In Arizona, motorists charged with driving under the influence face two separate proceedings - the criminal court process and the administrative hearing with the Motor Vehicle Services Division of the Arizona Department of Transportation.
- Criminal Court - Criminal court proceedings for DUI cases will concern whether an accused driver is guilty of violating a state law for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Criminal cases will also determine the penalties a convicted motorist will face, including fines and fees, community service, jail or prison time, and probation.
- MVD Hearing- In a proceeding separate and independent from criminal court proceedings, the Arizona Department of Transportation's Motor Vehicle Division will determine whether a motorist accused of DUI committed a driving violation. This civil hearing is overseen by an administrative official who essentially acts as both judge and jury. MVD hearings also determine what license penalties - if any - a motorist will face. Penalties often typically include driver's license suspension or revocation.
One of the most important things a person can do after being arrested and charged with DUI is to understand Arizona's 15-day rule. This rule requires any driver who wishes to challenge their case during an MVD hearing to request the hearing within 15 days of their arrest. If a motorist does not request an MVD hearing within the 15-day time period, their driver's license can be automatically suspended.
Representation at MVD Hearings
At Knowles Law Firm, PLC, we know that many people arrested for DUI have never been in trouble with the law, and therefore aren't familiar with the laws and rules in place. Still, it is crucially important for any driver facing DUI allegations to request an MVD hearing, as it provides the opportunity to defend one's driving privileges.
Our DUI defense attorneys represent clients charged for DUI during both their criminal and administrative hearings. During MVD hearings, we can present evidence and a defense that aims to protect your ability to drive. Because we know that a person's driving privileges are often crucial to their ability to attend work and handle daily tasks, we take these administrative proceedings extremely serious.
If you have questions about your rights after a DUI arrest in Phoenix or anywhere throughout Arizona, we advise you to contact our team for a free and confidential consultation. Remember, the 15-day rule makes time an important factor in your case. Act fast to protect your future by speaking with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.