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?

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Have You Been Charged with a DUI?

DUI Defense in Florida

At Thomas & Paulk, one of our primary focuses is on the defense of DUI charges. In fact, we are recognized throughout the Tampa area as one of the premier DUI defense law firms. Our team is well-versed in this area of the law and has a wide-expanse of experience in helping our clients fight against such charges.

It doesn’t matter if this is your first offense or your third, you can count on our firm to have the experience to protect your legal rights. Often, our defense starts with recounting with you how the police officer came to stop you in the first place and how he or she came to believe you may be under the influence of alcohol. If the stop was illegal, or the tests were improperly administered, we may be able to argue for the dismissal of that evidence in court, helping your chances of a dropped charge.

The important thing is that you act quickly. Criminal cases involving charges of drinking and driving are serious and they can move fast. You cannot afford to wait or ignore your charges. You need a legal professional on your side who truly understands what you're facing so that they can offer you experience counsel and sound advice. To learn more about how a lawyer like this can assist with your case, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible. Call our Tampa DUI defense attorneys at Thomas & Paulk today to schedule an initial consultation. This is a completely free, confidential appointment for you to tell us your side of the story.

  • If you're arrested for DUI, you only have 10 days to schedule a DMV hearing where you can fight to save your license.

  • A blood alcohol reading of 0.15% or more can warrant an aggravated DUI charge with harsher penalties.

  • Each year, Hillsborough County issues around 4,000 DUI citations. Out of these, more than 3,000 are found guilty.

  • Per Florida's zero-tolerance policy, anyone under the age of 21 who tests positive for any measurable blood alcohol can be charged with DUI.

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