The process of securing an administrative hearing and prevailing are complicated. A skilled attorney that practices in the area of DUI law would be best suited to represent you. Administrative hearings are tough because the standard of proof is so low and the issues so narrow. An attorney that practices in this area should be familiar with all the standards and rules governing the hearings.
Contact Your Local HSMV Office to Request a Hearing
A hearing to challenge a driver license suspension must be requested within ten (10) days of the notice of suspension, which is usually the DUI ticket that police officer gives the person arrested. During those ten days, if otherwise eligible, the DUI ticket serves as a temporary license.
The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has a list on their website () that has the contact information for the "Hardship License" offices. These are the offices that should be contact to obtain a form to request a hearing. Simply follow the instructions on the form.
A driver has the option of a formal review hearing or an informal review. An informal review just requests that a hearing officer review all the documents and make a decision. A formal review hearing allows testimony and legal arguments to be made before the hearing officer, including the ability to subpoena witnesses. If you choose a formal review hearing, you should be prepared to argue your case.
Obtain Subpoenas if Necessary
If you have requested a formal review hearing, you should obtain a copy of the documents that have been given to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. This can be done at the office where you requested the hearing. Once you have these documents, you are allowed to subpoena the officers and other witnesses listed in those documents. The staff at that office should be able to tell you the proper procedures to have a subpoena issued.
After the subpoena has been issued, it must be served on the witness. Again, the staff at the office should be able to point you in the proper direction in order to serve the subpoena on the witness.
Argue Your Case
At your formal review hearing, you will have the opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses present as well as present evidence yourself. The hearing also provides you the opportunity to make arguments regarding reasons why the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles should invalidate your suspension. These arguments can be technical at times and it is strongly encouraged that you obtain an attorney or do much research at the local law library on what issues should be raised and how they are best handled.
Await the Results
After your hearing, the Department of Motor Vehicles will issue their decision regarding your suspension. It will be mailed to you in most all circumstances. If the suspension is invalidated, you will be able to obtain a new license free of charge.
Consider Whether to Appeal
If your license continues to be suspended after the hearing, you have a right to appeal the decision of the hearing officer. However, it is strongly encouraged that you speak to an experienced attorney at this point to discuss the possibility of an appeal and the likelihood of success.
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