DUI arrests in Colorado generally result in two cases against the motorist accused of impaired driving: the criminal case, which the courts will handle, and the administrative case, which the Colorado DMV will oversee.
Given that these two cases proceed in different ways and have different impacts, below are some of the most important facts to know about DMV administrative hearings in Colorado DUI cases.
Administrative Hearings after DUI Arrests: The Facts
- The DMV hearing has to be requested within days of the DUI arrest – In fact, this hearing must be requested within seven (7) calendar days of the arrest in order for the driver to have an opportunity to try to retain his or her driving privileges. If the hearing request is not made within this time frame, the driving privileges will be automatically suspended (with the duration of the suspension depending on whether the driver has any prior DUI convictions).
- The DMV hearing is completely separate from the criminal case – And the DMV hearing will typically be wrapped up before the criminal case is resolved. The real takeaway for drivers here is that the proceedings of the criminal case will not impact the administrative hearing. So, the ruling in the administrative hearing will stand even if the criminal charges are later reduced or dismissed.
- The arresting officer may be present at the hearing – If the request is made to have the officer present, (s)he will usually show up to this hearing to explain his or her version of what occurred. Following his or her explanation, the accused individual will generally have the opportunity to question the officer and/or present other evidence as to why driving privileges should be maintained.
- The DMV hearing is less formal than a court proceeding – This, however, does not mean that those accused of DUIs should forego having an attorney representing them in the administrative hearing.
- There is an option to appeal the decisions from these hearings – If the outcome of the DMV hearing is the result of a misapplication of the law, drivers can pursue appeals within 30 days of the administrative decision being rendered.
Contact a Colorado Springs DUI Attorney at Kohn Law Firm
Have you or a loved one been charged with drunk driving in Colorado? If so, a Colorado Springs DUI attorney at Kohn Law Firm is ready to aggressively defend your rights and help you bring your case to a successful resolution.
At Kohn Law Firm, we believe that our clients deserve exceptional service, ethical treatment and aggressive representation. That’s why we are here to help you navigate the complexities of an intricate criminal justice system, minimize the negative impacts on you and your family, and ultimately help you protect your freedom and future.
To learn more about how we can help you, set up a free initial consultation with us by calling us at (719) 328-9555 or by emailing us using the contact form at the top of this page. From our offices in Colorado Springs, we represent clients throughout the Pikes Peak region and Colorado.