Articles Tagged with consequences of a conviction

DC DMV Hearing

DC DMV Hearing

As previously blogged about, one of the collateral consequences of an arrest and/or conviction for a DC DUI can be the revocation or suspension of your DC driver’s license. Police officers who make an arrest for DUI or DWI are supposed to provide the arrestee with a Notice of Proposed Revocation. The Notice instructs the arrestee to request a hearing with the DC DMV. For out of state license holders, you have 15 days to request a hearing. For DC license holders, you only have 10 days to request a hearing. If you do not request a hearing, DMV will revoke your driver’s license (for a DC license holder) or driving privileges in DC (for an out of state license holder) automatically. Accordingly, its extremely important that you request a hearing after being arrested for DUI.

The hearing will be conducted by a DMV Hearing Examiner who in some ways is similar to a judge. There are three possible outcomes of a DMV Hearing. First, the Hearing Examiner may revoke your license for a period of six months or one year. Second, the Hearing Examiner may dismiss the hearing. In that case, your license remains valid and driving privileges remain intact. However, if you are ultimately convicted in the criminal case, then your license would eventually be suspended. Finally, the Hearing Examiner could “take no action,” which means license and driving privileges remain intact until the criminal case is resolved one way or the other.

Its important to hire an experienced DC DUI and DWI lawyer for your DMV hearing. On the one hand, officers will often fail to appear for the hearing. In that case, the potential license suspension will usually (but not always) be dismissed. I always recommend that clients request a hearing as early in the morning as possible because that increases the likelihood the officer will fail to appear. If the officer does show up, a good DC DUI lawyer will spend as much time as the Hearing Examiner will allow cross-examining the officer. You will in all likelihood lose the hearing but the lawyer may get some good testimony from the officer. The hearings are recorded and tape of the hearing can easily be obtained after the fact. If the officer later provides contradictory testimony at trial, your attorney can use the tape from the DMV hearing to impeach the officer. The DMV hearing is conducted under oath, which makes the impeachment in the criminal case even more effective.

In addition, if the officer does show up, you could theoretically ask the Hearing Examiner to take no action until the criminal case is resolved. However, most Hearing Examiners will not accommodate this request as they view the license issue separate from the criminal case.

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This post is the second part in the two part series discussing consequences of a DC DUI conviction.  The first part discussed direct consequences, which involved things like probation and jail time.  This discussion is not meant to be a complete list of all collateral beer-vector-1438087-mconsequences for a DC DUI or DWI conviction–just some of the most common.

The first major collateral consequence is the loss of one’s driver’s license or driving privilege.  In the District of Columbia, just an arrest for a DUI can trigger a license suspension or the suspension of one’s driving privileges in the city.  When DC police arrest someone for DUI, they are supposed to issue what’s called a Notice of Proposed Suspension.  The form should be read carefully because it provides instructions on how to prevent an immediate license suspension for the arrest.  The notice instructs the arrestee to apply for a hearing in person at the DC Department of Motor Vehicles within ten days of arrest (or fifteen days for an out of state resident).

If the arrestee does not apply for this hearing, the license or driving privileges (for an out of state resident) will be suspended or revoked.  I recommend immediately contacting an experienced DC DUI lawyer if arrested for DUI.  Many people do not read the notices or are not sure what they are supposed to do to prevent license suspension.  Applying for the hearing will basically freeze the suspension from taking effect.  It will then be up to a hearing examiner at the DMV at some future hearing date to decide whether the suspend the license or driving privileges.

Independent of the possible suspension for a DUI or DWI arrest, if convicted for DUI, the DC DMV will revoke someone’s license or driving privileges for six months or one year.  That is a major collateral consequence of a conviction.  Unlike some states, the DC DMV does not have a mechanism to apply for or obtain a limited license or worker’s license.  That means if convicted for DUI, that person cannot lawfully drive in the District of Columbia at all.

Another major collateral consequence of a DC DUI or DWI conviction is having a conviction for a misdemeanor come up in one’s background check.  That means if applying for a job with the government or a private employer who does background checks, the conviction will appear.  Having the conviction could prevent an employer from hiring the applicant or could prevent the government from extending a security clearance.

A third major collateral consequence is skyrocketing car insurance.  Many insurance companies will drop drivers who are convicted for a DUI offense.  In addition, if convicted for DUI, the only car insurance available may be what’s called “SR-22 Insurance.”  SR-22 is a special type of insurance that carries high premiums and is required by many states, including the District of Columbia, after getting convicted for DUI or DWI.

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