Philadelphia DMV Hearing Lawyer
In most states, the DMV will automatically suspend individuals who have been arrested for a DUI or refusal of a blood or breath test. This automatic legal action by the DMV is known as “administrative per se” suspension. Administrative suspensions are triggered by the initial charge of the DUI as opposed to the conviction of the criminal act in court. DMV cases are just as important as the court case for your DUI. Your criminal court case carries with it different penalties than that of your DMV hearing. If you have been convicted of a DUI and have a public defender appointed to represent you in court, the public defender can only help you in the courthouse not through the administrative hearing.
A DUI Charge is much more than a simple traffic offense. In Philadelphia, you must be concerned with both the traffic and criminal components. The traffic component is administrative. So while you will need to resolve the criminal component in a court of law, the traffic component will simultaneously be resolved with the motor vehicle administrative agency in Pennsylvania – PennDOT.
Regardless of what happens in your criminal hearing, PennDOT is capable of suspending your driving privileges. Consequently, you should be prepared to fight both the criminal and administrative charges with the assistance of a criminal/traffic lawyer. The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. can aggressively represent you at both levels, and do everything possible to preserve your driver’s license.
The PennDOT Process
PennDOT is first made aware of your DUI when notified by the arresting officer shortly after your arrest. PennDOT will then send a License Suspension notice in the mail, regardless of the status of your criminal charges. You do have the right, however, to contest this suspension. Just as you have a right to defend yourself in a court of law, you also retain such a right here, so long as you notify PennDOT of such within 30 days of the arrest that you intend to do so. If you allow that time to pass, PennDOT will automatically suspend your license for a period of 12 months.
But if you do notify PennDOT of your intention to contest the suspension, the administrative hearing will be scheduled and held in Harrisburg, PA. It is important that you understand the difference between a criminal hearing and an administrative one with PennDOT. While a criminal hearing adheres to the legal standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt,” this is not the case in Harrisburg. The prosecution (in this case the police officer) is under no obligation to prove the case against you to such an extent, rather simply evidence that they possessed “probable cause” by which to make the arrest. Additionally, the trier of fact is not even a judge, but rather a PennDOT hearing officer charged by the agency to handle such cases.
For you to overcome both this relatively low standard of evidence, as well as the naturally inequity within the system, you will require the assistance of a traffic attorney who is eager to fight on your behalf.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you want to keep your license, you will need to win at both the criminal and administrative levels. This is significant hurdle to overcome, and one for which you will likely require the assistance of counsel.
The Traffic Attorneys with The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. will do everything possible to sway the PennDOT hearing officer to your side by challenging the officer’s assertions of probable cause whenever possible. You only have a limited time to contest the suspension of your license. Don’t wait. Call us today to schedule a free consultation, so we can discuss the process by which we will fight for you and your license.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.