As a DUI Attorney, one of the most difficult decisions facing my clients is related to the initial suspension of their license related to a DUI arrest. In Florida, your citation serves as your license for 10 days following your arrest. Within that time period, a client needs to make a decision as to whether to have a hearing on their suspension, or to waive the hearing on their suspension (first time DUI, or apply for a hardship license if there are previous DUI’s).
With most of my clients, they choose a Formal Review Hearing to contest their suspension, even if it involves a refusal to submit to testing. Attached are a few representative ORDERs from Florida’s Bureau of Administrative Review (redacted) from our recent victories in refusal cases.
There are many reasons why my clients choose a Formal Review Hearing:
- They do not have to attend the hearing.
- The hearings, contrary to popular belief, are winnable with careful preparation (as shown by these Orders).
- They do not have to sign up for DUI school.
- In addition to conflicts in testimony by law enforcement officers, and constitutional grounds, they can win a hearing if the arresting officer or breath technician fails to appear.
- The client receives a 42 day permit to drive for business purposes, if they are otherwise eligible.
- If a subpoena for the hearing needs to be enforced, the 42 day permit can often be extended and a client can continue to drive.
- If a client decides to waive the hearing in a refusal case, they are stipulating to an element of a criminal refusal (a prior refusal) if they ever refuse again.
- This is an extremely important part of a client’s case, and as an attorney, I very much like having an opportunity to cross-examine the police officers under oath about their conduct as early as possible.
Every case is different, and there are surely times when a waiver or hardship license is in a client’s best interests. But a formal review is valuable attorney tool to get an early understanding of a case and develop evidence which can make the difference between a conviction or an acquittal.
Here are some recent examples where we won a formal review for our clients where they refused to blow for the breathalyzer or give blood and urine samples.
“The Hearing Officer has set aside the suspension for refusal to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test because of conflicting evidence or discrepancies.”
“The Hearing Officer has set aside the suspension of your driving privilege dated 05/12/2021 for refusal to submit to a breath, blood or urine test. Upon reviewing the facts of the case, the Department Hearing Officer has determined that there is insufficient evidence to support the suspension because of conflicting evidence or discrepancies.”
“Officer/Deputy did not observe any traffic violations and there were insufficient reasons/grounds to support the traffic stop.”
“The Hearing Officer does not find there was probable cause to believe that the Petitioner was driving with any alcohol level or while under the influence of alcoholic beverages.”