Administrative Hearings Commercial Driver’s License Suspensions
In Florida, having a commercial driver’s license (CDL) allows an individual to make a solid living and provide for their family. Being arrested for DUI can be overwhelming so you will need a qualified DUI attorney to defend your administrative suspension and criminal charge. Florida Statute 322.2615 provides for CDL disqualification if a commercial vehicle operator is arrested for DUI and had a blood alcohol content over .08 or higher or refused to provide a test sample. Whether the driver was in a commercial or passenger vehicle when arrested is irrelevant.
If you were arrested pursuant to Florida statute 316.193, then you are going to need Palm Beach County DUI defense lawyer with an accomplished background in defending DUI charges.
DUI LAwyer For CDL Disqualification in West Palm Beach, Florida
The civil portion of the DUI begins with administrative hearing. Commercials drivers, whether you have a CDL A, B, or C, if you were arrested while working and driving a commercial vehicle at the time of your DUI arrest, it is imperative that you contact a DUI defense attorney experienced in defending CDL disqualification in administrative hearings. The Law Office of Roger P. Foley represents CDL holders throughout Florida, with offices in Palm Beach and Broward counties, and with the advancement of programs like zoom and skype we can assist CDL drivers with their legal troubles anywhere in Florida. We can assist you in setting the administrative hearing and determine whether you want a formal or informal hearing.
Upon requesting an administrative hearing to dispute the suspension of your driver’s license, you will receive a permit for 42 days. That permit does not allow driving of commercial vehicles.
At the administrative hearing, whether formal or informal, the hearing officer will address both your CDL and non-commercial license.
Formal vs Informal Reviews in DUI Cases Explained
In a Formal Review Hearing, in Palm Beach County, your attorney will be afforded the opportunity to subpoena witnesses and cross examine them. Your attorney will also be able to introduce evidence other than the documents submitted by law enforcement. Formal Review Hearings are difficult to win because the Burden of proof is low; preponderance of evidence. However, even if the disqualification / suspension of your driver’s license is sustained, the sworn testimony provided by witnesses can greatly assist your DUI attorney in finding legal arguments to assist in your criminal DUI case. It is rare that your presence is needed during a formal review hearing however on refusal cases it may be essential by testifying that you did not refuse.
Informal Review Hearing is conducted without witnesses as the hearing officer will only rely on the documents provided by law enforcement and any argument that your attorney presents. Informal hearings are used when the paperwork fails to establish a material element in the case. For example, a document is missing. If the officer is subpoenaed then he can correct the error with his testimony. Accordingly, one can see the importance of having a seasoned DUI administrative hearing attorney on hand to determine if the paperwork is correct. An attorney dabbling in DUI defense may not recognize the paperwork error and inadvertently allow the arresting officer to correct the record causing your driver’s license suspension to be sustained.
Evidence Relied Upon During the Administrative Hearing / Disqualification of CDL
At the administrative hearing to determine where your CDL disqualification will be sustained or invalidated, the hearing officer will rely on the following in making their determination:
- Florida Uniform Citation / The traffic ticket written by law enforcement
- Probable Cause Affidavit or police report
- Crash Report, if applicable
- Alcohol Influence Report
- Documents demonstrating maintenance and inspection of breath machine (Intoxilizer 8000)
- Breath Test Results Printout or Refusal Affidavit
- Notice of disqualification
- Witness Testimony
- Case law
Remember the Law Office of Roger P. Foley is available to represent you in DUI administrative hearing in Martin and St Lucie Counties also. The process throughout Florida is the same so consult with the DUI lawyer you want leading your case. Mr. Foley has been representing individuals charged with DUI, in the Treasure Coast and South Florida, since 2004.
Don’t forget you must request a DUI administrative hearing within 10 days.
Dubal Driving With an Unlawful Blood Alcohol Level (Breath or Blood) for CDL Holders
At the administrative hearing, the scope of the hearing is whether the following occurred:
- Whether there was probable cause for the stop of motor vehicle,
- Was there probable cause to believe the person charged was driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle (commercial or non-commercial),
- Holds a commercial driver’s license (CDL),
- Was under the influence of drugs and or alcohol,
- Had a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level .08 or higher
If so, then the disqualification will be sustained and your license will be suspended.
CDL Holder Disqualification Based on DUI Arrest - Refusal to Consent to Breath, Blood or Urine
The administrative hearing for a refusal after arrest for DUI will focus on the following:
- Probable cause for the stop,
- Was their probable cause to believe the person charged was driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle (commercial or non-commercial),
- Held a valid CDL at the time of arrest,
- Was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol,
- Refused to submit to testing after law enforcement requested that they do so,
- In addition to implied consent, whether law enforcement informed the individual, at time of refusal, that if they failed to submit to testing that their ability to operate a commercial vehicle would be suspended for one (1) year or permanently if previously disqualified.
Invalidating a CDL Disqualification in Palm Beach County, Florida
After the administrative hearing, the DMV hearing officer will mail written notice within seven (7) days to your DUI attorney stating whether they sustained the disqualification or if they invalidated the disqualification pursuant to Florida Statute 322.2615. If successful the hearing officer will invalidate the suspension and disqualification and you will be eligible to resume driving. If the suspension is sustained there is still hope based on Florida Statute 322.2615(16) which states in pertinent part that “The department shall invalidate a suspension for driving with an unlawful blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level imposed under this section if the suspended person is found not guilty at trial of an underlying violation of s. 316.193.”