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What Happens at a DMV Hearing?

DUI Lawyers in Connecticut

In the state of Connecticut, individuals who have been charged with DUI will always have a corresponding DMV hearing. The DMV hearing is actually a civil matter, and operates under a separate group of laws known as the Connecticut Administrative Procedures Act. Because it is a civil case, the burden of proof is not as high as in criminal cases. During the hearing, an examiner will review a number of issues and make a determination on whether or not to suspend the defendant's driver's license.

The DMV hearing is actually titled an “administrative per se hearing.” This proceeding is separate from your criminal one and only concerns your driving privileges. At the DMV hearing, a hearing examiner will only determine whether to suspend your driver’s license and for how long.

If the individual refuses to submit to a chemical test to determine his/her blood alcohol content (BAC) or submits to a chemical test which determines his/her BAC is over the legal limit (.08), the police officer—on behalf of the Connecticut DMV—will revoke the person’s driver’s license immediately or, if the person is a non-resident, suspend driving privileges for a 24-hour period.

The examiner during your DMV hearing will need to make a decision on the following issues:

  • Did the law enforcement officer have probable cause to make an arrest in the first place?
  • Was the person placed under arrest?
  • Did the person refuse to submit to a BAC test or did the BAC test indicate that, at the time of the alleged offense, the BAC was greater than .08%?
  • Was the person operating a motor vehicle?

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Requesting a DMV Hearing

Requesting a suspension hearing—seven days from the date of the letter. License goes under suspension on the 30th day after the arrest unless granted a continuance at which time you go under suspension on the 45th day after the arrest. We usually request the 15-day continuance to give us time to prepare. This means that your hearing must take place within the 30 day period, or within the 45-day period if a continuance was obtained.

For a first-time or second-time offender, your suspension will last for 45 days with the requirement that you install an ignition interlock device (IID) for at least one year for first offenders. If this is your second DUI within a 10-year period, you must have the device for three years. A refusal to submit to testing is a one-year suspension for first offenders with no opportunity to obtain a restricted license. A second refusal will result in a two-year suspension. Third-time DUI offenders will have their driver’s license permanently revoked and then wait two years to request reconsideration.

Tomeo Sills, LLC, Fighting to Help You Retain Your Driving Privileges

While the DMV does not have the authority to impose any fines or criminal sanctions during this hearing, your driving privileges are at stake, which is a significant issue for most. Our Connecticut DUI lawyers at Tomeo Sills, LLC are able to represent our clients during DMV hearings. We usually ask that clients do not attend them, as the matters in question are typically won based on technical matters, and do not require any type of testimony. Our ultimate goal is to protect your driving privileges so that you can put this all behind you as quickly as possible.

For skilled representation during your DMV hearing, please contact us today.

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