Chapter 6 - License Suspension Hearing and Obtaining a Restricted License

What is a Driver’s License Suspension Hearing?

 

A driver’s license suspension hearing is a hearing that takes place with the state Department of Transportation or Department of Motor Vehicles in which a hearings officer presides and determines whether or not to impose the driver’s license suspension or to set aside the suspension. This hearing can be vital in uncovering evidence that can be used to strengthen your case during the criminal proceedings against you, and so is a highly advisable step in the process even if your request to have the suspension removed is denied.

What Can I do if my License is suspended as a Result of a DUI?

 

If your driver’s license is suspended as a result of a DUI, you are entitled to have a hearing with the state department of transportation or the DMV to determine whether that suspension will stay in effect or whether you will get your license back. You have a limited number of days following a DUI arrest in which to request the hearing. This time period varies between 7 and 30 days depending on the state in which the arrest took place.

 

If you fail to request that hearing within the allotted time period then you will forfeit your right to a hearing and at that point there is not much you can do about the license suspension. It is therefore imperative that you act quickly to contact an experienced DUI attorney in your area as quickly as possible following your DUI arrest to ensure that you do not forfeit your right to a hearing, and try to save your driving privilege, or request a temporary restricted license at minimum.

 

When Does a DUI License Suspension begin?

 

If your driver’s license is suspended because of a DUI, you will receive notice of the suspension in writing by mail. The notice will inform you that you are about to suffer the license suspension, and the suspension will go into effect shortly thereafter – normally between 5-10 days from the date of the notice.

 

How Can I get my Driver’s License Reinstated after a DUI?

 

If your driver’s license was suspended following a DUI conviction, and you have served the suspension period, you can get the license reinstated if you show proof that you have either enrolled in or completed an alcohol or drug program that was imposed upon you by the court. Also, you must show proof of auto-liability insurance and you have to pay a reinstatement fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state. To find out how much this will cost you, visit your state’s Department of Motor Vehicle web site or contact a local DUI attorney in your area.

 

What is a Temporary Restricted License, or TRL?

 

A temporary restricted license, is a temporary license that you can obtain during the period of your driver’s license suspension. This allows you to drive to places that you have a critical need to drive to. Typically this includes to and from work or work-related activities, driving to and from school if you are a student, and driving to and from a court-imposed alcohol or drug program.

 

What are the Restrictions Associated with a Temporary Restricted License?

 

The restrictions associated with a TRL are that you can only drive to and from work or work-related activities if you are employed, to and from school if you are a student, or to and from a drug or alcohol program that has been ordered by the court.

 

If you exceed those restrictions, meaning you are caught driving to a concert or a movie or something unrelated to the above activities, then you can be charged with driving on a suspended license and you could go to jail.

 

What are the Eligibility Requirements for Obtaining a Temporary Restricted License?

 

In most states, to obtain a TRL after your license has been suspended because of DUI, at a minimum you have to show that you have enrolled in or completed an alcohol class, which can last up to 18 months depending on the nature of the offence. You must also show proof of auto liability insurance - a document that you obtain from your insurance company that is commonly known as an SR-22, and you have to pay a fee in order to get the restricted license. The size of the fee depends on the state in which your license was suspended. To find out how much this will cost you, visit your state’s Department of Motor Vehicle web site or contact a local DUI attorney in your area.

 

Read Chapter 7 - How to Present Yourself in Court >>

 

The DUI Guide - Content

 


By Richard Jacobs

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