You got arrested during a traffic stop because the police officers suspected you of impaired driving or you failed a breath test following a minor fender bender. You find yourself not only facing driving under the influence (DUI) charges but also the potential loss of your license.
Even a first-time DUI can mean losing your license for a year, and a refused breath test can lead to an additional licensing penalty. Most people think of the loss of their driving privileges as inevitable. Given that you will soon have to attend hearings in criminal court if you hope to avoid a conviction, you may question whether attending an administrative hearing is truly necessary.
Tennessee allows those accused of infractions that will affect their driver’s licenses to attend an administrative hearing and preserve their driving privileges. Do you need to attend that hearing?
Requesting and attending the hearing can help you
Although it is natural to want to focus your energy primarily on the criminal charges that you face, you also need to think about the Practical implications of your recent arrest. The loss of your license can be inconvenient not just for you but for your entire family.
A hearing can at least temporarily allow you to retain your driving privileges until you go to court to fight back against your charges. If you do not request to hearing within 10 days of your arrest, you may face the suspension of your license and will have to deal with the hardship that losing your independent transportation options may cause.
You don’t always have to attend yourself
Although attending an administrative hearing is a smart move, you may not want to take time off of work to do so. If you hire a criminal defense attorney to help you fight the charges against you and preserve your driver’s license, you don’t always need to attend hearings in person. Especially if you have a successful career, the courts will often waive the requirement for your personal presence so long as the lawyer that you hired physically attends the hearing.
Losing your license could mean waiting months to regain your driving privileges and incurring thousands of dollars in transportation costs in the interim. Attending and administrative hearing and fighting back against impaired driving charges will both be important steps for those who currently face drunk driving allegations.