ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS AND PETITIONS FOR REVIEW
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If you have been arrested for a driving while intoxicated offense, you will most likely be facing either an administrative suspension/revocation, or a refusal revocation.
St. Louis attorney James P. Feely, Jr., will discuss your matter with you with a no obligation consultation.
In some instances, a suspension of your driving privileges can begin in 15 days after the arrest.
If the police claim your blood alcohol level tested at .08 or higher, they will seize your Missouri driver's license and hand you a Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) Form 2385.
The Form 2385 form will serve as your driver's license for the next 15 days. If you do nothing, your license will be suspended or revoked.
If your request for a hearing is properly delivered to the DOR within 15 days of your receipt of the Form 2385, the DOR will send you temporary driving privileges that will allow you to drive until the administrative hearing is held.
If the police say you refused to submit to a test of your breath or blood, then they will seize your Missouri driver's license and hand you a Form 4323 that states your driver's license will be revoked for one year for refusing a breath test.
The Form 4323 will serve as a driving privilege for the next 15 days.
You have 30 days from the day of the receipt of the Form 4323 - generally the day of the arrest, to file a petition for review in the county of the arrest.
The petition for review allows you to argue that you did not refuse the test or that the police officer did not have probable cause to arrest your for DWI.
Generally, once your petition for review is filed, the court will grant a "stay order" which directs the DOR to stop any revocation of your driving privileges for the alleged refusal - until after a hearing is held.
In some instances, the court may refuse to issue a stay order - in some cases where there are multiple prior alcohol-related contacts, very recent contacts, or in the present case where an accident is involved.
Most DWI arrests will result in two separate, distinct "cases" the driver must face. They are both completely separate and independent from each other, even though they came from the same incident.
It is possible the DWI charges get dismissed or beaten at trial, yet the driver still suffers an administrative suspension/revocation.
Conversely, a person might beat the administrative case, but not prevail on the criminal charges.
The reason why this can happen is because there are different burdens of proof and laws that apply in each situation.
The DWI case is considered a criminal charge, which will include all the constitutional protections that go along with criminal proceedings.
The administrative hearing is considered civil in nature and is not a criminal charge.
Thus, the rights and protections that go along with a criminal prosecution won't apply in the DOR administrative action.
The DWI criminal charges will be prosecuted in a municipal or state court.
A person will face a range of punishment from a possible fine to jail time, to possible prison time for felony DWI cases.
Administrative actions stemming from the DWI arrest can result in suspension or revocation of driving privileges.
It is possible under certain circumstances to suffer both criminal and administrative "punishments" on your driver's license from the same incident.
For example, the driver could receive points for a DWI criminal conviction which results in a suspension, and receive a revocation for refusing to take the breath test on the night of the arrest.
If you have been arrested for a DWI and don't act fast enough you could lose your driving privileges 15 days after your arrest.
The administrative penalties for a DWI can be devastating to your driver's license.
It is important to speak to a skilled and experienced St. Louis County DWI attorney if you have been arrested for a DWI or DUI.
Attorney James P. Feely, Jr. can answer your questions about your administrative issues related to a DWI arrest or other traffic law matter.