Overview of the DUI/DWI Process

In most criminal cases, the court process is intimidating but fairly straightforward. After all, you will only need to be dealing with the difficulties associated with the criminal process. However, when charged for drunk driving it is important to realize that you will have to handle more than just the criminal aspect. In fact, you will have two completely separate and independent proceedings that you will need to deal with – and the truth is that both equally deserve your undivided attention.

On one side, you will still be required to handle the legal issues of the criminal court process. On the other, however, you will be asked to focus your attention on what is known as the DMV hearing. These are both two completely independent proceedings. The outcome of one will not affect the outcome of the other and vice-versa. Both, however, are vitally important and deserve to be handled by an attorney who will be able to invest the necessary time and energy into seeking a desirable outcome. The Colbert Law Firm recognizes the individual importance of these two cases is fully dedicated to ensuring that clients have the comprehensive representation that they deserve.

What is a DMV hearing exactly?

Most people know how the criminal process will play out – they've seen it on TV, they've read about it and they've grown up their entire lives exposed to the process. What most people don't know about is the DMV hearing. This can leave many people confused when it comes time to face it. To help combat this confusion, the firm has both asked and answered some of the most common questions regarding the process below:

  • Why do I only have ten days to act? Remember, that driving is not a right, but a privilege. The Florida Statutes and DMV give most drivers a temporary driving permit lasting only a few days before suspending their license. They also only give individuals 10 days to request a hearing before imposing a lengthy suspension. If you are interested in taking part in the DMV hearing (something that is strongly recommended), it is important to realize that you will only have 10 days from receiving the notice to request this hearing. Typically you will receive this action in the form of a Criminal Traffic Citation during the arrest. If you want a fighting chance of protecting your driver's license, you need to request this hearing within this small window or you're out of luck!
  • Will the DMV hearing determine whether or not I'm guilty? This is often the most commonly asked question regarding the hearing. Since the criminal process is there to deal with the guilt, many people are unsure just where exactly the DMV hearing plays in. The answer? No. The DMV hearing will not answer that at all. It will actually only deal with the details of your arrest. Questions that will be asked at the hearing will include: Was there reasonable cause to perform the traffic stop? Were you lawfully arrested? Did you refuse the breath/ blood/ urine test? These questions will not have to do with whether you were intoxicated behind the wheel – only the way that the DUI/DWI investigation and arrest unfolded.
  • If the DMV hearing suspends my license and I'm later found not guilty in the criminal case, will I be given my license back? The short answer is no, unfortunately. At this point, it's important to remember that these are separate hearings and are dealing with separate issues. If your license was suspended because you refused to take a breath/Intoxilizer test, you won't get it back because your BAC was under the legal limit. Similarly, if you are found guilty of driving under the influence, but the DMV had earlier set aside the suspension per the outcome of their hearing, your driving privileges will still be taken away as part of the sentence.

DUI/DWI Attorney in Central Florida

If you have been arrested for DUI/DWI in Central Florida, the first thing you should do is speak with a knowledgeable attorney who has a proven track record of successfully representing past DUI/DWI clients. Speaking with an experienced DUI/DWI defense lawyer is the first step in building a strong case and solid defense. By working with a DUI/DWI attorney, you can review your case and question the facts surrounding your individual situation. A talented lawyer may be able to find law enforcement errors or test result mishaps that will aid in your defense. In some cases, law enforcement mistakes can lead to the reduction or dismissal of a person’s criminal charges. Common errors made by law enforcement include:

Police Officers not having sufficient Probable Cause: Before law enforcement officers can make a DUI/DWI traffic stop, they must have sufficient probable cause. If law enforcement officers do not have sufficient probable cause, they cannot legally make the DUI/DWI traffic stop.

Failure to Read Miranda Rights: In some cases, a police officer may fail to read a driver her/his Miranda Rights before placing the person under arrest. Miranda Rights are read to inform the person of her/his right to remain silent, right to an attorney, and right to have an attorney appointed to him/her during all critical stages. If the officer does not read the driver her/his Miranda Rights, anything the driver said before her/his arrest may not be admissible in court.

Inaccurate Field Sobriety Test Results:After a person is suspected of drunk driving, he/she may be asked to perform a series of field sobriety exercises for the police officer. It is up to the police officer to determine if the person has passed or failed her/his field sobriety exercises. The police officer must closely monitor the person’s balance, coordination, attention, and motor skills while the person performs the test. It is believed that if a person is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, he/she will have poor coordination. However, a person can perform poorly during the field sobriety tests for many reasons other than being intoxicated. Some of these reasons may include: poor lighting, weather conditions, poor road conditions, poor instructions, lack of sleep, and medical conditions that effect the person’s coordination.

Hire a lawyer that can provide comprehensive legal care!

It is easy for people to believe that the criminal case is the only important part of the DUI/DWI process. This, however, is completely untrue. The preliminary DMV hearings and the criminal case are important and both will have a direct impact on your future. Even more so, there may be certain cases where sealing/expunging your record will be possible and a smart option to protect your past. So why hire someone who can only handle one part of your case?

Should you choose to work with the Central Florida Colbert Law Firm, you will be able to be confident knowing that you will have an advocate on your side who will devote the necessary time, energy and commitment to your entire case.

Attorney Tiffany V. Colbert knows that DUI/DWI charges demand comprehensive legal care. When it comes to successfully fighting your DUI/DWI charges, having a reputable DUI/DWI defense lawyer on your side is essential. At The Colbert Law Firm, clients receive the attentive legal counsel and aggressive defense they need to contest their DUI/DWI charges, and thorough follow-through to see your case beyond the criminal case resolution.

Call today The Colbert Law Firm at 407-412-7234 for a free consultation!


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