Harley Wagner Can Help Stop Your Driver’s License From Being Revoked
In accepting a DUI defense case, Harley Wagner has to deal with a second legal aspect of every DUI in WV. This is the administrative license revocation part of a West Virginia DUI arrest (as required under West Virginia under implied consent laws). The DUI WV arrest triggers an administrative license hearing that will have to be heard and decided by another Court, and another Judge.
After a DUI arrest in West Virginia, if you elect to appeal the administrative license revocation (ALR) of your WV driver’s license, you only have 30 days to challenge this WV administrative license revocation notice, and “invoke” your right to contest the WV DMV’s attempt at revoking your license.
This is often called “contesting” the DUI charge and fighting the pending Order of Revocation Notice. WV DUI lawyer Harley Wagner will file a written objection on a hearing request form that is provided within the revocation correspondence itself.
The request form, once filled out in full and properly filed by a West Virginia DUI defense attorney, is mailed or can be faxed to the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) in West Virginia, who presides over the administrative hearing process. This time period in which to make your written hearing request is a “hard” deadline, which means no LATE filings are permitted.
So, don’t procrastinate about retaining a criminal defense lawyer when it comes to protecting your right to drive. Hire the best DUI lawyer in West Virginia to assist you in fighting drunk driving charges.
What Happens If I Do Not Appeal the Administrative License Revocation?
An administrative license revocation is a major problem. Missing the strict, 30 day filing deadline can be a disaster. Late appeals are not allowed by the WV DMV! So, you must have a WV DUI lawyer (with extensive WV DUI law experience and a high criminal attorney rating for criminal defense) file this written objection for you to contest the revocation of your driver’s license in a timely manner (or take other optional actions to protect your right to drive, as described below).
This quick action is critical to protecting your available legal rights for due process of law as part of the pending WV administrative license revocation action. Translated for you: YOUR DUI lawyer in West Virginia can KEEP YOU DRIVING by appealing.
Administrative License Revocation at One of the Many Regional DMV Hearing Locations
All administrative revocations are recorded on state records at the DMV in Charleston, WV headquarters. However, numerous WV DMV regional “detachment” offices are located throughout WV that our law firm will have to attend for you.
These administrative proceedings are not always held in the same county as the DUI criminal case. Regional offices exist for administrative hearings, and these are called “detachment” offices by the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, or WV DMV. Assignment of administrative driver’s license revocation hearing locations also is directed by Charleston, WV DMV personnel.
The regional detachment hearing location will be at the closest detachment to your arrest location. West Virginia DUI lawyer Harley O. Wagner travels to every one of these DMV detachment offices for his clients.
The Outcome of the Administrative Driver’s License Revocation Hearing Independently Takes Away Your Right to Drive, Even If Your Criminal Case Is Dismissed or You Are Acquitted
On the administrative side, the type of legal proceeding relating to implied consent testing is a civil administrative hearing. Thus, the burden of proof on the government to prevail and take the citizen’s license is substantially less than what proof is needed in the criminal court to convict for the crime of DUI, where a citizen’s liberty and freedom are at stake.
The administrative driver’s license suspension aspect of a WV DUI is decided by a Judge who applies a “preponderance of evidence” standard (i.e., who has the greater weight of evidence), whereas the criminal court side has the highest evidentiary burden in our legal system in America, requiring proof of guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
But, WV DUI laws that call for an administrative license revocation remain in place, even if you go to your criminal trial and get acquitted. Plus, as you will read below, beginning in 2016 a DUI REFUSAL to submit to implied consent testing after your arrest occurs can create extremely harmful loss of all driving privileges consequences.
This unfair legal “Catch 22” is, unfortunately, the usual rule across America, due to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration pushing states to enact such laws in the 1980s or lose federal highway funds.
A few states have enacted fairer laws which tie the two proceedings together. This means winning the criminal case ends any pending administrative license revocation or suspension, but WV has no comparable DUI laws. A DUI refusal in West Virginia cuts off certain options to plead out your case, for the deferral program in West Virginia.
In short, it is harder for even the best DUI lawyer in WV to prevail on the license administrative aspect of a West Virginia DUI case, simply because of the pro-police procedural rules and the low standard of proof required for police to prevail. These rules give the arresting officer an advantage. So, the odds are that you will not win your administrative revocation case when you walk through the door of the DMV detachment office.
The best DUI lawyers in West Virginia always review (with each individual client) the various options for handling the administrative license revocation, so that the client knows all available paths to victory.
The Notice of Driver’s License Revocation Comes in the U.S. Mail
On the administrative side, approximately 30-40 days after your arrest, there will be a registered mail notice of revocation sent to the address showing on your driver’s license. You must ensure that the address on your driver license is correct or you likely will not receive this notice of revocation in time to act to extend your right to drive.
From receipt date of the revocation notice, the citizen has approximately 30 days to respond to this notice of revocation and “invoke” his or her right to contest the WV DMV’s attempt at revoking their license. Or conversely, you can go directly on the interlock by taking advantage of the WV interlock law as described in previous sections.
Once the notice of revocation is timely challenged, the citizen is able to keep driving not only up until the actual administrative hearing, which is typically 8-10 months after the DUI arrest, but until the written decision comes back from the Office of Administrative Hearings in Charleston, WV with a time-stamped date of when suspension begins.
The hearing decision (i.e. Final Order) typically takes 6 – 8 months after the hearing date to be issued. Depending on the Judge’s backlog, for many cases this period can be even longer.
How the Slow Administrative License Revocation Appeal Process in WV Helps You
Once your WV DUI attorney has assisted you in making this timely administrative license appeal, you can continue driving, until not only your administrative hearing is held, which is often months after your arrest, but until when the Office of Administrative Hearings issues its ruling, which is called the “Final Order.”
This delay can EXTEND your right to drive for 8 to 10 months and can even let you drive after the administrative hearing itself. This is because issuance of the final ORDER by the judge triggers a loss of driving privileges.
There can be a substantial delay due to the backlog of WV DUI cases that are being processed for drivers facing DUI in WV, through the administrative driver’s license suspension process. If you MISS THIS APPEAL deadline, your driver’s license will be revoked from ALL driving until you can get reinstated under West Virginia license revocation laws.
Hire the Best DUI Lawyer in WV for your DUI case
This website gives you FULL information on what you face in a WV DUI case. A West Virginia criminal defense lawyer specially trained in DUI defense is needed to help you protect your driver’s license and your criminal history.
In hiring the best DUI attorney, you are committing yourself to obtaining the most favorable result for you in a WV DUI case, that WV lawyer will be Harley O. Wagner, a WV DUI specialist and highest rated by both Super Lawyers and AVVO, among criminal attorneys Martinsburg WV. His statewide criminal law practice for two decades has helped hone his skills on drunk driving defense. Call Harley to learn what he can do to help you.
Obtain your FREE lawyer consultation with the Mr. Wagner, to let him guide your path through fighting this drunk driving case. Call the Wagner Law Firm now by dialing their office at 304-901-7400. The professional case assessment by the DUI specialist is FREE and you can shift this burden of a WV DUI off your shoulders and onto the shoulders of a highly-acclaimed drunk driving defense attorney in Martinsburg WV – Harley Wagner.
Wagner Law Office staff members are standing by, ready and willing to show you the path to successfully resolving your WV drunk driving case. What do you have to lose, with a FREE appointment?