License in Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Pasco, &
Other Parts of Florida
There are two types of DUI drivers license
suspensions in Florida. First, if you are arrested for DUI,
the arresting officer will likely take away your drivers license
on the spot, placing your license on “administrative
suspension” while you wait for your DUI case to be resolved
in court. Later, if you are convicted of DUI in court, there
may be a “criminal suspension” of your drivers
license, which can last months or years.
Obviously, the loss of a drivers license creates
great hardship. If you have been arrested for DUI, choosing
an experienced, aggressive Tampa
Bay DUI attorney, early in the process, will give you
the best chance of getting your license back. Our attorneys
have the knowledge and experience necessary to aggressively
challenge your DUI suspension. Keep in mind, however, that
you only have 10 calendar days from the date of your arrest
to challenge an administrative license suspension.
To clear up some confusion about DUI drivers
license suspensions and obtaining a hardship license in Florida,
here are some common questions our DUI attorneys receive from
our clients from the Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and Tampa,
Did the officer have the right to take away my license when
I was arrested for DUI?
What is a Formal Review Hearing?
If my Tampa Bay DUI attorney requests a Formal Review Hearing
within 10 days of my DUI arrest, does that mean I will get
my license back?
If I don’t file for a Formal Review Hearing in time,
can I get a hardship license in Florida?
Will I need to apply for a hardship license twice for the
same DUI charge?
What does a hardship license allow me to do?
Does a police officer have the right to take away my license
if I am arrested for DUI?
you are arrested for a DUI in Florida, the arresting officer
has the authority to take away your license if: (1) your breath
test showed an alcohol level of .08 or higher, or (2) you
refused a breath test.
you have a valid Florida drivers license at the time of your
arrest, your DUI traffic citation will serve as a 10-day permit
to drive. After this 10-day period, your license will be on
“administrative suspension” for at least 6 months
if this is your first DUI charge, longer if you refused a
breath test or if you have multiple DUI charges.
you wish to drive after the 10-day permit expires, you must
request a Formal Review Hearing within 10 calendar days of
being arrested. Our attorneys can assist you in requesting
a Formal Review Hearing.
requirement is one reason you should hire an aggressive Tampa
Bay DUI attorney immediately after your DUI arrest. At Tinny,
Meyer & Piccarreto, P.A., we are prepared to fight your
Florida DUI charges from day one. With convenient offices
in Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and New Port Richey, you can
reach one of our DUI attorneys at (727) 446-8600, 24 hours
a day. We encourage you to call us as soon as possible after
being charged with a DUI, so that we can begin working on
reinstating your driving privileges within the 10-day window.
(2) What is a Formal Review
Formal Review Hearing is held before the Florida Department
of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). It is officially
called a DHSMV Formal Review Hearing.
stated, the reason for a Formal Review Hearing is to determine
whether the arresting officer was justified in taking your
drivers license away. The Formal Review Hearing allows your
Tampa Bay DUI attorney to see the evidence, documents, witnesses,
and other facts about your DUI case. The Hearing also requires
law enforcement to complete reports, affidavits, etc. in a
the Formal Review Hearing finds that the police do not have
enough evidence to support the administrative suspension of
your drivers license, your license will be returned to you
and the suspension will be removed from your record.
Keep in mind, however, that the Formal Review
Hearing is a civil proceeding, not a criminal proceeding.
The outcome of a formal review hearing has no direct effect
on a defendant’s criminal DUI charges or case.
(3) If my Tampa Bay DUI attorney
requests a Formal Review Hearing within 10 days of my DUI
arrest, does that mean I will get my license back?
but there is no guarantee. It is possible that you will not
get your license back at your formal review hearing. However,
there are additional benefits to requesting a Formal Review
Hearing within 10 days of your DUI arrest:
As your DUI attorney, we will file for you to receive a temporary
driving permit so that you may continue to drive while we
prepare your case for the Formal Review Hearing. This temporary
driving permit can extend your ability to drive for several
weeks after your DUI arrest.
The Formal Review Hearing will give us a chance to review
the evidence, documents, witnesses, and other information
relating to your DUI case.
The Formal Review Hearing will also require law enforcement
to complete forms and reports. Your DUI attorney may also
question law enforcement about your arrest. These facts can
ultimately help with your DUI case.
(4) If I don’t file
for a Formal Review Hearing in time, can I get a hardship
license in Florida?
procedure to get a hardship license is completely different
and separate from your Formal Review Hearing. Here are some
basic facts of receiving a hardship license in Florida:
The purpose of a hardship license is to allow you to legally
drive under very limited circumstances, typically so that
you are able to earn a living.
Before you can apply for a hardship license, your license
must be under an administrative suspension or criminal suspension.
You will be required to serve a portion of your license suspension
before you can apply for a hardship license. The length of
time you must go without driving privileges could range from
a minimum of 30 days to several years, depending on the circumstances
of your DUI case.
To get a hardship license, you will be required to enroll
in and complete a DUI course.
everyone who is charged with a DUI in Florida is eligible
for a hardship license. Your eligibility depends on how many
DUI charges you have on record, as well as whether you submitted
to a breath test, plus other circumstances of your DUI case.
Your Tampa Bay DUI attorney from Tinny, Meyer & Piccarreto,
P.A., can advise you about whether you are eligible for a
hardship license and how to apply for one.
(5) Will I need to apply
for a hardship license twice for the same DUI charge?
yes. There are two different types of DUI license suspensions
in Florida—the Administrative Suspension and the Criminal
Suspension. The Administrative Suspension occurs before your
DUI trial, and the Criminal Suspension occurs after you are
found guilty of DUI. Some DUI defendants apply for a hardship
license twice—during their Administrative Suspension
and their Criminal Suspension. Others wait until after their
DUI conviction to apply for a hardship license, so they do
not have to pay for a hardship license before and after their
trial. However, if your DUI attorney is successful in beating
your DUI, or is successful in having your DUI charge dismissed
or reduced, you will not be found guilty, and your license
will not be at risk for a Criminal Suspension.
(6) What does a hardship
license allow me to do?
to Florida Statute 322.271, section (1)(c), there are three
classes of hardship licenses in Florida. The hardship license
will allow you to drive in limited circumstances if your Florida
drivers license has been suspended.
A “business purposes only” hardship license would
allow you to drive to and from work as well as drive for school,
required on-the-job traveling, church, and medical purposes.
An “employment purposes only” hardship license
would permit you to drive to and from work. On-the-job driving
required by your employer would also be allowed.
An “educational purposes only” hardship license
would authorize you to drive to and from school.
you violate any of the terms of your hardship license, it
is a criminal offense and you will lose your license for the
balance of the suspension or revocation period.
applying for your Formal Review Hearing within the 10-day
deadline to obtaining your hardship license, a Tampa
Bay DUI attorney from Tinny, Meyer & Piccarreto, P.A.,
is committed to protecting your rights. As former prosecutors,
our team of Florida DUI attorneys has experience and knowledge
from both sides of the courtroom. This valuable experience
will be used to your advantage in your DUI case. Please call
us anytime, 24 hours a day, at (727) 446-8600 for a free consultation
with a DUI attorney. We have offices in Clearwater, St. Petersburg,
and New Port Richey to serve our clients throughout the Tampa
Bay area. Our multiple locations are convenient to many surrounding
communities such as Safety Harbor, Belleair, Pinellas Park,
Dunedin, Largo, and Palm Harbor, to name a few.