Interviewer: Do people understand why they have to go to the driver’s license borough or they are confused about that too, do they think it should be done all under one roof?
Brian Frees: It is confusing also because they think if the court would just handle everything, or maybe they think that the driver license division will just handle everything, so there is some confusion there. If you get a speeding ticket, everything you’re going to handle is with the court. You don’t have to go to a separate hearing for the driver’s license division, but because it’s a DUI, in the state of Utah you have to have this hearing to try to save your license.
The Driver’s License Hearing is Winnable if a Competent DUI Defense Attorney is Retained
Interviewer: Is the driver’s license hearing winnable or is, there’s not much you can do, and you’re going to lose your license no matter what?
Brian Frees: The Hearing is winnable, it is a deck stacked against the clients always, but they are winnable. One of the easiest ways to win is if the officer doesn’t adhere to the hearing, which does happen. Probably 20 or 30 % of the, of the time statistically in the state of Utah, that the officer does not make the scheduled hearing time, and if the officer doesn’t call in within 20 minutes of the starting of the hearing, then the driver’s license will not be suspended.
A DUI Defense Attorney May Take Advantage of any Errors Committed by Law Enforcement Officials
I have been fairly successful in defending people in these hearings, and winning them, where I can identify areas with the law enforcement officer where any forms have been inaccurately filled out, or filed out the paper work timely with the driver’s license division. There’s certain rules and requirements that they have to file on how they transmit it to the driver’s license division, when it arrives and, when the driver’s license division receives it, if those were not met, the driver’s license division cannot take action on your license also.
Losing the Criminal Aspect of a DUI Case can Result in Loss of Driving Privileges
Interviewer: If you win the Driver’s license hearing, can you still lose your license, through the court system and vice versa?
Brian Frees: Yes you can, if what they do at this hearings represents the first day arrest statute which says when you were arrested for DUI, your license will be suspended for up to 120 days. based on just being arrested for it. If you win that DOD hearing, if the DOD does not take any action to suspend your licenses, then you could potentially still lose your license if you are found guilty of driving under the influence at a later court date.
A Hardship License or a Work License is Not Available In the State of Utah
Interviewer: What happens if your license gets suspended for the 120 days? Can you get hardship license or a work license, or a restricted one?
Brian Frees: Currently In the state of Utah, there isn’t any work release programs or, work permits, or hardship licenses that are available to somebody for the 120 days. Per se arrest is an absolute aspect for there is the ability to sometimes mutually negotiate under criminal case that he maybe be pleads to a lesser charge, of impaired driving, he can reduce the number of days, that your license would be suspended. But it, it would be still a period of suspension.
An Attorney Can Help a Client if the 10 Day Limit for the Driver’s License Hearing Have Expired
Interviewer: People only have 10 calendar days from the date they are arrested, so what happens if they wait too long? Is there nothing they can do, or what can they do.
Brian Frees: If they are on their 10th day, if they can call my office right away, we can get the paper work, sent over to the DOD within minutes to secure their rights. If they were within one or 2 days, there is a possibility of appealing to the driver’s license division. For a late hearing. you need to have some reason behind it. Most recent one that I was successful with getting, my client did not speak English well at all, and they did grant it, where it was under the 12 days that we requested the hearing. If he did not have that language barrier, there is a hard & fast rule, where without an attorney’s help it can be very difficult to get your per se hearing back.