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What Louisianans should know about DWI administrative hearings

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2022 | Drunk Driving |

If you have recently been arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may be unfamiliar with the legal process. One part of the process that often gets overlooked by people is the optional administrative hearing you can request to protect your driver’s license. So what is an administrative hearing? And how is it different from the criminal side of your DWI case?

Two separate proceedings

In Louisiana, administrative hearings and criminal proceedings are two separate court processes. The criminal proceeding of a DWI case is inevitable — you are required to go through that process. But the administrative hearing is something you have to request to protect your driving privileges. You will have an administrative hearing only if you request one.

From the date of your arrest, you have 15 days to schedule an administrative hearing. If you don’t schedule your hearing in time, through a proper written request, you could lose your driving privileges.

If you refused a breathalyzer test that the arresting officer was trying to make you take, then your driver’s license might have been revoked on the spot. You will then have thirty days to request an administrative hearing to get your license back.

What an administrative hearing entails

The Louisiana Division of Administrative Law is the governmental body that conducts administrative hearings for people whose licenses have been revoked by the Office of Motor Vehicles. Note: You can have the same attorney represent you in your DWI case and your administrative hearing.

During the hearing, you will get the opportunity to make an argument for why the Division should restore your driving privileges. If you are successful, you may have your license restored while you proceed with the DWI side of your case.

Nowadays, having a revoked drivers’ license can create a great deal of hardship for the average person. If you put an experienced DWI defense attorney on your side, you will be more likely to protect your driver’s license and minimize the negative consequences of a DWI arrest.