What to Expect at a DMV Refusal Hearing in New York

Posted almost 5 years ago. Applies to New York, 5 helpful votes

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1

The DMV Refusal Notice

Generally, when you appear before the Arraignment Court at your first appearance after being arrested, you will not only enter a plea of Not Guilty, you will be given a number of papers to take with you, one of which is a notification of a DMV Refusal Hearing. There will be a date on the document and you are obligated to show up on that date. Meanwhile, your license will usually be suspended by the Court until your next Court appearance. If you need your license to drive to and from work, school or for needed medical care, you may make an application for a Restricted License at your next Court appearance which can be scheduled within 48 hours, so there won't be an inordinate interruption in your license.

2

The DMV Refusal Hearing

Its usually best not to adjourn the DMV Refusal Hearing because if you somehow get it done, the DMV will reschedule it at their convenience and your license can be suspended during the intervening period of time. Instead, its usually best to conduct the hearing if you want to gather information from the police officers who arrested you for later use during the DWI trial. They are not represented during those hearings, so your attorney can usually get a lot of helpful information ahead of time so he/she can prepare for the Trial better. Show up before the scheduled time so you and your attorney can prepare for the hearing. Its best to remember that you never know what the police are going to say, so the hearing is all about information gathering. If they read the DMV warning to you "word for word" then the Hearing Officer will hold against you, regardless of almost any defensive explanation you may offer. Its a hands-down conclusion that you will lose the hearing.

3

If You Lose the Refusal Hearing

Even if you lose the hearing, not much is lost because, in most counties, if your reading was over a .12 you'll more than likely be required to plead guilty to DWI if you want to end the case without a trial and that will inevitably mean your license will be revoked at the time of sentencing. So, its not much of a difference. However, if you lose your license at DMV, it gives you a much greater incentive to get your Court case over with faster than if you keep your license after the hearing. The primary reason for conducting the hearing in the first place was in order to gather sworn testimony from the police before the trial occurs so you can use it against them during the trial. A lot of time should be spent cross-examining them during the hearing so your attorney gets as much as possible out of them to use later.

4

Don't continually Adjourn the Refusal Hearing

While it may seem beneficial to adjourn the Refusal hearing initially, don't allow it to be adjourned too much because you are not getting any credit for all that time in which your license may be lost. If you have already lost your license, get the hearing over quickly so that everything else can progress quickly as well. Otherwise, your hearing could get "lost" in "DMV-land" and it may never get done, but you won't be able to get your license back either. Get it done and move on with the criminal trial as soon as possible is usually the best approach given the laws as they presently exist.

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