Yes, You should request a hearing. You should also hire a skilled DUI attorney to attend the hearing and represent you. He will know exactly what technical issues to look for to try to keep your license from being suspended.
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Refusing a breath test comes with a 1 year suspension, you should definitely hire an attorney to help you with the DMV hearing. Remember you have 10 days from the date of arrest to request one. So to answer your question "YES" you should request a hearing, and it is a good idea to hire an attorney for this situation.
It likely is to your benefit to request a hearing. The consequence of not having a hearing and losing a hearing are identical. There also are other advantages to having a hearing that would be worth exploring with an attorney. It is very important for you to know that your time to request a hearing is very limited. In fact, you have only 10 days from the date of arrest to request a hearing. This deadline is not flexible, so your time for a decision is limited. You should seek legal advice soon.
Absolutely. Just bear in mind that the main reason you should request a hearing is not to avoid suspension, but rather to get a preview of what the arresting officer would testify to if your matter were to proceed to trial. A DMV hearing is a formal proceeding that requires the officer to give sworn testimony. That means that anything he says at that hearing can be used against him in trial, should he later contradict himself. A skilled DUII attorney can make good use of the results of a contested DMV hearing, even if your license is suspended. I do not recommend that you try to conduct the suspension hearing yourself.
To answer your question regarding suspensions - your friend is wrong. In a DUII case your license is suspended twice, once for the breath test result (or failure), and again for conviction. In Diversion cases, the test suspension issues but the conviction suspension does not. In your case, your license is subject to suspension based on your refusal to provide a sample, regardless of whether you enter Diversion.
That said, whether you should enter Diversion is a decision that you should consider carefully. I recommend that you consult with a DUII attorney as soon as possible.
This post is offered as general information and is not intended as legal advice. This information does not in of itself create any attorney-client relationship.
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