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Requesting the DMV Hearing After a DUI arrest in DC

Requesting the DMV Hearing After a DUI arrest in DC

Arrested for DUI in DC – What happens to my driver’s license? Most people arrested for DUI in DC are released on their personal recognizance to appear in DC Superior Court on a specific day.   What the officer may not tell you is that you must request a hearing before the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles(DC DMV) if you want to continue to drive in the District of Columbia while your case is pending.  So essentially you have two separate cases – 1) DC Superior Court, 2) DC DMV hearing.

How long after the DUI arrest must I request the hearing?

If the District of Columbia issued your license, you have ten days to request a hearing.  If your permit was issued in another state, you have 15 days to request a hearing.  The Officer must file a notice of suspension within 15 days of your arrest with DC DMV pursuant to 18 DCMR 3004.10.  If the officer does not submit the notice of proposed suspension to DC DMV, there will be no action taken on your license.  Please be mindful that the DC DMV has taken the position that the 15 days rule is for driving infractions.  If you do not request the hearing and the office submitted the proposed suspension, you would not be permitted to operate a vehicle in the District of Columbia.

How do I request a Hearing?

You Physically have to go to the DC DMV to request a hearing As ridiculous as it sounds there is no way to request a hearing online for DUI DMV hearings.   You have to either hire an attorney to request a hearing or you must go to DC DMV to request a hearing.

Where do I go to Request the Hearing?

You go to  955 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20024 to request the hearing.   They are open Monday through Friday 8:15 am until 4 pm.

When is the hearing Scheduled?

The hearing is usually scheduled within 30 days of the request.

What happens at the DC DMV hearing?

The arresting officer will testify regarding your arrest for DUI before a hearing examiner.  The officer who conducted the standardized field sobriety test(SFST) and the breath test officer should be present at the hearing.    The officer will testify first.  You then may cross-examine the officer.    Thereafter, you get to testify if you choose.   The hearing examiner will render her decision immediately and give you a copy of her findings.

What happens if I lose the Hearing?

If you lose the hearing, you are subject to 1-year suspension of your license if you did not give a chemical (breath, urine or blood) test.  If you gave a chemical sample to the officer, you are subject to a 6-month suspension.

Do I need an Attorney for the DC DMV Hearing?

Whether you hire an attorney for the hearing depends on how comfortable you feel. We recommend a lawyer for the hearing, but you are not required to have one.  For the case in DC Superior Court, you need a lawyer.      This hearing is before a hearing examiner, not a Judge.    However, the hearing examiner must listen to evidence and determine whether by clear and convincing evidence you committed the infraction of drinking and driving in the District of Columbia.   Although hearsay is admissible at DC DMV hearing, for notice of proposed suspension, hearsay is not admissible.

Have more questions give us a call.