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Stamford DMV Per Se Hearing

A Stamford DMV per se hearing is a separate proceeding that occurs when a person is arrested for a Stamford DUI or DWI charge and it is held by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The Department of Motor Vehicles holds administrative proceedings anytime someone is arrested for DWI in Connecticut. The purpose of those administrative proceeding is to determine whether the person’s license or operation privileges should be suspended by virtue of having a DWI arrest. If you have been arrested for a DUI in Stamford, contact a skilled Stamford DUI attorney that can help you navigate the per se hearing process.

What Goes on During a Hearing?

Stamford DMV per se hearings are technical hearings and proceedings. The hearing officer is just going to be looking to see if the information is either there or contained within the police report or fully and appropriately explained to the police officer. The attorney will know which specific issues to look at or specific issues to exploit.

Essentially there are some questions that the hearing officer and the DWI administrative hearing must answer. Those questions are:

  • Whether there was an arrest for DWI
  • Whether the person arrested either had an elevated blood alcohol content or refused a breathalyzer or blood alcohol test
  • Whether the person was operating the motor vehicle at the time or shortly before the arrest
  • Whether the test that is given was taken within two hours

If the answer is yes for all those questions then the person’s license or operating privileges will be suspended.

An individual’s attorney can potentially subpoena a police officer or subpoena any evidence that is necessary to make a critical determination not only for the per se hearing but that could also be used to affect the outcome of their criminal case. The attorney in summary helps the arrested person make the best use of their rights and opportunities that are presented during the DMV per se hearing and gives them the best chance of fighting the DMV per se suspension and the best chance potentially for bail.

Consequences of DMV Per Se Hearings

If the Stamford DMV per se hearing goes against the arrested person then the arrested person’s driving privileges or license will be suspended for 45 days. The suspension will last 45 days whether it is a person’s first DUI or a subsequent DUI. It will be suspended for 45 days regardless of whether the person took a BAC test and it showed that it was elevated or whether the person refused to take a blood alcohol test, so the 45 days is automatic.

After the 45 days, a person will also have a period of restricted driving privileges; the restriction will be that the person will have to install an ignition interlock device in their car. The timeframe in which the person needs to install the ignition interlock device in their car will vary depending on whether the person took a blood alcohol test and to what extent it is a person’s second or subsequent DUI. Basically, the shortest time period that a person will have restrictions in place is six month and if it is a person’s first DUI and they refuse then that period of time will be one week.

Preserving DMV Per Se Rights

In order for individuals to preserve their DMV per se rights, they need to make sure that their mailing address on their license is either current or that they are able to get mail at the address that is listed on their license. The reason being that the person will be sent a notification in the mail saying that their license will be suspended pursuant to the DMV per se regulations and laws unless they request a Stamford DMV per se hearing.

The person will not know of this or be able to request a hearing unless they get that notice and the only way they can get that notice is if the DMV has the correct address to send it to a person. It is important for the person to make sure that the DMV has the correct address on file, and if they do not, they should get the mail forwarded to the correct address.

Importance of an Attorney

Going to a Stamford DMV per se hearing is a recorded event, the person will be put under oath if the arrested person chooses to go there themselves and explain what happened. Once that happens and once the person speaks in that form, anything that they say can and will be used against them, not only in the DMV per se hearing but also in their criminal case. It is important to make sure that they do or do not say anything that can hurt their criminal case because their criminal case is still the most important thing to be concerned about.

Ways an Attorney Can Help

It is important to have an attorney because the attorney can advise the client about specific rights that they may have included and most primary among them is that they do not need to speak or even present themselves at a Stamford DMV per se hearing.

The lawyer can appear at the DMV per se hearing on behalf of the arrested person and they can do so without the arrested person being there. That way the arrested person can try to challenge the suspension without actually having to take time off in order to go there. If you have been charged with a DUI and are now facing a per se hearing, contact a qualified attorney today.