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DUI & DMV Administrative Hearings


After you are arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), you will probably be thinking about how you need a DUI attorney to protect you in court from a criminal conviction. While this is certainly correct and a wise decision, it is not the only thing you need a lawyer for. If you do not take quick action, you could lose your license to an automatic suspension, regardless of whether or not you are convicted.

In South Carolina, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will suspend your license on the 30th day after your DUI arrest. If you do nothing to stop them. By requesting an administrative hearing, you can put a hold on the automatic suspension and fight for your driving privileges.

Not a Trial But Just as Important

Your DMV administrative hearing, sometimes called an administrative license suspension (ALS) hearing, is not a criminal trial but you are basically free to treat it like one. Start off by retaining the services of a DUI attorney who knows how to piece together a solid defense quickly – remember, you have roughly 30 days to do this – and understands the nuances of South Carolina's laws. Next you will want to work with them with evidence collection and review. This can get pretty tricky for the average person but your lawyer may be able to use blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels gathered at the station to your advantage, perhaps citing that the machine was not properly calibrated. If there are any witnesses who could speak well on your behalf, it is time to contact them, too.

On the day of the ALS hearing, you will go before a panel of DMV representatives – in some rare scenarios, this might actually be one judge instead – and use all the evidence you collected to make your case. With no jury deciding your fate, it all comes down to how well you can argue that suspending your license automatically is not the right decision. You do not even have to contest your intoxication the night of the arrest if you do not want to, you just need to explain why you should be able to keep your license.

If you are thinking that you need help with your administrative hearing in South Carolina, it is time for you to contact Masella Law. Our Columbia DUI attorney would be happy to discuss your case. Just call 803.938.4952 today for more information.

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