License Suspension Hearings

Tucson DUI Lawyers Representing You at the Arizona MVD

One of the toughest ramifications of a DUI arrest is the suspension of your driving privileges. As the leading Arizona DUI defense firm, Nesci & St. Louis has conducted scores of successful hearings at the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). We take decisive steps to restore your right to drive.

Scheduling a Hearing — Time Is of the Essence

If you are arrested for DUI, the arresting officer will conduct a breath or blood test. If you are given a breath test, and the result is over .08, the officer will seize your driver’s license on the spot and file an affidavit asking that your driving privileges in Arizona be suspended. If you are given a blood test, the officer may wait until your blood test results are reported, and, if they are over .08, file the affidavit at that time, or he or she may file it right away, and ask that your license be suspended on the basis that the results are not available. If an affidavit – called an “admin per se” form – is filed, you have 15 days to request a hearing.

If you request a hearing within 15 days, your license will not be suspended, and the matter will be set for a hearing at an Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division office, where a hearing officer will determine whether your license is suspended. Otherwise, on a first-time offense, your driving privileges will be suspended completely for 30 days, and if you complete an alcohol evaluation – essentially an interview – with a qualified treatment agency, restricted – to and from work, school and medical appointments – for the next 60 days. If you don’t complete the evaluation, the suspension will be for 90 days.

If the arresting officer determines that you have refused to take a breath or blood test after being arrested, he or she will file an affidavit requesting that your license be suspended for one year. If you do not request a hearing within 15 days, your driving privileges will be suspended completely for 90 days, and if you complete an alcohol evaluation and install an ignition interlock – a breath testing unit – in your vehicle, you will receive a restricted driver’s license– to and from work, school and medical appointments - for the next 9 months. If you do not complete the evaluation and install the ignition interlock, your driver’s license will be suspended for one year.

Contact our attorneys immediately after your DUI arrest so we can promptly request a hearing to preserve your driving privileges.

Why You Are Engaged in Two Proceedings

Driver’s license suspension hearings are completely separate from the court case on your DUI charges. Criminal proceedings determine whether you are guilty of the DUI charges filed against you, whereas the MVD proceedings decide whether your driving privileges are suspended. A criminal judge has authority to sentence you to incarceration, probation and certain fines. The MVD officer can only suspend your driving privileges.

What to Expect from Your MVD Hearing

The state must meet its burden of proof before for the MVD can suspend your right to drive in Arizona. For a suspension based on having an alcohol concentration over .08, the state must prove:

  • The officer had reasonable grounds to believe you were driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • You were placed under arrest
  • You were requested to take a breath or blood test
  • You were told the consequences of the test result being over .08 (or .04 or more for a commercial driver)
  • A valid and reliable test was completed
  • The test result demonstrates that you had a blood or breath alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or more, or .04 or more if you are a commercial driver charged with DUI while driving a commercial vehicle

At Nesci & St. Louis, our attorneys understand what needs to be proven before a motorist’s license can be suspended, and we challenge the state’s case on every key point. Call us today to put yourself in the best position to save your driving privileges.

For a suspension based on a refusal, the state must prove:

  • The officer had reasonable grounds to believe you were driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • You were placed under arrest
  • You were requested to take a breath or blood test
  • You refused to take the test
  • You were informed of the consequences of refusing to take the test
  • You were warned that any further delay would constitute a refusal
  • You did not successfully complete the requested blood or breath test

Losing your driver license is more than just an inconvenience. Unless you live in an extremely small community or you have access to reliable public transportation, you may encounter serious problems at your job or school and may be unable to receive the medical care you need. Furthermore, driving on a suspended license in Arizona is a separate crime.

Consult with our defense attorney in Tucson, AZ about restoring your driving privileges. Call Nesci & St. Louis today at (520) 999-2441 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.

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