If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may not be familiar with the legal process you are about to face. You may know that you will be criminally prosecuted, and may even have to serve jail time or pay high fines to the state. However, you may not be aware that you can also attend an administrative hearing to retain your driver’s license. Below, our Ouachita Parish DWI lawyer explains the process and what you can expect at an administrative hearing.
You Must Request an Administrative Hearing
The criminal proceeding after a DWI arrest is mandatory. You must go through it so a judge or jury can determine if you are guilty, or so your criminal defense lawyer can negotiate a better deal with the prosecution. It is not possible to avoid criminal proceedings after being arrested for a DWI.
On the other hand, you must request an administrative hearing. Administrative hearings are not mandatory, but they are important if you want to protect your driver’s license. It is also important to note that you have only 15 days to request an administrative hearing after you are arrested. If you fail to request a hearing during this time, you will lose your right to the hearing and you may lose your driving privileges.
If the police officer who arrested you asked you to submit to a breathalyzer test and you refused, your driver’s license will be automatically revoked. The revocation takes place as soon as you are arrested. In this case, you have 30 days to request an administrative hearing.
What to Expect at an Administrative Hearing
If your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked after a DUI arrest, you can request a hearing with the Louisiana Division of Administrative Law. You should have legal representation and the attorney you use can be the same one that represents you during the criminal proceeding.
At the hearing, you or your lawyer will have the opportunity to argue why the Division should restore your driver’s license. The scope of the hearing is limited to the actions of the arresting officer, such as whether they had reasonable grounds to believe you were under the influence or whether you were read your Miranda rights. Only approximately ten percent of drivers are successful at the administrative hearing, so it is important to have an attorney who can show the police officer made mistakes or did not follow proper procedure.
Our DWI & DUI Lawyer in Ouachita Parish Can Represent You at Your Administrative Hearing
Losing your driver’s license due to a DWI arrest is frustrating and will have many negative impacts on your life. You may not be able to get to work or school easily, and may find that your movements are quite limited. At Whiddon Criminal Defense, our Ouachita Parish DWI & DUI lawyer can represent you at your administrative hearing and give you the best chance of a successful outcome. Call us now at 318-594-3592 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.