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Tampa Criminal Defense
Tampa's Aggressive Criminal Defense Firm

Florida Hardship License Hearings

Business Purposes Only License Following A Tampa DUI


At our firm, we know that our clients primary concern is the ability to keep driving throughout this difficult ordeal. That is why we place a special emphasis on immediately acquiring a hardship license for our clients and providing them with detailed information to inform them about the outcome of their driver’s license.

Step 1 – Getting you the Temporary Driver’s Permit
Once charged with DUI, the first thing any one of the lawyers with our firm will tell you is that we will do everything we can to keep you driving. We know that your ability to drive keeps you working and functioning in your everyday life. Assuming you had a valid license at the time of your arrest and are eligible for a permit, we can typically acquire a temporary driver’s permit for you within 48 hours when we file the necessary paperwork and request a Formal Review Hearing. The temporary driver’s permit is not a license; it is a piece of paper with a red stamp on it, signed by an Officer of the Bureau of Administrative Review (B.A.R.) allowing you to drive for “Business Purposes Only.” Essentially, you are permitted to drive to ‘maintain your livelihood – driving to work, church, school activities and medical appointments are all permissible forms of driving.

Step 2 – The Formal Review Hearing
A Formal Review Hearing (FRH) will be set within 42 days of our request for a FRH. The FRH is dealing solely with your driver’s license – it has nothing to do with the criminal case. FRH’s are held at 2814 E. Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa FL. When we receive notice of the FRH, we immediately notify you and take the necessary steps to give us the best chance of winning the hearing. At the FRH, we have the opportunity to review the police report, the breath test affidavit and question the officer (if he or she is subpoenaed to appear). Unfortunately, the Hearing Officer, who is an employee of the State of FLorida is not concerned with you as a person. Your employment status, number of children, necessity to drive are all factors which have no bearing on the outcome of the FRH. Essentially, the hearing is won or lost based on the paperwork provided by the Bureau of Administrative Review and whether the officer (if subpoenaed)

Step 3- Outcome of the FRH
After the FRH, one of two things will happen – we will win the hearing or lose the hearing. If we win the hearing, you will be eligible to reinstate your license and drive without any restrictions. If we lose the hearing, there will be a period of time during which you will be ineligible to drive. The time period that you will be ineligible to drive depends on the specific facts in your case:

  • Breath Test – If you provided a breath test at the time of your arrest, and we lose the FRH, there will be a period of 30 days during which you will not be eligible to drive for any reason. The 30 days of ‘no driving’ begins at midnight on the date your temporary permit expires.
  • Refusal - If you refused to provide a breath sample, and we lose the FRH, there will be a period of 90 days during which you will not be able to drive for any reason. The 90 days of ‘no driving’ begins at midnight on the date your temporary permit expires.
  • Out of State Drivers – Recently, the Bureau of Administrative Review and the Department of Highway & Safety Motor Vehicles changed their policy with respect to out of state drivers and the outcome of the FRH. If we win the hearing, the State of Florida will lift any pending administrative suspension/hold they had on your license. However, if we lose the hearing, the State of Florida will take action to suspend your license for 6 months (if your provided a breath test) or 1 year (if you refused to provided a breath test.) Your home state may interpret this suspension differently so it is important to check with the Department of Motor Vehicles in your home state to determine what requirements they have to reinstate your license, pending the outcome of the criminal case.

Step 4 – After the ‘No Driving’ Period – Getting Another Hardship License
As the 30 or 90 days of ‘No Driving’ draws to an end, you must contact the Bureau of Administrative Review to schedule a Hardship Hearing. Unfortunately, we can not do this for you – the Hearing Officer wants to hear from you about how the prior days of no driving has significantly impacted your livelihood. The Bureau of Administrative Review where the hearing will be held is located at 2814 E. Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa, FL and their phone number is 813-276-5795. They will be able to provide you with the exact date you are eligible to get another hardship license, which will be valid during the duration of the criminal case, which is most likely still pending. Prior to the Hardship Hearing, you will want to attend and complete DUI school (www.duicounterattack.com) and bring the Certificate of Completion with you to the Hardship hearing.

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