Keeping Your Driver’s License

If you lose your license, how will you to get to work? To school? To the grocery store? Unless you are within walking distance of all of these locations, you will be forced to use public transportation or rely on another person to drive you to these places. Most people would rather avoid the inconvenience, embarrassment, and financial burden of losing their license.

If you are arrested and charged with a DWI, you will be facing the loss of your license and driving privileges for months or even years, depending on the severity of the charges. If you took the Breathalyzer test and blew over the legal limit of .08 on your first offense, your driver’s license could be suspended for 90 days. If you are under the age of 21, that suspension increases to 180 days. And if you blew above .20, your license may be suspended for two years! Your license may be suspended for one year if you refused the Breathalyzer test. For people who caused an accident or had multiple previous offenses or a high BAC, the length of license suspension is even worse.

A DWI/DUI arrest brings two separate actions against you: a proceeding in criminal court addressing your charges, and an administrative hearing addressing your driver’s license. Upon your arrest, the officer will seize your license and give you a temporary permit lasting 30 days if you are eligible.

It’s important to note that, under Louisiana law, you have no more than 15 days after your arrest to request an administrative hearing from the state DMV to appeal your license suspension. If you do not request this hearing within the 15 days following your arrest, your right to an administrative hearing is lost, and your license is automatically suspended–even if your charges were dropped, reduced, or dismissed in the criminal proceeding!

If you request an administrative hearing within the time limit, the Louisiana DMV Hearing Office determines whether or not to let you keep your license based upon testimony and evidence from the officer and from you. Having an experienced attorney on your side is essential to increase the likelihood that you get to keep your license. The experienced DUI attorneys at Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias will do everything they can to protect your rights and delay or eliminate your license suspension.

If you fail to request an administrative hearing, or if your license is already suspended, the attorneys at Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias can still help you. We can assist you in obtaining a hardship license, which allows you to drive if it is financially or medically necessary. To get a hardship license, you must pay a license reinstatement fee and may have to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car.

Contact Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias today for a free consultation to learn how we can help you keep your driving privileges.