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Myths About DC License Suspension Hearings

Below are some common myths about DC DMV license suspension hearings that can result from DUI charges in the District. To learn more or discuss your charge schedule a free consultation with a DUI lawyer in DC today.

Myth #1: You Should Go and Complain At the Hearing

The main misconception is that a lot of people think that the administrative hearing is the place for them to go and air their grievances about how it’s not fair that they were arrested and the charges against them are false. Even if that’s true, not only is that a bad idea because they are likely to make statements in front of the police officer who is helping the government prosecute this person, it is rarely effective.

Myth #2: The Ruling of the Hearing Means You’ll Be Convicted in Court

Another misconception is that a lot of people think that if they are held liable at a DC DMV they are automatically going to be convicted at criminal court but that’s not the case.  There is a higher proof standard at criminal court and the proceedings are different. Different rules and laws apply. Generally speaking, it is more difficult to establish criminal guilt than DMV liability.

Myth #3: The Hearing Will Affect the Criminal Trial

The fact that a person’s license is revoked has no bearing on the criminal trial. In fact, because the differing evidentiary standards, it will be much harder for the government to prove a DUI in criminal proceedings.

Myth #4: You Can Get a Restricted License

Restricted licenses are not available to people who had their licenses suspended because of a DUI.  At one point they were, but the DMV did away with that option some time ago. If your license is revoked because of an accusation of a DUI, you will not receive an exemption from this rule.

Myth #5: You Can Negotiate the Penalties

There are no alternative sentencing options, and you can’t negotiate the penalties at a suspension hearing. If you are found liable of DUI at the DMV or convicted of DUI at DC Superior Court, the DMV is going to revoke your license for 6 or more months and assess 12 points to your license. These penalties are non-negotiable.

Myth #6: You Need a Different Lawyers for DMV Hearings and DUI Trials

It generally doesn’t make a lot of sense to hire two different attorneys or attorneys from different law firms.  The attorneys will have to duplicate a lot of work and you will end up paying for somebody to do the same things twice. Also, if both attorneys are not exactly on the same page one of them could offer some evidence in one of the venues that is harmful in the other.  So usually it’s going to make sense to hire the same lawyer or one law firm where more than one attorney is working on your case.  If you have the opportunity to hire a law firm with more resources then you may have two attorneys that work on your case at the firm but they are working together; they are colleagues, which is different than hiring two independent attorneys who don’t know each other.

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