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West Virginia DUI Administrative License Revocation

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Previously, when accepting a DUI defense case, Harley Wagner and his fellow DUI defense attorneys had to deal with a second legal aspect: the administrative license revocation. Prior to Senate Bill 130, a DUI arrest triggered an administrative license hearing handled by another court and another judge. Senate Bill 130 went into effect on July 1, 2020. All DUI convictions after that date are handled by a singular court system where criminal and license penalties are decided together. For pending cases that occurred before July 1, 2020, DMV hearings will continue as-is until the Office of Administrative Hearings is effectively dissolved on July 2, 2021. If OAH fails to resolve an outstanding case by then, it will be dismissed.

Call The Wagner Law Firm at (304) 461-6000 to request a free consultation to discuss your DMV hearing.

The New One Court System

West Virginia’s Senate Bill 130 established one single court system that handles all DUI matters, rather than the previous approach in which the criminal penalty and driver’s license penalty were decided independently in separate courts. Under the new bill, in effect since July 1, 2020, if you are not convicted for a DUI, there is no license penalty. If you are convicted, the penalty is dependent on your charge.

Administrative License Revocation at One of the Many Regional DMV Hearing Locations for Pre-July 1, 2020 DUIs

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

For cases before July 1, 2020, 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.”

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.

West Virginia DUI laws that called for an administrative license revocation remained in place, even if you went to your criminal trial and got acquitted. This is no longer the case for DUIs since July 2020. If your case happened after the new laws went into effect, your license suspension is dependent on your criminal conviction. If you do not get convicted, you do not face a criminal nor license penalty.

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 for your pre-July 2020 case, 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.

Case Results

With decades of legal experience and over 800 hours of DUI defense training, Harley Wagner knows how to fight DUI charges effectively. Read The Wagner Law Firm's recent case results to learn more about Harley's past successes.
  • DUI Felony 3rd Offense (Berkeley Springs, WV) Not Guilty
  • DUI Felony Fleeing / Attempted Murder by Vehicle (Romney, WV) Dismissed
  • .08 DUI Causing Death case (Clarksburg, WV) Dismissed
  • .14 Felony DUI Causing Death Case (Martinsburg, WV) Reduced to Misdemeanor
  • DUI 1st (Morgantown, WV) Dismissed
  • DUI 1st (Morgantown, WV) Dismissed
  • DUI 1st (Martinsburg, WV) Dismissed
  • DUI 1st (Morgantown, WV) Dismissed
  • DUID 1st (West Virginia) Dismissed
  • DUI 1st (St. Mary’s, WV) Dismissed

Why Trust Harley Wagner?

  • Over 21 Years of Experience
  • More Than 3,000 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
Looking Forward to Helping You

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