

  • Whether the officer had probable cause to suspect you of driving under the influence
  • Whether you had a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit
    A formal review hearing concerning a refused breath test will be held to determine:
  • Whether the officer had probable cause to believe you were driving under the influence
  • Whether you actually refused breath or blood testing
  • Whether you were informed of the consequences of refusing to undergo breath or blood testing

Immediate Steps Post-DUI Arrest

Preparing for a DMV hearing after a DUI arrest is critical for protecting one’s driving privileges. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how individuals can prepare for their DMV hearing:

  • Request the Hearing: Remember, in many states, including Florida, there’s a limited time frame (often 10 days) post-arrest to request a DMV hearing. Failing to do so can result in an automatic license suspension.
  • Document the Incident: Write down everything about the DUI stop and arrest while it’s fresh in your memory. Include details like the time of the stop, what you were doing prior, the officer’s behavior, and any statements made.
  • Gather Evidence: Collect any evidence that could be relevant, such as receipts, photographs, or witness contact information that can support your account of the events.

Common Defense Tactics in DMV Hearings

In DMV hearings, particularly for DUI cases, several defense tactics are employed by attorneys to influence the outcome favorably. Challenging the legality of the initial traffic stop is a common strategy, arguing that the stop lacked probable cause, which can lead to the dismissal of evidence obtained during the stop. Defense lawyers may also question the accuracy and administration of field sobriety and breathalyzer tests, highlighting issues such as improper calibration, operator qualifications, and testing procedures. Medical conditions that might mimic DUI symptoms or affect test results are often presented to challenge the basis of the charge. Additionally, attorneys scrutinize the arrest process, focusing on any procedural missteps or failure to follow proper Miranda rights, which could result in the suppression of evidence. The chain of custody for chemical tests is another area of contention, as any errors can cast doubt on the sample’s integrity. Defense tactics also include contesting the officer’s subjective observations, addressing inaccuracies in representing prior offenses, and highlighting the defendant’s reliable driving history. When combined, these strategies can significantly weaken the prosecution’s case and lead to more favorable outcomes in DMV hearings for DUI charges.

We Are the Right Sanford, Longwood and Tavares DMV Hearing Law Firm for Your Case

A Katz & Phillips DUI lawyer can work to challenge all aspects of your DMV hearing in order to help you keep your driver’s license. We recognize the importance of these hearings and know that handling it properly and professionally provides a sturdy foundation for both the hearing and the criminal case. Whether you are in Lake County, Seminole County, Orange County, or Osceola County, we have committed staff ready to serve you.

If you would like to learn more about how we at Katz & Phillips can help defend your rights during both the civil and criminal procedures of a DUI case, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible. We are ready to defend you!

Contact Katz & Phillips, P.A today for a consultation regarding your DMV hearing.