If You Are Arrested for DUI DWI in Gainesville or Alachua County, You Have 10 Days to Appeal Your Driver’s License Suspension by Requesting a DMV Formal Review Hearing
If you are arrested for DUI DWI in Gainesville or Alachua County, you have 10 days to appeal your driver’s license suspension!
If you are arrested for DUI there are two (2) penalties you are facing:
- DUI Criminal Conviction
- Driver’s License Suspension by the DMV
(If you are a University of Florida student charged with DUI, there is an additional penalty: Suspension or Expulsion.)
This article will discuss your driver’s license suspension penalty and the Department of Motor Vehicles’ Formal Review Hearing (FRH).
At the time of your arrest, the police officer took your drivers license and gave you a DUI citation. This citation acts as your temporary driver’s license for 10 days. After these 10 days your license will be suspended for 6 months to 1 year, if this was your first offense.
Here are some things you need to know:
- You have 10 days to appeal this suspension.
- During these 10 days and only during these 10 days, you have the right to appeal the suspension by requesting a Formal Review Hearing (FRH) with the DMV.
- Remember: You must file your appeal within 10 days of your arrest. It is written in the fine print of your citation. (The officer or the judge probably did not tell you about this appeal.)
- If you file your appeal within 10 days, you will be granted a FRH (usually within 30 days) and given an extended business and/or school driving permit for 4 to 5 weeks.
- If you fail to appeal the suspension within 10 days, you will lose your right to a FRH and your driver’s license suspension starts immediately!
- IN ADDITION, if you fail to file your appeal within 10 days, you will be given a period of 30 or 90 days of “hard time”, during which you cannot drive at all!! Not to school, work or anywhere! (Beware: This period of “hard time” has led many people to lose their jobs) After this “hard time” you will have a greatly restricted license for 6 months to 1 year.
- If you win your case at your FRH, the Department of Motor Vehicles will give you back your driver’s license without limitations.
- If you lose your FRH, you will get the same amount of “hard time” and you can get a restricted license for 6 months to 1 year, with the ability to drive to work and school. To become eligible for a restricted license you must register and take the DUI School.
More Important Information:
The FRH can be the single most important part of winning your Criminal DUI case! Because, even if you lose your FRH, this hearing gives you and your lawyer the chance to obtain valuable evidence and testimony months before your criminal case is ready for trial. The information obtained from the FRH may lead to successful plea negotiations or a “not guilty” at trial. It is like a “mini” trial.
- The FRH is often won on technicalities and having an experienced DUI lawyer with you is an important factor in winning your appeal and your case.
- If you can not afford to hire an attorney, you can request an Informal Review Hearing.
- Public Defenders are not allowed to do Formal Review Hearings (FRH).
- Some attorneys in town do not do Formal Review Hearings, or they charge extra for it.
For more information:
- I was recently arrested for DUI, and I am worried a driver’s license suspension will cause me to lose my job. How long can I drive? What should I do?
They have also recently written the DUI Guide Book for Alachua County, Ways to Possibly Avoid A DUI Charge or Conviction. You can request your free copy today. This book, written by these experienced DUI defense criminal trial lawyers, gives insight into what a DUI charge is, what it takes to be over the legal limit, ways the State can prove the charge, and possible legal defenses.
If you would like to speak with an attorney about your case, pick up the phone and call Meldon Law today at 800-373-8000.
Attorneys Jeffrey Meldon, Carey Meldon, and Dan Weisman head up the experienced DUI defense team at Meldon Law located in Gainesville and serve all of Alachua County, Florida.