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DMV License Suspension Hearing and Your Denver Criminal Defense Attorney


October 5, 2016

It is important to remember that you only have one week after your DUI arrest to request a Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) hearing.  In some circumstances, you may be able to retain your driving privileges.  However, keep in mind that whether you lose or keep your license at the DMV, there is still another and entirely separate process to be dealt with; your criminal case. Also, anything that you say at a DMV administrative hearing could be used against you in your criminal case.  That is why we strongly recommend that you have your Denver criminal defense attorney represent you at any DMV hearing.

What to Expect at the DMV Administrative Hearing

When you walk into a DMV hearing, you might be surprised at the surroundings.  This is not anything like a courtroom. You will walk into a small office with a desk, computer, and a few chairs.  The DMV hearing officer, your lawyer, and possible the arresting officer will squeeze into this office.  The hearing officer will review all the materials in your expressed consent packet. This packet contains the police report from your DUI arrest.
 
The DMV hearing is somewhat like a miniature trial, where the arresting police officer will testify against you, and you will have the opportunity to testify as well. The hearing is very brief, usually lasting between 20 minutes and one hour.

As your lawyer I may have the opportunity to rebut these to accomplish any of the following:
  • Prove that your breath or blood test was not .08% or higher (above the legal blood alcohol level)
  • Prove that there was not probable cause to stop you
  • Prove that your breath or blood test was not accurately obtained
  • Prove that there was not probable cause for the officer to obtain your blood or breath
By having an experienced Denver DUI attorney at your side, you will be able to cross examine the officer during this time. Not only that, but you can also present a sworn testimony and allow the hearing officer to ask you any questions regarding the arrest. 

These hearings are very challenging to win – especially for those who have not retained a lawyer.  One of the biggest reasons for this challenge is the extremely low burden of proof that the DMV must reach in order to suspend your license after a DUI arrest.  The standard in a criminal case is what you hear on television – proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  This is the highest standard in the legal world.  However, the standard at the DMV is a preponderance of the evidence – just enough to tilt the scales in one direction or another.  The DMV hearing officer will rely on this low standard very heavily when considering the evidence in your case.

An experienced DUI attorney is best equipped to make a successful DMV hearing work in your favor so call us as soon as possible after your DUI arrest to get the DMV request and process started to protect your driving privileges. You need a Denver DUI defense attorney who can help you with your DUI case, and help you navigate the short, as well as, long-term consequences of your DUI arrest. Schedule a consultation with us today at 303-501-1800.