Department of Motor Vehicle Hearings in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, when you have been arrested for DUI, you will face two legal proceedings. One is in criminal court, and the other is an administrative hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles, otherwise known as the DMV. Each of these hearings is run by its own set of rules, regulations, and laws. Both will require a skilled Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney to navigate.
When you were arrested for Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs, you were given a citation. That citation allows you to drive on a provisional basis for thirty days. The citation also tells you that your license will be suspended if you don’t successfully appeal your case with the DMV. You must get a hearing scheduled within ten days of your DUI arrest, so this is the first and most important thing on your defense list. Your purpose is to appeal that automatic suspension, and if you either don’t get this hearing scheduled or are unsuccessful in appealing the suspension, your driver’s license will automatically be lost to you. If you are convicted of the DUI charge, it will remain suspended.
When you get a DUI in Pennsylvania, you face two points at which your driver’s license can be suspended: this administrative DMV hearing, and in court when the criminal justice judge sentences you. Even if your charges are dropped, you still may find your license suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles, which is why it is so important that you hire an attorney to help you make it right.
Unlike your criminal DUI hearings, a DMV hearing is brought before a PennDOT hearing officer instead of a judge, and the cop who arrested you will present the case. You do not have to be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in this hearing. Probable cause is enough for you a guilty verdict. The judge will look at your BAC level, the legality of the administration of the Breathalyzer or Field Sobriety Tests that you took, and several other things.Department of Motor Vehicles Hearing Procedures
You will have to provide certain pieces of information when your hearing with the DMV is scheduled, basic information such as your driver’s license number, your name, the date on the suspension notice you received, and if you refused to take a blood alcohol test. By scheduling a DMV hearing, you are giving yourself, and your lawyer, the opportunity to see and go over any evidence the state plans to use against you. This includes the police officer’s report. You will be able to prepare for your DMV hearing and better understand the case the state has against you. In the end, you may be unsuccessful in your efforts to stop the suspension of your license, but you will be able to better prepare to defend yourself against the criminal DUI charges.Do I Need a Lawyer for the DMV Hearing, or can I Manage It Myself?
You can certainly schedule the DMV hearing yourself, and even attend it without representation; however, both the process for scheduling it and the hearing itself can be complicated and overwhelming. The outcome is too important to leave to chance. Your best bet is to hire a DUI attorney who has knowledge and experience in DMV hearings.
Are you facing the suspension of your license related to a DUI charge? Do you want to set up a DMV hearing? Then you will need a criminal defense attorney experienced in handling DUI cases and DMV hearings. The Logue Criminal Defense team has defended hundreds of DUI cases. Logue Law Group serves the Pittsburgh, PA area, as well as West Virginia and Ohio. Call today for a free initial consultation. 1-844-PITT-DUI or (412) 389-0805, or contact us online.
Don’t delay! You only have so long to schedule a DMV hearing, and the more time that passes, the harder it will be for you and your attorney to prepare your case. Call now!