There can be very serious penalties for a first time DUI charge, and there will be various effects on a person’s driver’s license. A skilled DUI attorney in DC will be able to help someone better understand the process of DMV proceedings and criminal court proceedings in their first time DUI case and will help them to potentially challenge their revocation.
If someone has been arrested for a DUI, then upon their release they are supposed to receive from the arresting police officer a pink piece of paper that says “Official Notice of Proposed Revocation.”
What that paper says is that, aside from the criminal charge that they are facing where they will be in front of a DC Superior Court judge, they are also facing as a completely separate matter: a mandatory six-month license revocation through the DC DMV. Even if they do not have a DC driver’s license (perhaps they have a Maryland driver’s license), it is still the DC DMV that has control over the suspension or revocation of their driving privileges inside DC as a result of their DUI arrest.
It is important to remember that the DC DMV’s decision is separate and apart from whatever happens in the criminal side of someone’s case, so they have two situations going on, one with the criminal judge and prosecutor, and the other with the DC DMV.
When someone receives that piece of paper from the police saying that they are eligible for a six-month mandatory license revocation on their DC driving privileges, they have either a ten-day or a 15-day period of time to request a hearing on that revocation. It is 10 days in the event that they have a DC driver’s license and 15 days in the event that do not have a DC driver’s license.
If someone is an out-of-state driver, they have to sign up within 15 days. In that case, the revocation proceedings are typically put off until after their court case. This is a standard step that an attorney will take when they represent clients because they want to have the chance to litigate in the case in criminal court where there is a higher likelihood of a good outcome. If an attorney can get a good outcome in court, then they can also prevent the suspension or revocation of driving privileges.
A person has that period of time to go to the DC DMV and let them know that they want to schedule a hearing to challenge the revocation of their driving privileges. If they do not request that hearing, then the DC DMV will automatically revoke their license after the time period has lapsed.
That revocation period is mandatory and DC does not offer limited licenses or restricted licenses. Someone just gets a straight six-month license revocation. If they do request a hearing, then the DC DMV will place their driving privileges in pending suspension status, meaning that they have full driving privileges until they can have their hearing.
At your hearing, which once again is separate from the criminal side of the case, a police officer who was involved in your matter can appear at the DC DMV hearing and provide testimony to suggest that you were driving under the influence. The standard of proof at the DMV for showing that you were under the influence is lower than it is at the criminal case, meaning that the police do not need to provide as much evidence in the DMV as they do in a criminal case.
In the event that you are convicted in the criminal case, then the DMV can still move forward on the six-month mandatory license revocation even though they did not find enough evidence at the DMV hearing. It is in your best interest to contact a DUI attorney in DC to go forward with your case.
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