Being arrested for DUI is more than just facing criminal charges; it is also a fight to keep your driver’s license. After a DUI arrest, you have ten days to ask for an administrative review of your license suspension, and most people believe if the arresting officer fails to show up when your review is set for hearing, they will not lose their license. While the officer’s testimony can certainly be damaging, it is not a given that their absence means an automatic win. In fact, there is case law that holds the officer need to appear at your administrative review hearing at all!

In the case of Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles vs. Canalejo, the Court set out the requirements for administrative hearings, and surprisingly it is not necessary to have the officer present or to even confirm any of the alleged facts of the arrest. Here are three important lessons about how administrative hearings are conducted when your license is suspended for DUI:

  • The arresting officer does not need to appear, and in his or her absence the administrative hearing officer can uphold the decision to suspend your right to drive.
  • Any video of the arrest, from a dash board cam or otherwise, and any video of a waiting period prior to being tested are not required to be authenticated by the police officer.
  • Aside from the actual hearing, one important thing to keep in mind is that if you miss the ten day deadline to ask for a hearing you are not allowed to make the request at all.

We understand how important it is to you to drive, which is why we make an immediate request for an administrative review of your license suspension. We also understand how helpful the officer’s testimony at the administrative hearing can be as far as your criminal case is concerned, because many times this is the first time the officer has actually given verbal testimony. It is beneficial to know what to expect in the criminal arena, and finding out how the officer intends to testify is a step in the right direction toward that goal. So, while the officer is not required to attend your license suspension hearing, we make every effort to learn their testimony even in their absence. Our qualified DUI defense attorneys know how to help.

Allow an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast to help you maintain your driving privileges and keep you behind the wheel of your car. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.