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What Is the Purpose of the DMV Hearing Following an Alcohol-Related Charge?


Interviewer: What we’re going to touch on today are the questions about the DMV following an arrest for DUI. Then some of them you can expand on in the topics that you also cover under DMV.

Now to start with, what exactly is a DMV hearing? Is it a criminal case? Is it a civil case? How do you explain the process to someone that is face a DMV hearing?

A DUI Charge Comprises a Criminal and an Administrative Component

Aaron: When someone’s been arrested for a drunk driving offense, there are two different forms that they need to deal with or have their attorney deal with. One is the criminal case which is in court.

The other is with the DMV which stands for the Department of Motor Vehicles where they’re trying to take away your privilege to drive. The DMV hearing is a simple hearing. It’s not a criminal hearing. There’s no jail sentence at stake. What they’re trying to do again is take away your driver’s license. That’s what a DMV hearing is.

An Administrative Per Se Hearing

What a DMV hearing is officially called when you’ve had a drunk driving arrest is an administrative per say hearing or admin per say hearing. That’s a hearing where they’re trying to take away your driver’s license by proving that they had reasonable cause to pull your over and initiate a DUI investigation, that they legally arrested you and that you were at or over a .08 blood alcohol level at the time of driving.

Following the DUI Charge, the License Suspension Is Handled through the Department of Motor Vehicles

Interviewer: A DMV hearing is completely separate. If you were stopped for DUI, that’s going to go to a criminal court whereas your license is going to be handled completely different in a civil matter through DMV.

Aaron: Exactly. Then when you get arrested for the DUI, an officer, when you get released, will usually give you a pink temporary license. On that license in small print will say that you have 10 days to request a hearing with the DMV or within 30 days your license will be suspended.

It Is Important to Request the Hearing at the DMV within the Allotted Time and Advisable to Retain an Attorney for the Hearing

It’s critical to request a hearing with DMV or a better way to do it is to hire an experienced lawyer who is familiar with the process. The attorney can contact DMV, and set up the hearing with a hearing officer who will give you a chance to argue your case.

By Aaron Bortel

Aaron Bortel

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