If you are convicted of a DUI, you can expect to face suspension of your driver's license, usually for six months to a year for a first time offense. Depending on the state you are in, this may occur immediately when you are arrested, or you may receive a notice of it five to ten days later. Either way, it is typically possible to appeal a DUI suspension of license, but it is advised that you obtain the help of a lawyer.
First Steps to Take
Before you appeal a DUI suspension of license, you need to have an idea of how fast you have to work. You need to get a lawyer quickly because you typically only have ten days to request a hearing in order to fight the suspension. If you make this deadline, you will get an administrative hearing with the local Department of Motor Vehicles to try to appeal the decision. If you miss the deadline, there is no way to make an appeal.
The Hearing Process
You are not required to have a lawyer present at the hearing, but it is strongly recommended since few people are able to fight the DUI suspension of license on their own. You are allowed to present evidence, testify, and cross-examine the police officers involved in the case.
If you lose the hearing, you can typically appeal the decision, at which time an administrative review takes place. This type of hearing is usually presided over by a panel of people who will decide whether the correct decision was made. If you win either the initial hearing or the administrative review, your license will be reinstated.
Even if you lose the hearing, in many cases, the experience can be beneficial to you overall. This is because the hearing allows you to gather support for your case, such as through cross examination of police officers. If you can acquire any positive comments from them about your case, or show that mistakes were made during the arrest, you may be able to lessen or eliminate criminal charges.
Talk to a Lawyer Right Away
Clearly, if you miss the short window of opportunity that you have to request a hearing, you cannot get your license reinstate after DUI suspension of it. However, if you contact a lawyer and ask for a hearing within ten days, you at least have a chance to fight the decision. For this reason, it is important to contact a lawyer immediately after the arrest.