What a DMV Hearing Means for You
When people get arrested for driving under the influence, they are usually worried about getting a criminal record, paying fines, and possibly doing jail time. However, one of the most significant consequences of a DUI arrest is losing your driver’s license. Even if you win your court case and are found not guilty of a DUI, you may have already lost your license as a result of the DMV’s administrative license suspension procedure.
Administrative per se (APS) hearings are not automatic. If you want a chance to fight to keep your license, you have to formally request a DMV APS hearing within 10 days after your arrest. You may have to look closely at your temporary license, which is the paper the police hands you after taking away your license in order to figure out how to go about requesting a hearing.
Of course, the easiest way to deal with a DMV hearing is to contact your DUI defense lawyer as soon as you can so that he/she can file the hearing request. An experienced attorney knows how to quickly file a hearing request, who to contact, and what the complex procedures of an APS hearing entail. Another benefit is that your lawyer will be able to represent you in both the APS hearing so you can keep your license, and before the criminal proceedings, so you can keep a DUI conviction off your record.
Winning Your DMV Hearing
Your DMV hearing is not the place to talk about how you need your car to get the kids to school, to go to work, or to go to school. The DMV hearing officer isn’t concerned with why you need your license. He/she only wants to know if the arrest was proper. If the police didn’t follow the rules, you may win your case and keep your license to drive. Your DUI attorney will be able to advise you of your DMV hearing defense strategy and your likelihood for success.
Losing Your DMV Hearing
If you lose your DMV APS hearing, your license will be suspended. However, if you never asked for an administrative license suspension hearing in the first place, you would have lost your license anyway, and therefore you really have nothing to lose when filing for an APS hearing.
Getting Your License Back
After your license is suspended, you’ll be looking to get it reinstated as soon as possible so that you can resume driving and try and put this incident behind you. Depending on why your license was suspended, the suspension period can be 6-months for a first DUI, one year for refusing a chemical test, and two or more years for multiple DUI convictions.
You may be able to get a restricted license, which allows limited time and place driving, such as to and from work or school and to and from medical appointments. You may still have to wait 30 days, pay some fees, and enroll in DUI school before you can get a restricted license.
To get your driver’s license reinstated, you will need to wait out the suspension time period, pay any court fines and fees, get proof of insurance and proof of financial responsibility (SR-22 filing), complete DUI school, and pay the DMV driver’s license reissue or reinstatement fee.
DMV Hearing Lawyer
With all the complications that stem from losing your license and having to jump through hoops to get it back, fighting an automatic administrative license suspension can save you time, money, and a lot of hassle. Remember, you have to act fast and contact your DUI lawyer in less than 10 days after your arrest if you want someone to file a DMV hearing request and represent you during the DMV hearing to keep your driver’s license.