A DUI arrest in Colorado Springs generally results in two cases: One with the criminal courts and one with the Colorado DMV. One can result in jail time, and the other can result in a loss of your driving privileges (temporarily or permanently). These two cases proceed in very different ways and the outcomes can impact your life differently. If you have been arrested for a DUI, it is important to understand the administrative aspect of your case just as much as your criminal proceedings.
What You Need to Know About Your Administrative Hearing
The administrative hearing is conducted by the Colorado DMV. After your DUI arrest, you will receive notification for this hearing.
There are five critical things to know about this process:
- The DMV hearing must be requested within seven days of your arrest. You must request your DMV hearing within seven calendar days from the date of your arrest. This provides you with the opportunity to retain your license. If the hearing is not requested in seven days, you may lose your license automatically and the duration of the suspension will depend on whether you’ve had previous DUI convictions.
- The DMV hearing has no bearing on your criminal case. Your DMV hearing is likely to complete long before your criminal case does – and the outcome of the DMV hearing will have no impact on your criminal case. So, even if you are allowed to keep your license, you could still be sentenced to jail for a guilty verdict on your DUI or vice-versa.
- The arresting officer has the right to appear at your DMV hearing. The DMV may request that the arresting officer come to the hearing to explain his or her version of what happened. After this explanation, you have the right to question the officer and use your own evidence to show the DMV that you deserve to keep your driving privileges.
- The hearing is very informal. Compared to your criminal case, the hearing itself is very informal. But, do not let the informalities confuse you regarding the seriousness of the case. You should still have an attorney present to represent you during this administrative hearing. An attorney can help you present evidence, question the officer, and argue on your behalf. Attorneys also understand how these procedures work, and they can prepare you for the questioning – ensuring that you do not accidentally harm your chances of keeping your license.
- You can still appeal the hearing’s decision. If you do not like the outcome of your DMV hearing, you have the right to appeal within 30 days of the decision being rendered. But, you must have a valid reason for your appeal – instead of just being unsatisfied. If you feel there was a misapplication of the law or you were not given your due process, you could appeal.
Speak with a Colorado Springs DUI Attorney First
If you have been arrested, you have only seven days to file your administrative hearing request. Therefore, time is of the essence. Before requesting your hearing, contact an attorney who has experience with DUI cases and administrative hearings. Christian A. Schwaner, P.C. can assist you with your DUI charge, and even help you during the administrative hearing. Contact him now at 719-577-9700 to schedule a consultation, or fill out his online contact form with your legal questions.