Utah Attorney for a Driver’s License Division (DLD) Hearing
Driving under the influence, or DUI, is one of the most common criminal charges brought against individuals across the state of Utah. It is crime that is taken very seriously by both police officers and prosecutors and can result in serious penalties if you are convicted. Aside from hefty fines and long jail sentences, you could also face a suspension of your driver’s license for months or years, rendering you unable to get around or get to work in some cases. However, you will have a chance to fight this suspension of your license at what is known as a driver’s license division (DLD) hearing, a proceeding that you must request in a timely manner or the suspension will automatically take effect.
At Overson Law, PLLC, our veteran Utah attorneys for a driver’s license division (DLD) hearing have many years of experience working with clients to request this hearing in a timely manner and to make the most persuasive arguments to allow you to keep your license. We understand the factors that the hearing officer is going to find most compelling when deciding whether to make an exception to the automatic license suspension requirement for those arrested on DUI. Then, we can help you deal with the underlying charges. For a free consultation, call us today at (801) 758-2287.
What Happens to Your Driver’s License When You Are Arrested for DUI in Utah
After your arrest for DUI, the arresting officer will typically confiscate your driver’s license and issue you a citation that will serve as your temporary license for the next month. If you are an out-of-state resident, your license will not be confiscated. At this point, you will have ten days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing with the DLD. If you fail to request this hearing, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for the prescribed statutory duration for your offense beginning 30 days after your DUI arrest occurred. Because of this limited time frame, it is vital that you reach out to a skilled Utah attorney for a driver’s license division (DLD) hearing as soon as possible after your arrest. After we have dealt with getting you out of jail, we will get to work right away on helping you fill out and submit the form requesting this hearing in a timely and complete manner.
What Happens at a Utah Driver’s License Division Hearing
If requested, the DLD hearing will be held within 29 days of your DUI arrest, as the license suspension will automatically begin on the 30th day if no action is taken. At this hearing, you and your lawyer will have a chance to challenge all of the evidence against you, such as the results of your Breathalyzer test or blood or urine tests, the way the stop and any roadside tests were conducted, the way paperwork was completed, and the testimony of the officer, who will usually call in over the phone, rather than appear in person. If the officer fails to appear at all, which commonly occurs in these cases, there is a good chance that your request will be granted, and your license will be restored, at least temporarily.
The decision at this hearing is made by an “administrative law judge,” who does not have to be an actual judge or even a licensed attorney. Instead, they are bureaucrats at the driver’s license division who often have no legal background at all. Because of this, the style and substance of the arguments at this hearing is very different from a those in a normal courtroom. This is why it is important have legal counsel with experience at these particular proceedings, like the skilled attorneys at Overson Law, PLLC. If the administrative law judge rules against you, we can file a motion for reconsideration, but your license suspension will take effect the 30th day after the arrest even if an appeal is pending.
Length of License Suspensions for a Utah DUI
If you are not successful in your appeal before the DLD, or any further appeals, or if you are successful there but ultimately convicted of DUI at trial, there will be an automatic suspension of your license. The amount of time your license will be suspended will depend on a few factors, the main one being whether you have any previous DUI convictions. For a first DUI offense, the suspension period will be 120 days. For a second or further conviction, the license’s suspension will be for 2 years. If you are under the legal drinking age, the length of time will be increased. For those under 19, you will have an automatic suspension of 6 months, and if you are 19 or 20 the suspension will automatically be for 2 years.
Furthermore, the automatic suspension period will also be increased if you refuse to take a Breathalyzer test as required by law. If your refusal to submit to a chemical test and there is an administrative revocation or you are convicted of the crime of refusal to submit to a chemical test, your license will be suspended for 18 months for a first offense. For a second or subsequent offense involving a refusal resulting in administrative revocation or conviction, the suspension will be for a period of 36 months.
Call Our Skilled Utah Attorneys for a Driver’s License Division (DLD) Hearing Today
Most Utahns arrested for DUI do not realize there is an entirely separate process that exists for determining whether or not their license will be suspended, nor are they aware of the fact that they only have 10 days after their arrest to fight a suspension by requesting a DLD hearing. This is just one of the many reasons why it is important to reach out to an experienced Utah attorney for a driver’s license division (DLD) hearing as soon after your arrest as possible. We can make sure the hearing is properly requested and then work on a case to convince the administrative law judge that your license should not be suspended prior to an actual conviction. For a free consultation, contact our firm today at (801) 758-2287.