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What Happens at a DMV Administrative Hearing?

The DMV hearing is an administrative proceeding to determine whether to suspend or revoke your driving privileges. This is separate from the criminal proceeding for the DUI offense. Only certain issues will be addressed at this hearing, which may include the following:

• Did the arresting officer have probable cause to suspect you of DUI?
• Were you operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 or higher at the time of arrest?
• Were you lawfully placed under arrest?
• Was a chemical test properly conducted?
• Did you willfully refuse to take or did you fail to complete a chemical test after being asked by a law enforcement officer?
• Were you advised that your driver’s license would be suspended or revoked for refusing a chemical test?

Most states allow you to be represented by an attorney even though the DMV is not a court of law. These hearings are usually conducted in person at the local DMV office, however some states will schedule a telephone hearing. A face-to-face hearing is more effective because evidence can be submitted directly to the hearing officer. In addition, you may be allowed to have witnesses testify on your behalf.

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