If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Pennsylvania, you’ll have to go through two separate legal proceedings: one with the Pennsylvania criminal courts, and one with the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), also known as PennDOT, or the Department of Transportation.
Your license may be suspended by the court or the DMV. In fact, the DMV can still suspend your license even if the criminal charges against you are dropped. These are different proceedings, making an experienced Pennsylvania DUI defense attorney necessary.
If you were arrested for DUI, give yourself the best opportunity to have your charges dropped or reduced. Call attorney Steven Kellis at (215) 977-4183 for a strong DMV hearing defense. He’ll answer all the questions you have about how to prepare for a DMV hearing, and work hard to obtain the best result for you.
Schedule the Hearing as Soon as Possible
Upon being arrested for DUI, you’ll receive a piece of paper granting you temporary driving privileges. The paper should notify you that if you fail in appealing to the DMV, your license will be suspended. Be advised that the same suspension applies if your hearing is not scheduled by the deadline.
You should prioritize the 10-day deadline in scheduling your hearing to appeal an automatic suspension of your driver’s license. If you want to avoid a costly, stressful license suspension, speak to a Pennsylvania DUI attorney as soon as possible.
The Difference Between DMV Hearings and Courtroom Trials
Your DUI charge falls under the jurisdiction of the criminal system, while your DMV hearing is an administrative proceeding. As such, there are several key differences between a DMV hearing and a courtroom trial:
- The consequences of a courtroom trial are more severe than the DMV hearing. While the DMV is concerned with suspending your license and keeping you off the road, the court could give you fines, jail time, probation, and more.
- The standard of proof is lower in a DMV hearing. Here, the officer just needs reasonable suspicion to make the case against you. In a courtroom trial, the prosecution must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that you committed a crime.
- Instead of a judge, a PennDOT officer will oversee your hearing. Therefore, the arresting officer will make their case to the PennDOT officer instead of a judge or jury.
- Witnesses are rarely needed at DMV hearings.
Your DMV hearing may not seem like a big deal, but it’s extremely unwise to go it alone without a lawyer’s help. The system is not exactly intuitive, and missing your hearing or failing to schedule can result in your license being automatically suspended for 12 months.
Don’t go through this process by yourself; call Steven Kellis at (215) 977-4183.
What Happens at Pennsylvania DMV Hearings?
After scheduling your PA DMV hearing, you’ll need to provide some basic personal information including your name, driver’s license number, if you submitted to a blood alcohol test, and the date you received your suspension notice.
Scheduling your DMV hearing promptly gives you a key advantage. With more time on your side, your attorney will be able to call in and review the state’s evidence. This way, there are no surprises when the date of your hearing arrives. More importantly, your attorney will have time to create a counter-strategy should the state have any convincing evidence against you.
Can I handle a Pennsylvania DMV hearing by myself?
While you can submit a DMV hearing request and attend the hearing by yourself, the process can be too overwhelming and complicated to try to handle on your own. You aren’t alone there; a lot of lawyers are unaware of the particulars of these hearings, too.
The best defense is a lawyer with experience handling DMV hearings, like attorney Steven Kellis.
Knowledgeable Lawyer Helping Build Your DMV Hearing Defense
One of the more devastating immediate effects of a DUI is that you can lose your license in just 10 days. With your ability to make it to work and continue supporting your family on the line, acting quickly is always in your best interest.
Our law firm is equipped to aggressively defend your charge. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.