Contact us

Tell us about your case. If you need immediate help, call 321-558-2704

DHSMV & DMV Hearings

Written by:Portrait of Rahul ParikhRahul Parikh

If you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or other drugs in the state of Florida, the police will confiscate your driver’s license at the time of your arrest. Once you are processed and released, you will be able to use the actual citation that you receive for DUI as a type of temporary license, at which time the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will suspend your license in response to your arrest and alleged violation of driving laws. What you may not realize is that during the 10 days where you are issued a “temporary license” in the form of this citation, you can request a hearing at the DHSMV in order to appeal this automatic suspension or you can request a business purpose only license.

If you are successful in your hearing, you will be allowed to retain your driving privileges. If you do not request a hearing or are unsuccessful in your hearing, then your license will be suspended by the DMV for the set amount of time that corresponds with your history of DUI charges and convictions. When you hire Attorney Rahul Parikh, you can be confident that you have taken the necessary steps to first increase your chances of keeping your license during the trial, and secondly increasing your chances of a favorable outcome.

Read more below to get some additional information about these hearings, and contact us now to schedule an initial consultation to speak directly with our legal team about your arrest, charges, possible penalties, and how we can help.

Is a DHSMV Hearing a Criminal Hearing?

Car Crash

When you appear for a license hearing with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in Florida, this is not to be confused with the criminal trial that you will need to go through in the Florida courts. Instead, this is a hearing where you will be able to appeal the automatic administrative suspension that happens 10 days after you are arrested for DUI. The decision by the DHSMV to suspend your license has nothing to do with the outcome of your criminal case and is instead handled by an employee of the DHSMV.

When you go to the appeal, the arresting officer will also need to be present, and submit the evidence that they gathered when they took a breath, blood, or urine sample in order to determine your BAC. At the same time, it is up to you (or, as is suggested, your attorney) to prove that the officer did not have probable cause for the traffic stop, or that they did not have probable cause to arrest you for DUI, which in turn invalidates their decision to issue a blood alcohol test. There are a variety of other details that your DUI attorney will go through in order to identify what, if any, holes are in the officer’s case, and will use the opportunity to question them without a prosecutor present.

Why Is Your Driver’s License Automatically Suspended After an Arrest?

Although it is just a technicality, your license is not actually suspended because of the DUI arrest. Instead, your license is suspended because you either registered a BAC in excess of .08, or you refused to submit to a breath test in the first place. Refusal to submit to a test results in an automatic suspension because of the “implied consent” that comes with receiving a Florida driver’s license. This implied consent states that by accepting the driver’s license, you willingly agree to submit to a breath test when requested by a law enforcement officer.

This is one reason why the DHSMV hearing is completely separate from your criminal trial. The DHSMV operates as an independent body that issues driving privileges in the state, and they reserve their own right to issue or revoke those privileges.

Criminal Hearing

The Importance of a Hearing

This hearing is important whether or not you are successful in your appeal, for a variety of reasons. The first reason is the obvious chance that you may, in fact, be able to retain your driving privileges instead of having your license suspended, but there are some additional benefits to your case, as well. Primarily, it is an opportunity for your attorney to interview the arresting officer (and, if a different person, the officer who took your blood alcohol sample as well) and get a better idea of the situation at hand.

If you are unsure of your options, your best bet is to work with the team at Parikh Law in order to determine the most appropriate course of action. Since you only have 10 days until your license is suspended, you should act now to make sure that you have adequate time to prepare.

Do you need an appointment for the Florida DMV?

While none of the Florida DMV offices require an appointment, making one saves you time waiting.

Is the Florida DMV accepting walk-ins?

Yes, but you will receive service after others who booked appointments, so it’s best to make an appointment online before heading to an Orange County Division of Motor Vehicles office.

What day is slowest at DMV?

The Florida DMV is a unique agency. They don’t necessarily have any competition, and they don’t have customers; they have taxpayers. The architecture of DMV offices and their locations aren’t debated for months with teams of caring designers. You never see commercials for it. Instead, it’s a service that millions of people rely on. 

For these reasons, it is notorious for poor customer service, long waits, frustrating guidelines, and overall inefficiency. Some DMV locations and title offices are small, large, with or without windows. Even if your local office is well-run, overall, the DMV has a poor reputation, and people try to minimize how much time they spend at one.

You should check online for the individual DMV office near you to see when their peak service hours are since that will depend on what part of Orange County you are in. However, here are some tips to help you avoid long waits:

  • Do not go the day before or after the holiday.
  • For many DMV locations, service is much faster on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

How do I renew my driver’s license in Orlando, Florida?

Every Florida driver must renew their driver’s license every eight years. Typically the expiration date is the driver’s birthday. The date is printed in small type on your Florida driver’s license. You may have to renew in an office under some situations, and in others, you can renew online.

Driver licenses can be renewed online by going to Go Renew, and your new drivers’ license will be mailed to you within 7 to 10 business days after the transaction. You also receive an email confirming receipt of the transaction. However, you can only use this option for every other renewal. 

For example, if you had to go into a DMV office the last time you had to renew, then this time you can complete your renewal online. Conversely, if you renewed online the last time your drivers’ license was up for renewal, then you will need to visit one of the DMV locations with available appointments for your renewal.

You also need to head to one of the DMV locations if:

  • You wish to update your photo. 
  • You have a change of address. Make sure you have the proper address change documents.
  • If you are changing your name and you need to show original or certified court orders or marriage certificates
  • If you have a court order to update your drivers’ license

There are some circumstances where a drivers’ license or ID card will need to be replaced. The most obvious is when it is stolen, lost, or damaged. Other situations include:

  • County residents who have moved need to notify the DMV offices of their address change within 30 days.
  • Suppose there has been a name change. Drivers must first update their name with the Social Security administration before showing up to a DMV office to change a name.