DUI DMV Hearings
Any time you are pulled over by the police and they ask you to take a breath test, you can have your license suspended if the alcohol level is too high or you refuse. Once the police tell you that your license is going to be suspended, you have a limited amount of time — 10 days — to file for a DMV hearing.
If you don’t request a hearing, you lose your only opportunity to fend off charges. If you fail the Breathalyzer test, it’s a 90-day suspension of your license. If you refuse the Breathalyzer, the minimum suspension is one year. It can be greater depending on the circumstances.
The DMV hearing takes place prior to the criminal hearing and is a good discovery tool if you’ve been charged with a DUI. It’s the first opportunity to hear the police officer testify and if he or she failed to comply with legal procedure, you can use the information that comes out in the hearing to aid in your defense.
At these DMV hearings, the police officer who issued you the citation must prove he/she:
- Had a viable reason to stop you
- Probable cause for arrest
- Undertook proper sobriety procedures
If the police can’t prove any of these factors, the DMV can’t suspend your license.
In Oregon, there’s an office of administrative hearings that presides over these and is separate from DMV. It’s important not to be fooled — most administrative hearing officers are not your friends and they’re not going to go out of their way to help you. There will almost always be legal subtleties that you won’t be aware of. You need someone who can argue the technicalities of law in order to hold off license suspension.
Portland Attorney for DUI DMV Hearings
As a lawyer, I have extensive experience with DMV hearings and can bring my 15 years of criminal defense experience to work on your case. Because I put a premium on creativity in finding solutions to these cases, I’m often able to work to help clients retain their driving privileges.