Many people are confused regarding the process that follows being charged with a DUI. There are multiple processes that are required in order to navigate through a DUI case. One of the main processes that can confuse individuals is the difference between the DLD hearing and criminal court hearing. Many people assume that these are one in the same, but they are actually very different processes in the DUI process. Understanding these differences can help you to more successfully navigate your DUI case. I, Zachary C. Holbrook, am experienced in the entire DUI process and can help to ensure the best possible outcome for your DUI case.
What Happens After A DUI
There are many variations that will happen between each different DUI case. The outcome of each case will differ depending on the specific facts. For example, the consequences of a DUI will likely be more severe if there are prior convictions on the person’s record. It also fluctuates depending on the age of the individual. However, the following things commonly occur after being charged with a DUI:
- The driver’s license of the individual will generally be confiscated by the arresting officer. This license will be replaced with a citation that serves as a temporary license, but expires 30 days after the initial arrest.
- The driver’s vehicle will likely be impounded if they are arrested.
- The offender must request a DLD hearing, in writing, within 10 days of their arrest. Otherwise, license privileges will generally be suspended due to the DUI.
- Driving privileges may be withdrawn on the 45th day after the day of the initial arrest.
- An ignition interlock restriction may be put in place for any period between 18 months and 3 years, depending on the specific situation.
When you fail to request the necessary DLD hearing after being arrested for a DUI, the driver’s license will automatically be suspended when certain stipulations are met. This is generally after the individual has been either arrested for a DUI or the individual has declined to take a chemical test. The latter is commonly referred to as a “refusal” suspension. The only possible method for fighting this automatic suspension is through requesting a DLD hearing. It is important to request the hearing inside the time frame of 10 days of the arrest in order to schedule your DLD hearing during the allotted period. Overall suspension times will vary depending on the offender’s age and number of prior convictions.
Differences Between a DLD Hearing and Criminal Court Hearing
There are many differences between a DLD hearing and a criminal court hearing. Ultimately, the DLD hearing handles the administrative side of the case. This hearing revolves around the individual’s continued driving privileges and any actions that the DLD may take regarding the drivers license. The court hearing, on the other hand, is based on the criminal aspect of the situation. The criminal court hearing essentially will determine whether you are guilty or not of the DUI itself. This hearing will be held in the court located in the county/city of the arrest. It will be during this hearing that they will decide the punishment you will receive if you are convicted.
Who is Present at a DLD Hearing?
Understanding who is present at a DLD hearing will help you to grasp the overall process. Ultimately, these hearings tend to be rather small. It only involves you, your attorney, the Driver’s License Hearing Officer, and the law enforcement officer that handled the arrest. Keep in mind that if you haven’t hired an attorney, it will only be you, the law enforcement officer, and the Driver’s License Hearing Officer. Though you will likely be assigned a public defender during the court side of the process, if you haven’t hired an attorney, this doesn’t apply to your DLD hearing. Only a private attorney will be able to help you obtain the best possible outcome at your DLD hearing.
The Process at a DLD Hearing
Ultimately, the process at a DLD hearing revolves around your driving privileges and the status of your driver’s license. At the beginning of the DLD hearing, the arresting officer will testify regarding why you were arrested and how any applicable tests were given. At this time, your attorney will have the opportunity to cross examine the officer, as well as attempt to convince the hearing officer that your license shouldn’t be suspended. The Driver’s License Hearing Officer will determine whether your license is suspended or not following the arguments given at the DLD hearing. The Hearing officer will then notify you, or your private attorney 5-10 days after the hearing through traditional mail.
Hiring an Attorney
Hiring an attorney can be particularly beneficial during the DUI process. When you don’t retain an attorney for your case, you may be assigned a public defender in your criminal court hearing. However, a DLD hearing is geared toward the administrative side of the situation and is not a situation where a public defender will be assigned. When you hire a private attorney experienced in DUI law, like me, Zachary C. Holbrook, you will have guidance throughout the complete process.
Each Case is a Separate Process
Each case is ultimately a separate process that won’t necessarily impact the alternative process. For example, just because the DLD has not suspended your license doesn’t mean that the court won’t find you guilty during your criminal court proceedings. One outcome will not guarantee another outcome. However, if you are found innocent at the criminal court hearing, but your license was suspended at the DLD hearing, it is likely that your license will be reinstated. That being said, if you are found guilty in your criminal court hearing, the DLD later may suspend your license. Even if the DLD did not initially take action.
DUI cases can result in substantial disruption to your life. It is important to understand the various processes that happen in a DUI case to minimize the possibility of issues throughout the case. I, Zachary C. Holbrook, am experienced in each aspect of a DUI case, whether you are experiencing a 1st offense or have had several prior convictions. Obtaining my services of an experienced DUI lawyer will go a long way toward ensuring the best possible outcome for your DUI case. To learn more about the differences between a DLD hearing and a criminal court hearing, or to obtain my expert services for your DUI case, call 801-624-6204.