Admin per se Suspension and the 15 day Rule
You may suffer a driver's license suspension even if you are never convicted of a crime. If you are arrested for suspicion of driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI), the arresting officer will serve you with an Admin per se form notifying you that your privilege to drive in the State of Arizona will be suspended for 90 days (1 year if you refuse to consent to breath or blood testing). The suspension will automatically begin 15 days after the date you are served with the affidavit, unless you request, in writing, a hearing before an Administrative Judge. An administrative hearing carries a different/lower burden of proof than a criminal trial proceedings.
Regardless of your licensing state, Arizona Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) will automatically impose the suspension unless you request a hearing within 15 days. Any suspension in Arizona will be shared with other states through the interstate compact program and will impact you in your licensing state as well. If you miss the 15 day deadline, you will have no recourse to fight the suspension.
The Executive Hearing Office in Phoenix, Arizona conducts the hearings for the Arizona MVD. All testimony at these hearings are taken under oath, the hearing is audio recorded, and the decision is final subject to rehearing or appeal. The Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) who preside over the hearings at the Executive Hearing Office are experienced attorneys licensed to practice law in the State of Arizona.
At a hearing challenging DUI license suspension, the Officer must appear and provide evidence for the suspension to remain. Rural counties typically conduct the hearings with the parties either appearing at a local MVD location and connecting with the ALJ via videoconference or telephonically at the assigned hearing time.
The ALJ will often issue a verbal finding at the conclusion of the hearing and will issue a written Decision and Order within ten days of the hearing that includes Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and a Decision. If the suspension is upheld, the ALJ will set a start date for the suspension as well.
Seek the Advice of Experienced Counsel
If you have been arrested for DUI in Arizona, contact the experienced legal team at the Law Offices of Shawn B. Hamp today to review your matter. It is important to preserve your right to a hearing to challenge the suspension as well as to preserve your driving privileges while the hearing is pending. Together, Attorneys Shawn B. Hamp and Virginia L. Crews have decades of experience defending clients in DUI cases. Our entire office, including our newest Associate Attorney, Troy Anderson, have the legal knowledge and drive to protect your rights through every stage of the process.