10 Days to Act After a DUI Arrest!

DUI arrests can be complicated. What many people do not recognize, however, is that there is more to it than just a criminal case. Immediately following an arrest, you will be faced with not one, but two separate cases - the criminal case and the civil case.

While the criminal case is serious enough, it is the civil case that requires immediate action on your behalf. In fact, if you do not act immediately, you could lose your right to drive. Due to this, it is extremely important that you do not hesitate to contact a Tampa DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible - someone who can represent you in both sides.

Helping You Act Immediately to Save Your License

In Florida, if you have been pulled over and refused to take a blood, breath, or urine test or had a BAL over 0.08%, your driver's license will be automatically suspended. It will stay that way unless you request a formal hearing with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The purpose of this DMV hearing will be to challenge the suspension. The process of the formal hearing is explained under Florida Statute §322.2615. It will be held by a hearing officer who works at the DHSMV; it is very similar to the informal hearing, except that an informal hearing will allow for the inclusion of witness testimonials and evidence.

Just because this hearing, along with the criminal hearing, will address your driving privileges, however, does not mean that they are interconnected. In fact, it is just the opposite - they are completely independent of one another. While the criminal case deals with the question of your guilty, the DHSMV hearing is actually an administrative process that deals only with the issue of your right to drive. It has nothing to do with whether or not your performed a criminal act - it only has to do with the circumstances of your arrest.

Questions that will be asked and answered during the formal hearing include:

  • Did the officer have reasonable cause to think you were under the influence?
  • Did the officer lawfully place you under arrest?
  • Did you drive the vehicle with a BAL over 0.08 percent?

If you refused to BAL tests, the following questions will be asked:

  • Did the officer have reasonable cause to think you were under the influence?
  • Did the officer lawfully place you under arrest?
  • Were you told that failure to submit would result in license suspension?
  • Did you refuse to submit after being requested by the officer?

Importance of Hiring a Hard-Hitting Tampa DUI Lawyer

The outcome of this case will have no weight on the outcome of your criminal case. For example, just because the DHSMV decides to allow you to keep your license, does not mean that it will not be suspended during the criminal proceedings. Similarly, if the DHSMV takes away your license, it does not mean that the criminal case will be favorable. If, however, your license is suspended during the civil case and you are later found innocent, it is likely that your driving privileges will be returned to you. Due to the importance of both proceedings, it is extremely important that you receive high-quality legal representation as soon as possible. At Thomas & Paulk, P.A., we have the knowledge necessary to handle both the criminal and civil sides of your case. To learn more, please do not hesitate to contact us as soon as you can.

Our Commitment To You

When you work with us, we promise:

  • To Treat You
    With Respect
     
  • To Be Available When
    You Have Questions
     
  • To Work
    Hard For You
     
  • To Develop a Custom Defense Based on Your Case

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