Driving while under the influence of intoxicants is a common offense in Oregon. However, there are lots of misconceptions surrounding what happens after a person gets charged with a DUI. Some of the confusion relates to what happens during the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) hearing.
This is not surprising since the DUI process can be complex with multiple stages. If you want to fight the charge or avoid the harshest penalties, you need to take the right steps at each stage. In this post, we’ll provide an overview of what the DMV hearing entails. For specific advice on your situation, you should contact a Portland DUI lawyer.
The Purpose of the DMV Hearing
DMV hearings are also known as implied consent hearings. They are for drivers who are accused of a DUI and who refused to consent to a chemical test. These hearings are optional, and they give drivers an opportunity to challenge their implied consent suspension. If you refuse to get tested, your license can be suspended. However, this isn’t done right away. Instead, the arresting officer takes your license and provides you with a temporary permit along with a notice of license suspension. You’ll have 30 days before your license suspension goes into effect.
Requesting a hearing allows the DMV to analyze your arrest for inconsistencies and reasons why your license shouldn’t be suspended. If the suspension stands, the DMV hearing determines the terms and length of the suspension.
Contrary to what some people believe, the DMV hearing doesn’t address your actual DUII charge. It is purely administrative, and it only deals with your license suspension. The hearing won’t affect your legal case.
If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence, you have just ten days to request an implied consent hearing. You must do so in writing. In most cases, the automatic suspension lasts for 90 days with the first 30 days being an absolute suspension. This means you can’t drive for any reason. For the next 60 days, you may be able to get a hardship permit. However, depending on your driving records, the suspension could be much longer. Many drivers are eligible for a hardship permit. This allows you to drive for specific purposes like going to work or school or going to drug or alcohol treatment. To improve your chances of getting such a permit, you should work with a Portland DUI attorney.
What Happens During a DMV Hearing
The hearing takes place before an administrative law judge. You can attend but if you have an attorney, they can go on your behalf. Your lawyer will work with you to determine which approach is best. The officer who arrested you will testify under oath. They may be asked about a range of things including:
- The reason they pulled you over
- Whether they had reasonable suspicion of a DUII
- Whether you performed the field sobriety test voluntarily
- Whether your arrest was lawful
- Whether you were read your rights
The hearing gives your lawyer an opportunity to assess the strength of the case against you. If there are any inconsistencies in the case or your lawyer sees a loophole, they will use it to your advantage.
Implied consent hearings typically last for a few hours. If you win, you will be able to hold on to your license. If you don’t, the suspension will go into effect. There are no fines associated with having a DMV hearing.
Why You Need to Hire an Attorney
As soon as you get charged with a DUII in Oregon, you should call a lawyer. Things happen quite quickly after your arrest so if you don’t have legal representation, you will be at a disadvantage. If you don’t file a request for a DMV hearing within the strict ten-day deadline, you won’t get another opportunity to fight for your license. If you don’t submit all the required paperwork, you may also run into difficulty. These hearings are difficult to win and if you rely on your vehicle for essential activities, you don’t want to lose your driving privileges. Handing your case over to an attorney is usually the best option.
Contact the Trilogy Law Group Today to Discuss Your Case
Requesting a DMV hearing is not mandatory, but you don’t have anything to lose by applying for one. DUII charges can result in serious disruption so you should seek any relief you can get. The hearing also gives you a chance to hear what the police have to say about your case. You should, therefore, reach out to the Portland DUI lawyers at the Trilogy Law Firm for representation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.