In most instances, a driver has only 15 days to request a hearing with MVD after being charged with DUI. The importance of requesting a hearing with MVD on a timely basis cannot be overstated.
If a hearing is not properly requested, the suspension will automatically go into effect and little, if anything, can be done about it. In most instances this means a minimum 30 days of no driving with the ability to obtain a restricted to and from work permit for the 60 days that follow thereafter. Requesting a hearing not only postpones or possibly avoids the imposition of a suspension but it also provides your DUI attorney an invaluable opportunity to question the police officer under oath and on the record about your case.
Ordinarily, MVD will schedule a hearing and the officer who filed the DUI charges will be required to come and testify; although, the outcome of the MVD hearing has no direct effect on the outcome of the DUI charges pending in criminal court. The testimony provided by the officer at the MVD hearing can be used during the DUI trial to possibly impeach the witness and otherwise help defend your case. The MVD hearing process underscores the importance of having an experienced DUI attorney handling your DUI case.
In many cases, it is actually advantageous to have MVD impose a driver's license suspension if you are charged with DUI. One example of this could be where a person contemplates entering a guilty plea to a DUI charge in the criminal court subsequent to the MVD hearing. In this scenario, the individual will actually end up serving a far more onerous suspension after the plea agreement is accepted by the court then they otherwise would have if they had simply accepted the MVD suspension prior to entering the guilty plea. Simply requesting and even participating in an MVD administrative hearing, does not foreclose the possibility of consenting to a pre‑conviction suspension and should, therefore, always be requested.