The formal review hearing is an appeal filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles to challenge the license suspension which results after the DUI arrest. A driver who has had his or her license suspended after being arrested with an unlawful blood alcohol level , or for refusing to take a breath test, must file a request for a formal review hearing no later than 10 days after the date of arrest to avoid a permanent mark on his or her driving record.
When a driver is arrested in Florida for DUI, a temporary driving permit is normally issued by the arresting officer. This permit is only good for a period of 10 days. Once that expires, a person who does not file for the formal review hearing can not legally drive for a minimum of 30 days before being eligible for a driving permit. In cases of a refusal to take a breath test, the driver is not eligible for a driving permit for at least 90 days.
The formal review hearings are held at the Bradenton Courthouse. If the appeal is successful, the driver’s license is completely reinstated, and the suspension taken off the Florida driving record. The driver is notified by mail of the results, usually within a week of the hearing.
The advantages of filing for the formal review hearing are many, and clearly outweigh any disadvantages. Filing for the hearing is the only way to have a DUI suspension removed from the driving record. Even if charges are later dismissed or reduced, or even if the driver wins his or her case at trial, the original suspension remains.
The ability to legally drive is also extended by filing for the formal review hearing. Once the applicant’s appeal is received and processed, the Department of Motor Vehicles will issue a second temporary driving permit to the applicant, which gives the driver an additional period of time to drive legally, usually between 30 to 60 days.
The law firm of Jeffrey A. Haynes, P.A. will provide the necessary forms to file for the formal review hearing as part of a free consultation, as well as free assistance in properly completing and mailing the forms. These forms are not available at most of the DMV locations in the Sarasota and Bradenton areas.