Saturday, April 20, 2013

Can You Win a DMV DWI Refusal Hearing? Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained!


You know the old expression, "nothing ventured nothing gained." If this isn't an AMER-I-CAN philosophy then I don't know what is?

Well it is as applicable to DMV license refusal hearings as it is to asking a girl for her number (sorry I'm old school). I wouldn't be with my lovely wife (25 + years) if not for going up to her, and her friends. She towered over me with her shoes (she's 5'9, me 5'6), and my confidence won her over.

I had a guy call me the other day, and tell me that his attorney told him not to even show up, why bother, you are going to lose anyway, right?  His attorney could not be more wrong. The hearing is good to attend, and to be prepared for on many levels:

1. You will definitely hear "how" the cop plans to testify about you
2. You will learn how they plan on proving that you were intoxicated (odor, field tests, coordination)
3. You will be able to challenge some of the evidence (their opinion)
4. You can point out any issues with the police safeguard procedures (4th, 5th, and 6th amendments)
5. You can make a record (they are taped) of any of this and/or bring a Court Reporter
6. You can have your client testify on their behalf about medical issues
7. You may be able to get some pre-trial discovery (police report)
8. Your attorney may even get the cop on your side with the ADA to help your case

Over the years I have developed working relationships with many troopers, deputies, and local police. These people appreciate cooperation and respectfulness with law enforcement. A good word from them with the ADA may mean the difference in reducing charges or penalties.

I have won some hearings because the police have the burden of proof. They must state on the record their reasons for the stop, the arrest, and how they processed you. How they warned you? How they explained your rights? If they did not follow procedures properly then the refusal can be thrown out, you win and they lose.

In the end, the hearing can be a WIN in many other ways than just your driver's license privileges.


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