West Virginia DUI Administrative License Revocation
Harley Wagner Can Fight to Stop Your Driver’s License from Being Revoked
In accepting a DUI defense case, Harley Wagner has to deal with a second legal aspect: The administrative license revocation. Your DUI 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, you only have 30 days to challenge this administrative license revocation notice and contest the DMV’s attempt to revoke your license.
This is often called “contesting” the DUI charge and fighting the pending Order of Revocation Notice. West Virginia DUI lawyer Harley Wagner can 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 an attorney, can be mailed or faxed to the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) in West Virginia, which presides over the administrative hearing process. This period in which to make your written hearing request is a hard deadline, which means no LATE filings are permitted.
Don’t procrastinate retaining a criminal defense lawyer when it comes to protecting your right to drive. Hire a reliable and experienced DUI lawyer in West Virginia to assist you in fighting drunk driving charges.
Call The Wagner Law Firm at (304) 461-6000 to request a free consultation to discuss your DMV hearing.
Failure to 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 DMV, so you must have a DUI lawyer file this written objection for you to contest the revocation of your driver’s license in a timely manner. This quick action is critical to protecting your legal rights for due process of law as part of the pending administrative license revocation action.
Administrative License Revocation at One of the Many Regional DMV Hearing Locations
All administrative revocations are recorded on state records at the DMV in the Charleston headquarters. However, numerous DMV regional “detachment” offices are located throughout West Virginia 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 “detachment” offices exist for administrative hearings. Assignment of administrative driver’s license revocation hearing locations is directed by Charleston DMV personnel.
The regional detachment hearing location will be at the closest detachment to your arrest location. West Virginia DUI lawyer Harley Wagner travels to every one of these DMV detachment offices for his clients.
You Could Still Lose Your License If You Are Not Convicted
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 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.”
West Virginia DUI laws that call for an administrative license revocation remain in place, even if you go to your criminal trial and get acquitted. This unfair legal “Catch 22” is, unfortunately, the usual rule across America.
In short, it is harder for even a highly skilled attorney to prevail on the license administrative aspect of a 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.
At The Wagner Law Firm, Harley always reviews with each individual client the various options for handling the administrative license revocation, so that the client knows all available paths to victory.
Receiving Notice of Driver’s License Revocation
Approximately 30-40 days after your arrest, there will be a registered mail notice of revocation sent to the address on your driver’s license. You must ensure that the address on your driver’s 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 DMV’s attempt to revoke their license. Alternatively, you can go directly on the interlock by taking advantage of the West Virginia interlock law.
Once the notice of revocation is timely challenged, the citizen can 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 with a time-stamped date of when suspension begins.
The hearing decision (i.e. Final Order) typically takes between six and eight 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 Helps You
Once your West Virginia DUI attorney has assisted you in making this timely administrative license appeal, you can continue driving until 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 the 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 DUI cases that are being processed for drivers facing DUI in West Virginia. If you miss this appeal deadline, your driver’s license will be revoked until you can get reinstated under West Virginia license revocation laws.
Hire a Reliable & Knowledgeable Attorney
In hiring a capable DUI attorney, you are positioning yourself for success in your DUI case. Harley Wagner is a highly rated West Virginia DUI specialist. His statewide criminal law practice for two decades has helped hone his skills on drunk driving defense.
Contact Harley to learn what he can do to help you. Call (304) 461-6000.
Dismissed .08 DUI Causing Death case (Clarksburg, WV)
Reduced to Misdemeanor .14 Felony DUI Causing Death Case (Martinsburg, WV)
Charge Reduced Aggravated DUI 1st (Morgantown, WV)
Dismissed DUI 1st (Morgantown, WV)
Not Guilty DUI 1st. (Martinsburg, WV)
Dismissed DUI 2nd offense (Martinsburg, WV)
Not Guilty DUI Felony 3rd Offense (Berkeley Springs, WV)
Dismissed DUI Felony Fleeing / Attempted Murder by Vehicle (Romney, WV)
Dismissed DUID 1st offense (Charles Town, WV)
Dismissed DUI 1st (St. Mary’s, WV)
Over 20 Years of Experience
More Than 2,500 DUI Cases Handled
Performed 800 Hours of DUI Defense Training
Award Winning Representation
Faculty Member at DUI Defense Lawyers Association
Author of West Virginia's Preeminent DUI Book: West Virginia DUI Defense: The Law and Practice