If you have been arrested for DUI in Colorado you are facing two separate proceedings. The first is a criminal proceeding in which you face jail time, fines, and other penalties. The second is an administrative proceeding that takes place at the Department of Motor Vehicles. At stake in the DMV hearing is whether or not you can keep your driver’s license. However, a DMV hearing is not guaranteed – you must request it. After an arrest for DUI, you have 7 days to request a hearing at the DMV. If you fail to request a hearing within 7 days your driver’s license will be automatically revoked. Therefore, it is important to act quickly after your arrest in order to preserve your rights.
Under Colorado law, if a hearing is requested it must be held within 60 days. If the hearing is not held within that time, the case is dismissed and you will be allowed to keep your driver’s license. However, it is important to note that the DMV is unrelated to the criminal charges. Thus, success at one does not guarantee success at the other.
The hearings for DUI’s in the Denver area are held at 1881 Pierce Street in Lakewood, Colorado. The hearing is presided over by a hearing officer who acts as a judge. The hearing officer will decided whether you will keep your license – there is no jury. If you request the presence of the arresting officer, he or she will testify and attempt to convince the hearing officer that there was probable cause to stop your vehicle and that you were driving under the influence of alcohol.
Next, your DUI attorney will have the opportunity to cross examine the officer and present evidence in your favor. In addition, your lawyer will argue that some or all of the evidence should not be considered because it is unreliable as a matter of law or was obtained through an illegal search. Many of these arguments are complicated and involve numerous laws and decisions from appellate courts including the United States Supreme Court. Thus, it is important to have a qualified DUI lawyer in order to give your case the best chance of success.
If the hearing officer finds that the evidence against you is either insufficient or inadmissible, then you may keep your driver’s license. If, on the other hand, the hearing officer finds against you, your license is immediately revoked. Nevertheless, it may be possible for you to obtain a provisional driver’s license in some cases.
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When facing any type of criminal charge, the accused will want to secure the strongest possible defense representation in order to reduce the chances of conviction, the possibility of having to submit to harsh sentences and the chances of having a permanent criminal record.
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