Fort Walton Beach DMV Formal Review Hearing Attorney
If you have been arrested for DUI in Fort Walton Beach, regardless if you were innocent or guilty, your license and driving privileges are going to be taken away from you while your case is ongoing and you are awaiting court dates. The good news is, you do have options to minimize the damage if you act quickly.
In Fort Walton Beach, you have 10 days from the day you were arrested for DUI to save your license and apply for a temporary permit or hardship license. At Flaherty Defense Firm, we have helped thousands of clients secure their driving privileges after a DUI arrest. Rest assured that we will do everything in our power to ensure the shortest lapse in driving time possible. Call us at (850) 243-6097 to see how we can help resolve your driver’s license issues.
Formal Review Hearing vs. Waiver Review
There are two possible routes to take in order to secure your driving privileges in Fort Walton Beach. One is done by requesting a Formal Review Hearing with the DMV, which allows us to challenge the grounds of your license suspension. The second is called a Wavier Review, which waives your right to a hearing with the DMV, but gives you the least amount of time not driving.
Formal Review Hearing
If you elect to do the formal review hearing, you will receive a temporary driving permit. Your temporary permit will allow you to drive for approximately 42 days after arrest. One “catch” with this option is that you can only use this permit for life-sustaining purposes such as work, school, religious services, child care, medical appointments, or going to the grocery store. Basically, no joy riding on this permit! The only other downfall to this option is that there is a “Hard No Driving Period.” The hard no driving period starts when your 42 day permit expires (no exceptions). The time for this period is:
- 30 days Hard No Driving for a 1st offense if you consented to a breath test at the time of arrest.
- 90 days Hard No Driving for a 1st time offense if you refused the breath test at the time of arrest.
Fortunately, once you have completed your period of hard no driving, along with the DUI school (which is required by FL Statute for every DUI arrest, whether convicted or not), you will be eligible to receive an additional temporary driving permit.
Although this may seem daunting, it is actually not a bad choice. The Formal Review Hearing gives me the chance to fight the facts surrounding your DUI arrest. During the Review Hearing, I will subpoena the arresting officer to be present at the hearing. I get to question the officer, under oath, in front of the hearing officer (who is somewhat like a judge). This can be very helpful in developing defenses for your criminal DUI case.
Waiver Review- For 1st Time Offenders
If you elect to waive the formal review hearing and apply for a Waiver Review within 10 days of arrest, you almost immediately receive a restricted driver’s license (hardship license). There are a few requirements in order to obtain this license. First, this option is only available for 1st time offenders. Second, at the time of arrest, you must have been a Florida driver, with a valid license and you must enroll for the 1st offense DUI School (which is required by FL Statute for every DUI arrest) and show proof of the same. Once these requirements are met, you are eligible to go to the local DMV and obtain a hardship license. A lot of people choose to go this route, because it allows for little to no lapse in driving time.
Please note that no matter which option you choose, you may be required to pay a reinstatement fee of approximately $200.00 plus a $12.00 fee for the cost of the extended permit.
Defending your Driving Privileges after a DUI in Fort Walton Beach
I understand that being able to drive is imperative for most people and I will work tirelessly to ensure you are able to. When you call and talk to us about your DUI and what options you have to protect your driving privileges, we will make sure to explain to you in detail the 2 choices listed above. It will ultimately be your decision which route you take, but we are here to guide you and help you make the right decision.
The clock starts ticking as soon as you are arrested, so make sure you call and speak with an attorney who has knowledge and experience in handling Fort Walton Beach DMV Formal Review/Waiver Review related issues. I have done this for a long time, and have dedicated myself to making life easier for those who have gotten caught up in a web of legal problems. Call Flaherty Defense Firm at (850) 243-6097 to schedule your free consultation and get the help you need to remain on the road.