DUI Hearing: What to Expect

Hearing procedures vary from state to state after a DUI arrest (sometimes even by county). So to determine your state's administrative penalties review your state's laws. Keep in mind that administrative penalties depend on whether this is your first, second, or third DUI within a specific period. (Here is information about DUI arraignments).

Administrative (DMV) or Court Hearing

Most DUI cases have two sets of penalties to deal with. The Department of Motor Vehicles in your state probably has an administrative procedure under which you have had your license suspended upon your arrest, or you have had your license confiscated and been issued a temporary 30 day license. These hearings are run by DMV personnel and not by a judge, so your attorney may decide it is in your best interest if you do not attend the hearing.Note: You can also have your license suspended if you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer or blood alcohol test under the implied consent laws in your state. Implied consent laws say that you have agreed in advance to submit to these tests is requested in exchange for the privilege of having a drivers license.

In addition to the administrative hearing is the criminal case. A preliminary hearing, which you need to attend will be held in order for the judge to decide if enough evidence exists for a trial. You, or yr attorney, the prosecutor and judge will discuss the matter at this hearing. Your guilt or innocence is not decided at this hearing, just whether or there is sufficient evidence to bring you to trial.

Discuss your concerns about hearings with an attorney. People are often less anxious when they know better what to expect. Plan to dress in attire suitable for formal business for any court appearances that you make.

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