What Anyone Accused of DUI in Florida Should Know

In my opinion, what follows is true in about 97% of all DUI cases. I do not believe that the average intelligent person (with no criminal experience) can read a Florida DUI citation and figure out what is happening to them. This is important because a Florida DUI citation is, from a legal standpoint, a very complicated document that does a lot of stuff. The Florida DUI citation is the driver’s legal notice that there are two legal proceedings that involve the driver. THIS IS VITALLY IMPORTANT! There are two cases charged against the driver in a typical DUI case, and by the time the driver has received his DUI citation, the driver has already lost one of the cases. If the driver is going to try and redeem himself and his driving privilege, he only has ten days in which to start that process. The process of challenging the lost case is called the formal review process and it has nothing to do with the driver’s hardship license.

The DUI citation is the formal notice to the arrested driver that the arresting officer has initiated, investigated and ruled upon the decision of whether to administratively suspend the driving privilege of the arrested driver. The DUI citation is also the formal notice to the driver that the arresting officer has administratively suspended the driving privilege of the arrested person. The DUI citation is also the formal notice to the driver that the only way the driver can challenge the administrative suspension is by applying for a FORMAL REVIEW.

What is a formal review? What is the formal review process? How does one go about getting a formal review? What is a person to do if one is to have a formal review? How does one prepare for a formal review? What kind of questions are going to be asked at a formal review? Should I take any steps to have witnesses at my formal review? How do I go about getting subpoenas issued for my formal review?

These are all good questions. I have never met a person accused of DUI who could give an intelligent answer to the above questions. In my experience, only a very small percentage of the attorneys who practice DUI criminal defense can give intelligent answers to the above questions.


If you do not know the answers to the questions in the paragraph above, you are going to need an attorney who does. Just as importantly, you are going to need that attorney real soon. If you wait ten days after your arrest to hire your attorney, you have probably waited too long. FREE LEGAL ADVICE: You are going to want your lawyer to have as much time as possible to work on your case. Interview a bunch of lawyers. Ask them about the formal review process. Find out if they are know legible on the subject of formal reviews. If you want to get your drivers license back, it is probably going to be your attorney who gets it back for you. Make sure your attorney can do that job for you.

DUI’s are complicated legal problems and there are a lot of things you have to consider to fully appreciate the problems involved. The first thing to realize, in my opinion, is that you are dealing with two cases, not one.


I am told that in some states, if you have a substantial period during which you get no tickets or driving charges, the state will wipe your record clean and you get a clean slate for a driving history. Sounds good. That is not the case in Florida, however.

A DUI is recorded on a Florida driving history first, as a conviction for the crime of DUI. That entry will be accompanied by second entry noting that there has been a suspension of the driving privilege. In addition to the conviction and the suspension for the conviction, the driving record will also note if there has been an administrative suspension for either driving with an unlawful breath or blood alcohol level or that there has been an administrative suspension for a refusal to submit to chemical testing. Consequently, a single DUI can cause a person to have two suspensions of his or her privilege to drive in Florida.


Hell, yes! You need an attorney very badly.

Eventually you are going to have to pull the trigger and decide who will represent your interests in court. Make a second appointment with Steven Tinsley and do the interview again.

It is important that you start the process as fast as you can. If you need an attorney, then it is likely that you need that attorney quickly. Ask yourself the following question: “is this delay going to help me?” Not having money is clearly an issue, buy what is stopping you from calling for an free consultation? Delay almost always helps the government since bruises heal, witnesses are lost and memories fade. You do not know how to organize and coordinate an effective and aggressive criminal defense but Steven Tinsley does. Make an appointment. Ask the hard questions, put him on the spot and get started with your defense!