There are many drivers who wonder whether or not it will hurt their Chicago DUI case if the DMV hearing is continued. The simple answer is that it will not hurt you, in fact, that extra time gives your DUI attorney the chance to subpoena the video and audio from the arrest, subpoena the arresting officer who will be providing testimony at that hearing, and decide upon the best defense for your unique situation.
When you have been arrested for suspicion of drunk-driving or driving under the influence, it is imperative to call the DMV office to schedule the DMV hearing within ten (10) days of your arrest.
The DMV Hearing
Unlike the criminal proceedings in court, the DMV hearing is a separate procedure that you must attend. The criminal case is more detailed, heard before a judge, and could result in you being handed down a number of penalties as outlined in the Illinois Penal Code. On the contrary, the DMV hearing is held in front of a hearing officer, who simply makes a ruling or determination as to how long your driver’s license is going to be suspended for.
The Formality of the DMV Hearing
Although the DMV hearing is far more informal than the criminal court proceedings, it is advised you show up to the hearing with an attorney. Regardless the fact that at the DMV hearing there will be no formal rules of evidence, bring an attorney to this proceeding will ensure you do not say or do anything that could jeopardize your case. The hearing officer hold the key to when and how long your driver’s license will be revoked, so it is important your attorney handle all the legalities.
Temporary License Stay
Although the wheels are in motion, it does not mean that your driving privileges were revoked the minute you were arrested. Part of the reason that it is so important you call to schedule the DMV hearing no later than ten (10) days after the arrest is because you will then be informed that a stay has been placed on your driver’s license. Now that the call has been noted, the DMV will send you out your hearing date. That stay on your driver’s license means that you can continue to drive up until the DMV rules at your hearing. When you get word that the hearing is continues, this means you get to keep driving a little longer too.
The DMV Hearing Date
Although you get to enjoy driving until the hearing, one of the issues a driver might face is that the DMV is going to arbitrarily choose the date and mail you the information. Once you get the hearing date, you might discover you have other obligations that day or your attorney is tied up in another case and can not be free. The criminal case could be pending, you didn’t receive discover yet, your DUI lawyer has a conflict, which can all affect your DMV hearing.
DMV Hearing Continued
Having the DMV hearing continued is beneficial in a number of ways and will not hurt your criminal case. The hearing being continued means your attorney now has the chance to acquire the video from the night that you were arrested to look more closely to see if your rights were upheld during the entire process. Your DUI attorney will look to see what field sobriety tests the officer used, and request a subpoena so that questions regarding the choice of testing can be answered by the arresting officer.
Analyzing Crucial Evidence
When the DMV hearing is continued, the DUI attorney can spend more time carefully looking over the police report, the results of the breath and blood tests, as well as the procedure in which the testing took place. If the attorney determines the officer conducting the test or the equipment hindered the investigation, questioning that officer could help the defense and weaken the evidence of the prosecution.
Understanding Your Defense
With only ten (10) days to schedule the hearing, time is certainly an issue. The continued hearing not only gives your Chicago DUI attorney the chance to uncover evidence, it allows them the opportunity to discuss with you a number of defense strategies to use in your case. Uncovering new evidence from the DVD of the arrest could take the case in a new direction and prove the officer had no right or authority to arrest you.
Having the DMV hearing continued allows your DUI attorney more time to prepare your defense, and this is a good thing. The clock is ticking right after the arrest, so the sooner you speak with a skilled DUI lawyer who has experience in these matters, the better chance of getting a favorable result.