When a person is arrested for Operation under the Influence of alcohol or drugs in Connecticut, two parallel processes are set into motion: a criminal case at the superior court, and a separate license suspension process at the DMV. Generally, 10-14 days after the OUI arrest, the defendant will receive notice from the DMV that his or her license will be suspended 31 days after the arrest. The notice will also inform the defendant that he or she has the right to a hearing where he or she may contest the suspension and, if successful, prevent his or her license from being suspended.
How can I win the Per Se hearing and Save my license from being suspended?
You have the right to be represented by an attorney at the Per Se Hearing, and you should exercise this right by hiring an experienced OUI defense attorney. You may challenge your suspension on four separate issues at the Per Se Hearing and, if the hearing officer finds in your favor on any one issue, your license will not be suspended. The four issues you can challenge are: whether you were operating the vehicle, anther there was probable cause for your arrest, whether you were placed under arrest, and what you submitted to the chemical alcohol test and the results indicate you were over the legal limit of .08. An experienced OUI attorney in CT will know how best to challenge these issues to save your license.
What are my chances of winning?
Unfortunately, not very good. Unlike the criminal court, where you are presumed innocent, at the DMV you are presumed guilty and must prove your innocence. You have less than a fifty fifty chance of winning, but if you don't challenge your suspension you have no chance of winning and your license will certainly be suspended.
What happens if I lose?
If you lose, your license will be suspended for the period of time indicate on the suspension notice, which depends upon your driving record and the circumstances of your arrest.
If my license is suspended, what can I do about getting to and from work or school?
Under certain circumstances, you may be able to obtain a special operator's permit to drive to and from work or school. An experienced OUI attorney can guide you through this process.
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