The Edge Law Firm answers questions about the benefits of challenging your driver’s license suspension after a DUI arrest in Oklahoma.
How Does Someone File A Petition In District Court In The County Where They Were Arrested?
We have drafted our own petition. It says that the police arrested you, you were given a notice of license revocation, and you are contesting the revocation. We file the petition to the district court in the county where you were arrested and set a hearing date. Then the petitionis sent to the Department of Public Safety (DPS), notifying them to suspend any action on the license suspension until the case gets resolved in court. The basic steps are:
- File the petition
- Set the hearing date
- Hold the hearing, which will determine one of the following outcomes:
- Case won – If we win the case, your license will be reinstated, and your attorney will gain valuable information about how to structure your defense.
- Case lost – We can secure a modification to have your license reinstated with an ignition interlock device, or we can simply accept the verdict. In that case, you will not be able to drive until the revocation period ends.
Can You Explain The Hearing?
The hearing actually is a trial in front of a judge, not a jury. DPS is named as the defendant and they have the responsibility of proving the following based on evidence and whether you took a breath test or refused:
- Law enforcement had probable cause to pull you over, including probable cause to assume you were driving or in “actual physical control” of your vehicle.
- That you were arrested
- That the law enforcement officer made you aware of the consequences of refusing a breath test as well as taking a breath test.
- That you did take the test and your test results were more than the legal limit, or
- That you refused a test.
To prove their case, DPS will call the arresting officer and any other witnesses to give testimony in front of the judge. We will cross-examine them. We can also present evidence.
At the end of the hearing, both sides make closing statements. The judge will usually make a decision immediately. Occasionally, the judge will ask for briefs to be submitted if there are atypical elements of the case. Sometimes they will do so just because they want more information. If that happens, the judge will delay the decision.
The judge has two options. They can (1) approve the revocation, meaning DPS provided sufficient evidence to meet the above factors 0r (2) they can stay the revocation, meaning we win and DPS cannot suspend your license.
Also, if the judge approves the revocation, we can secure an ignition interlock device installed so you can continue driving with a modified license. If not, you’ll lose your license.
Do Your Clients Have To Attend The Hearing?
Clients can attend but are not required to appear. There are reasons your attorney may feel it is in your best interest to not be present.
Can The Results Of A Breath Or Blood Test Be Used At The Initial License Hearing?
Yes, it can potentially be used as evidence.
Can DPS Use Previous DUIs As Evidence At The License Hearing?
DPS cannot use prior DUI charges or license suspensions to prove that a current charge is also a DUI. However, if DPS proves their case and your license is going to be revoked, they can use past charges to increase the period of revocation.
Can You Appeal The Hearing If You Lose?
Both sides have the option to appeal the hearing. Our clients can appeal the verdict in the Oklahoma Supreme Court. You must appeal within 30 days of the district court’s ruling.
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