DUI DMV/Civil Hearing
When celebrities are arrested for driving under the influence, we often see media following them to a criminal courthouse. What we don’t see is their equally important trip to the department of motor vehicles hearing. Many people are not aware that a DUI charge brings about two separate cases. One is the obvious criminal hearing and the other is a civil proceeding with the state’s DMV. In the latter case, the DMV will seek to suspend or revoke your driver’s license if they believe you were drinking and driving.
It’s important to note that the DMV hearing is not an automatic event. In most states, you only have a limited amount of time following the date of your DUI arrest to request a hearing. If you fail to request a hearing, the DMV automatically suspends your driver’s license.
What Happens During A DMV/Civil Hearing?
Unlike a case in criminal court, there will be no witness testimony. Information surrounding your case will be reviewed such as the police report, police statements, field sobriety test results and the results of your chemical test if you chose to submit to one. You should consider hiring a DUI defense attorney to defend you during the civil proceeding as well as the criminal case because you could be treated unfairly.
For instance, while the civil hearing is not part of the justice system, there are some rules that must be followed in order to ensure a fair hearing. They must review certain criteria such as if your blood alcohol content test results were above the legal limit. It must also be determined that you were the driver of the vehicle. Other questions should be raised such as why you were stopped by police in the first place. The officer who stopped your vehicle should also have done so in a legal manner. If you were asked to perform a field sobriety test, the officer should have followed the proper methods to administer such testing.
Lengthening Your Suspension
If you refused to take a chemical test, the hearing will review whether or not the officer informed you of the consequences. Refusing chemical testing automatically increases the length of your driver’s license suspension.
For more specific questions about your DMV hearing, contact your attorney.
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