As reported earlier, Detroit Tigers' star Miguel Cabrera was arrested and charged with DUI earlier this year. Today, he is scheduled for a DMV hearing in Florida to determine whether or not he will lose his driving privileges. We sat down with Tampa DUI attorney and former state prosecutor Barry Taracks to discuss the DMV Hearing process.
"First," Mr. Taracks says, "it is important to understand that the DMV hearing is a separate process from the criminal case for DUI. After you are arrested for DUI, if you refused to blow or blew over a .08, you have ten days to contact DMV to schedule an administrative hearing. Those ten days include holidays and weekends, so it is imperative that you act fast. Should you fail to contact the DMV, your license will automatically be suspended." Mr. Taracks says that unfortunately, many people fail to contact DMV in time. "An experienced lawyer will be able to handle the whole process for you, making things a lot easier. He or she will even set up the hearing."
Mr. Taracks says there are several ways to attack the suspension. "In
order for the DMV to suspend your license they need to prove several things.
Were you lawfully arrested? Were you read Florida's implied consent
law? Did you refuse chemical testing to determine your BAC? Did your blood or
breath test show a BAC over .08? Was the test administered properly? Having personally
handled thousands of these hearings, I know what to look for to fight
the suspension. I attend these hearings and subpoena the arresting officer
to question him on the record about why he stopped you in the first place.
It is important to ensure that the officer had probable cause to arrest
you, because if he did not your suspension will be invalidated and your
criminal case may even be thrown out."
As reported earlier, Mr. Taracks sees several issues with Cabrera's case. "One of the key elements in every DUI case that the State must prove is actual, physical control." Mr. Taracks says that this means the State must prove that Cabrera was behind the wheel or was in control of an operable vehicle. Since the vehicle on the night in question was broken down, the State - and DMV - might have issues with their case. Additionally, there was no "wheel witness" - meaning nobody saw Mr. Cabrera behind the wheel. "The State must show that the defendant was the one behind the wheel - the driver, not just a passenger or bystander. A DUI, or any misdemeanor for that matter, has to be committed in the presence of a police officer in order for a legal arrest to be made."
Mr. Taracks went on to explain that during the ten day window you are given to schedule a hearing, the ticket you were issued following your DUI will serve as your driver's license. After a hearing is scheduled, you will receive a temporary business purpose permit that allows you to drive while your hearing is pending. After that hearing, even if your license is suspended, an experienced Tampa DUI lawyer will be able to get you a hardship license within 30 or 90 days, depending on whether your blew over .08 or refused to submit a breath sample at all.
"Hiring the right attorney is crucial because this is a complex process with many potential ways to attack the criminal case and suspension. An experienced DUI lawyer will be able to fight the State's case against you while simultaneously fighting to help keep you on the road at the DMV hearing. Call my firm today at 813-281-2897 for a free consultation if you have been arrested for DUI. Remember, you only have ten days to act if you blew a .08 or higher or refused to submit a sample at all!"
Taracks & Associates - The Advocate For You