New York’s implied consent law provides that if you are arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) with probable cause you’ve automatically consented to undergoing a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol content. The chemical test administered is most often of a driver’s breath, but it could be a saliva, blood, or urine test. If you refused to submit to the chemical test upon request, you can face serious consequences. Chemical refusal hearings are held at the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). When a driver doesn’t appear at a refusal hearing, he waives his rights to a hearing, and must petition for another one. It is important to attend your hearing at the DMV. If you need to appear at a refusal hearing at the local New York Department of Motor Vehicles Office, you should seek legal representation from experienced White Plains DWI lawyer Mark A. Siesel. With more than 35 years courtroom experience, he is a stellar trial lawyer and advocate for those who must go to a hearing for a chemical test refusal, and also face DWI charges.Refusal Hearings at the Local NY Department of Motor Vehicles
Within 14 days of your arraignment for a DWI, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will schedule a refusal hearing, which is a civil proceeding conducted in front an administrative law judge. It is separate from your criminal DWI case. Often, testimony from witnesses is presented at the hearing; this evidence may include hearsay evidence that would not be admissible in the DWI trial.
The purpose of the hearing is to decide whether you knowingly refused the chemical test. Even though the civil proceeding is distinct from the criminal charge in Upstate New York, the proceeding may have a big impact on the criminal charge, which is why it is crucial to consult a White Plains attorney right away. In some jurisdictions, the district attorney will allow your refusal to be evidence of your consciousness of guilt. If you don’t prevail at the refusal hearing or if you waive or fail to show up at your hearing, your license will be revoked, not suspended.What Happens at a Hearing?
If the police officer who arrested you for DWI doesn’t appear at the first hearing, your license will be returned until a future hearing date. However, the officer will have a chance to show up at the rescheduled hearing. In some case, the judge returns a driver’s license or rules on the case based on what the police department has supplied.
However, it is wise to seek counsel for a refusal hearing. A refusal hearing should be seen as an opportunity to gather evidence. When retained, our experienced criminal defense lawyers may be able to cross-examine the arresting officer, and this cross-examination could yield valuable evidence for your DWI defense. We can win a refusal hearing if the police do not meet their burden of proof to get the license revoked and the administrative law judge dismisses your case.
It is important to be aware that the standard of proof at a refusal hearing is lower than it is in a DWI case. Guilt beyond a reasonable doubt will not need to be shown in order to suspend or revoke your license.Consult a Seasoned Chemical Test Refusal Lawyer
It can be stressful to face the possibility losing your license, along with the fines and jail time that may accompany a DWI conviction. Driving on a suspended or revoked license is a criminal offense. You may be uncertain how to proceed with the administrative hearing, especially if you need to be able to drive yourself to work or school, as many people do. If you or a loved one is facing a refusal hearing in connection with charges of driving while intoxicated, it’s important that you call knowledgeable, seasoned White Plains DWI attorney Mark A. Siesel for a consultation. Mr. Siesel has more than 35 years of experience representing clients in Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Sullivan, Rockland, Orange, and Ulster Counties. Please call us at (914) 428-7386 or complete our online form for dedicated legal representation.