An Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) hearing is an administrative proceeding for reviewing license suspensions after a person has been cited for driving under the influence (DUI). When a law enforcement officer issues a citation for drunk driving, the officer will also serve the driver with an administrative per se affidavit or an implied consent affidavit, depending on whether the driver submitted to or refused a test for alcohol concentration or drug content. The affidavit will include an order that suspends the person’s driving privileges in Arizona in 15 days unless the driver requests an MVD hearing. If you have received an implied consent affidavit or administrative per se affidavit, your driver license may be suspended for 90 days to two years. You can consult with a seasoned Phoenix DUI attorney at the Law Office of James E. Novak to assess your legal options.What is an MVD Hearing?
After the law enforcement officer has served you with an implied consent affidavit or administrative per se affidavit, you have 15 days to request an MVD hearing. If you do not request a hearing, your Arizona driver license will be suspended once the 15 days have elapsed.
If you make a timely request for an MVD hearing, your license suspension will be halted pending the result of the hearing. The purpose of the hearing is to determine whether the license suspension should be upheld. The administrative law judge who presides over your MVD hearing will not follow the stringent rules of evidence that are followed in a criminal trial. Even so, your driver’s license is likely important to you for purposes of getting to work or school and other activities; accordingly, it is wise to retain an attorney to represent you throughout the hearing process.
During the hearing, the administrative law judge will review the affidavit and hear testimony from the officer. The judge may consider whether the officer had reasonable grounds for believing that you were driving under the influence, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), whether you tested positive for any drug, and whether the testing was accurate and reliable. If you received an implied consent affidavit for refusing a blood, breath or urine test, the judge may consider whether you refused to submit, failed to successfully complete or unreasonably delayed the test, or whether the officer told you the consequences of your refusal.
An experienced attorney representing you can potentially identify problems with the affidavit and cross-examine the officer to develop contradictions or inconsistencies in the testimony. Remember that the MVD hearing is a separate process from the criminal trial, and any problems with the officer’s testimony may be helpful in a later DUI trial.
At the end of the hearing, the judge will decide whether or not to uphold the suspension. An administrative per se suspension lasts for not less than 90 consecutive days. If the license suspension is upheld, it will start around 20 days after the hearing. You may be able to obtain a restricted license after 30 days.
An implied consent suspension lasts for 12 months. However, if you have refused to submit to an alcohol or drug test during a prior arrest within the past seven years, the suspension will be for two years.Retain an Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer in Phoenix
An MVD hearing may allow you to save your license from being suspended, while also providing an opportunity to gather evidence that could be used in your defense in the DUI criminal trial or negotiations with prosecutors. If you were cited for driving under the influence, you may be concerned about your ability to retain your driving privileges. You can talk to an experienced DUI attorney to develop a strategy for your MVD hearing. Mr. Novak defends clients in the Phoenix area, including in Gilbert, Scottsdale, Chandler, Mesa, and across Maricopa County. Call him at (480) 413-1499 or contact him through our online form.