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Requesting a Hearing after a DUI Arrest






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Oct 27, 2011

Requesting a Hearing after a DUI Arrest

Once a police officer charges you with an OUI, the Maine Secretary of State will move to suspend your license (or your privileges to drive in Maine if you’re an out of state driver). However, with the help of a professional DUI attorney you can request a hearing prior to going under suspension. The purpose of this hearing is to determine whether there was probable cause to believe you were operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and whether or not you had a BrAC of .08% or higher. In order to suspend your driver’s license or driving privileges, the State must meet the bare minimum due process standards, which is the purpose of holding a hearing.

Limited Time Period

There is a limited amount of time in which to file a request for this hearing, and if you do not follow the rules the window of opportunity will close. In Maine, like many other states, a ten-day time period applies and begins to run from the date of your suspension. If you miss the window and fail to apply for a hearing, you will be barred from requesting a hearing later. If you file a timely request for a hearing, the suspension will be “stayed” until the hearing date. If the suspension is for a refusal to submit to a chemical test (breath, blood or urine), the suspension will not be stayed and you will remain under suspension unless your attorney prevails at the hearing.

Conditional Licenses

Being granted a conditional driver’s license comes with special regulations that must be strictly adhered to. The purpose of the license is for work only. That means you may not drive your car to pick your kids up from school, to do grocery shopping, taking a sick family member to the doctor or any of the other many things normal people need to do during the course of the day. Breaking the rules almost always results in the immediate revocation of the conditional driving privileges as well as additional penalties. Most people apply for the conditional license in order to keep a job, so it is extremely important to follow all the rules of the road during this time. It is important to remember that if you apply for a work restricted license after suspension by the BMV, any time spent on the work restricted license will NOT be applied to suspension time imposed by the court if convicted of the criminal OUI charge.

Getting Some Help

Although it is possible to request and attend a BMV hearing without the help of a DUI attorney, it is far easier to allow the attorney to do the work for you. He or she understands the process from experience, including the best arguments and defense strategies for this phase of your case. You have enough to worry about throughout your case, and letting your attorney handle as much as possible is a great way to relieve some of the stress surrounding your DUI arrest.

In order to allow the attorney to handle this for you, be sure to contact a professional as soon as you are arrested. This ten day window applies to all cases, so the attorney will need to get working on this quickly. Once the window closes, it is closed, even if you decide later in the case to hire an attorney. He or she cannot apply once the ten-day application period has passed.



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