When you are charged with DUI in Florida, your driver’s license is automatically suspended. The length of the suspension depends on the facts of your case, but can be up to 18 months! Being without a license means you are not able to drive, which can seriously impact your life. Without the ability to drive you are unable to get to work or school, or take your children to their activities. In order to preserve your driving privileges after a DUI, you must take immediate action. You have 10 days to request a hearing with the DMV to challenge the suspension of your license. At this hearing you can expect to see the arresting officer, and their testimony will help the agency make a decision about your license. But, in a growing number of cases, the officers are failing to appear. If this happens to you, you must be prepared to argue for your license even in the absence of the officer’s testimony.
This situation seems absurd, because how can your license be suspended without evidence? Unfortunately, the hearing officer can do just that, even without an officer present. Of course your chances of getting your license back are greater if you have the opportunity to question the arresting officer, and this is also a good time to learn some of the evidence that will be used in your criminal DUI case. Here are three things you can do to increase the odds the officer will appear at the review hearing:
- Make a request to have documents excluded from the hearing that were prepared by the officer. You are unable to cross examine a piece of paper, and without the officer present to corroborate the information contained therein, you should seek exclusion.
- Ask that the suspension be held invalid, based on a lack of evidence from the officer.
- Go on record with your objection to the officer’s failure to appear, stating that his absence makes it impossible for you to adequately defend the charges against you.
The decision can be tough, because if you take too hard a stance you may be denied even a temporary driving permit. We can help you make a decision that works for your lifestyle, by thoroughly explaining the possibilities before you make a choice. Contact one of our experienced DUI defense attorneys today for more information.