DMV Hearings, also known as An Admin Per Se Hearings or APS Hearing, need to be requested within 10 days of a DUI arrest. You should contact a criminal defense attorney right away if law enforcement arrested you for a DUI. That way we can be sure to request your DMV Hearing and fight to preserve your driving privilege.
There are different types of DMV hearings depending on the circumstances of your case. For example, the DMV may proceed with a hearing to determine whether you were driving with a .08 or higher BAC. Alternatively, they may hold a hearing to determine whether you refused a chemical test. We can present many of the same defenses as we would in criminal court for a DUI. There are other issues specific to the DMV we can discuss based on the discovery we receive. This typically includes the police reports, blood results, and DMV forms. You can read more about these potential defenses here.
DMV Hearings – Driving with a .08 or Higher
The DMV will determine whether law enforcement legally stopped you, whether you were driving, AND whether your blood alcohol content was .08 or higher at the time of driving. If the DMV finds all of those things, they will suspend your license. The length of the suspension depends on how many prior DUI convictions you have in the last 10 years.
If the DMV suspends your license under these circumstances, we can explain how you can obtain a restricted license. There are different restrictions, with pros and cons for each. We will discuss those with you, so that you can decide what is the best option.
DMV Hearings -Refusing a Chemical Test
The DMV may decide to pursue a different kind of suspension at your DMV hearing based on refusing to provide a chemical test. When officers arrest for a DUI, the law requires you to submit to a chemical test, either breath or blood. For this type of hearing, the DMV will decide whether the officer lawfully arrested you, whether they properly admonished you regarding the choice of providing breath or blood, and whether you refused to submit a breath or blood sample.
If the DMV determines you refused a chemical test, they will suspend your license. Unfortunately, this suspension does not allow for you to get a restrict licenses during the suspension period. This suspension ranges from 1 to 3 years depending on your prior DUI history.
There are a number of ways to fight the refusal at the DMV Hearing. For the DMV to find you refused, officers must advise you of the implied consent admonishment. This means they have to explain that you are required to give a breath or blood sample, or you could lose your license. Therefore, we can argue that you did not refuse if there is evidence that the officer did not advise you, or didn’t advise you correctly.
In addition, we could argue that you did not understand the advisement, or you were not advised of the consequences of refusing. Furthermore, there are several other issues specific to the refusing the chemical test. It is important to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible following a DUI arrest. That way we can request an Administrative Per Se Hearing within the 10-day time frame. This will allow us to fight to preserve your driving privilege at a future hearing.
DMV Hearings – Medical Issues
Your license can be suspended if you have a medical condition that affects your ability to drive. Sometimes the DMV is notified by law enforcement that you have a condition that makes you unable to drive safely. This could be any number of conditions. If the DMV sent you a notice for this kind of issue, we can work with you to schedule a hearing. Once we scheduled the hearing, we can collect the appropriate documentation to present to the DMV Hearing Officer.
If the DMV has suspended or revoked your license whether because of a court conviction or as a result of your DMV hearing, we can assist you in obtaining a restricted license. When appropriate, we will help you get your license reinstated.
For a first time DUI suspension (without a refusal), you are eligible for a restricted license either for work purposes, or with an Interlock Ignition Device (IID). There are pros and cons for each of these. For example, the IID has additional costs for installing, and having the device in your car. However, it is typically for a shorter period. Meanwhile, the restriction for Work Purposes is less expensive. But you cannot drive anywhere, and the restriction is typically for a longer period of time.
The DMV and the court are two separate entities that may have different requirements. It may not make sense to get the work restriction if the court is requiring you to have the IID, for example. Navigating the court and DMV Hearings can be confusing; be sure to discuss your options and circumstances with an experienced criminal defense attorney. You can find more resources related to DUI and Licenses here.