I received a notice from the state that gave me a date for the suspension to go into effect, but on the back of the notice of suspension from the state there is the statement
"If this department received any and all driver license issued to you from the court, you will be given credit on the duration period from the date the court took possession of your license." My license was taken the evening of the alledged DUI. Does this mean that the 90 days starts when they took my license?
No, you will not be given credit from the date of the seizure of the license. The reason is that you were issued an AST-60 form which serves two purposes: 1) it is the formal notice of intent to suspend your Alabama driver, but only after an opportunity for a due process hearing is afforded; and 2) the AST-60 form serves as a "temporary" driving permit during the 45 day period pending the Department's decision to go forward and enter a suspension order or to rescind the proposed suspension of license and privilege. Your Alabama driver license was not suspended on the date of the taking.
If you do not contest the proposed suspension order, the 90 day period for license suspension will usually start 45 days after the date of the arrest and the issuance of the AST-60 form. See, Code of Alabama, 1975, section 32-5A-303(b): "When serving a notice of intended suspension, the law enforcement officer shall take possession of any driver's license issued by this state which is held by the person. When taking possession of a valid driver's license issued by this state, the officer, acting on behalf of the director, shall issue a temporary driving permit which is valid for 30 days after the date of issuance." Although the Code states "30 days" the Department by policy has extended this period to 45 days, as a general rule.
You should note that if you are acquitted of the underlying DUI charge, or the case is dismissed or nol prossed, the Department must restore your driver license and permit without charge and remove the administrative suspension order from your MVR. It is always in your best interests to seek the advice and counsel of a qualified criminal defense lawyer, and especially one who specializes in DUI defense, to assist you in this matter. For a listing of criminal defense lawyers who are qualified in this area of law, check the listing for the National College for DUI Defense at: www.ncdd.com.
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