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If you are arrested for OUI (operating under the influence) or DUI (driving under the influence) in the state of Connecticut, you will have to deal with more than the criminal charges made against you. In addition, the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will seek to suspend your driver’s license under Connecticut General Statutes § 14-227b. If they are successful in doing so, you will be required use an ignition interlock device (IID) for a period of time.
If you are convicted of DUI under Connecticut General Statutes § 14-227a, then the DMV will also suspend your license and require IID.
The only way to avoid suspension and IID requirements and have your license in reinstated in DUI related cases is to request and prevail at a Connecticut DMV Restoration Hearing. Each type of DUI suspension has a specific type of DMV hearing. These are highly technical hearings where you will benefit from the best Connecticut DUI legal representation.
FOR LEGAL REPRESENTATION IN A LICENSE RESTORATION HEARING, CONTACT OUR CONNECTICUT DUI DEFENSE LAWYERS TODAY.
Fighting to Reinstate your Suspended Driver’s License in Connecticut
Drivers who face DMV license suspension after a DUI arrest in Connecticut have a specific time frame to request an administrative hearing with the DMV. These are not criminal hearings. There is no judge and no prosecutor. A DMV Hearing Officer will preside over the matter, hear and review the evidence, and make a final decision regarding your license. Often a DMV Presenter will present the DMV’s case against you.
Your Connecticut DUI Defense Lawyer will present your defense to the DUI allegations. Your attorney can point out flaws in the DMV’s evidence and make legal arguments based on precedents set in previous DUI DMV cases. Your license restoration attorney can also subpoena and cross-examine witness – including the arresting officer. Your lawyer can also subpoena audio and video evidence from you arrest. You have the right to remain silent and not testify, but you may also choose to testify. If you do testify, you defense lawyer will question you first and prepare you for any potential cross examination by the DMV personnel. Your attorney can call expert witnesses to testify or present expert reports and medical records. At the end of the hearing, your DUI defense lawyer will make a closing argument in favor of the restoration of your Connecticut driver’s license or privilege to drive in Connecticut.
All DMV License Restoration Hearings are recorded. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Hearing Officer will review the transcript of all the testimony, and review any documents or videos that were admitted into evidence. The Hearing Officer will not make a decision the same day as your DMV License Restoration Hearing. He or she will issue a written decision that will mailed to both you and your lawyer.
Connecticut DUI DMV Per Se Hearings
The most common type of DUI License Restoration Hearing in Connecticut is an Administrative Per Se Hearing. An individual has the right to request a Per Se Hearing, after any Connecticut DUI arrest, to contest the license suspension and IID requirement. If you do not request a hearing within seven days, the DMV will automatically suspend your license. Your DUI lawyer should request and schedule the hearing for you.
These hearings are often referred to as “fact-finding hearings.” This means that the only evidence the DMV will consider is evidence that is relevant to facts of your DUI arrest. The DMV will not allow you to introduce character evidence or attempt to garner sympathy by discussing your personal or professional life (i.e. why you really need your license). If the facts add up to DUI, then the DMV will suspend you.
At the Hearing, the DMV will check and only consider the following issues:
- Were you the operator of a motor vehicle?
- Did the police officer have probable cause to arrest you for DUI?
- Were you arrested?
- Did you submit to a chemical (blood, breath, or urine) test which revealed an elevated blood alcohol concentration (BAC); or did you refuse to submit to such test?
If the DMV Hearing Officer finds in your favor on any one of the above four issues, then your license will be restored. However, if the Hearing Officer rules against you, then the DMV will suspend your license for 45 days and require you to maintain an IID for 6 months to 3 years thereafter.
Connecticut Restoration Hearings following Lifetime DUI Suspensions
If you are convicted three or more times of DUI in Connecticut, then the DMV will permanently revoke your license and issue a lifetime suspension. After two years you can petition the DMV to reinstate your license. If the DMV agrees to reinstate your license, you will be required use an IID for life. After 15 years, you can petition the DMV to remove the IID.
Prior to even being granted a hearing to restore your permanently suspended license, you must meet certain conditions. You must submit to a background check and must not have had any alcohol or drug related convictions in the proceeding two years. You must have completed a substance abuse treatment program. You must also be examined by a licensed physician who concludes that you do not have a current substance abuse problem. In some instances, you must also complete a driver retraining course.
After you meet the above requirements, the DMV will schedule a hearing where your lawyer must convince the DMV Hearing Officer that you are a suitable candidate for restoration. At this type of license restoration hearing, character evidence is admissible. Your lawyer’s task will be to convince the Hearing Officer that you have made significant changes in your life since your permanent DUI suspension. In most cases your lawyer will advise you to and prepare you to testify. Your lawyer may also present other character witnesses and reference letters on your behalf.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the Hearing Officer will issue a written decision to both you and your lawyer. The Hearing Officer has 90 days to issue the decision. If the Hearing Officer finds in your favor, you will be eligible to reinstate your license. If the Hearing Officer rules against you, he or she will likely allow you reapply in one year.
Contact The Sills Law Firm Today
If you are facing DUI charges in Connecticut, do not wait to hire the best legal help. With a lawyer on your side, you will be far better off throughout the legal proceedings ahead, including the License Restoration Hearings. At The Sills Law Firm, LLC, we literally wrote the book on Connecticut DUI defense. Our published textbook can be found in law schools and law libraries throughout Connecticut. When it comes to handling DUI cases, we know what it takes to get winning results in and out of court.