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DWI Refusal Hearing

If a person is stopped for driving while intoxicated (DWI), he or she has the opportunity to refuse chemical, breath or field sobriety testing. In some cases, it is the best course of action to refuse testing. However, refusing to adhere to sobriety testing does come along with some legal and administrative consequences.

Refusing to submit to chemical, breath, or field testing will result in a revocation of a driver’s license. The period of time is usually dependent on the person’s prior record. Fortunately, motorists are entitled to due process. In New York, the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) will hold a hearing to determine whether a person should have their license revoked.

If you have a date for a DWI refusal hearing, it is in your best interest to obtain an experienced defense attorney to help you gain your license back.

Attorney for DWI Refusal Hearings in Suffolk County, NY

In New York, the criminal side of a DWI case is handled in court. On the other hand, the refusal portion of a DWI case goes before an administrative law judge that works for the DMV. For a DMV refusal hearing, the burden of proof is much lower than its criminal counterpart.

A refusal hearing is not just a chance to regain your license, but it is also an opportunity for your attorney to gather evidence for your upcoming criminal DWI trial. In a DWI refusal hearing, a skilled attorney can cross-examine your arresting police officer, and lay down the foundation of your defense. Any person who has refused testing should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Stephanie Selloni at Law Office of Stephanie Selloni has been practicing law in Long Island courts for years. She understands the differences and intricacies between administrative and criminal hearings. Ms. Selloni understands the importance of a DWI refusal hearing. She will use all her available resources and negotiating skills to not only try to reinstate your license, but to also collect information for your upcoming criminal case.

Be at an advantage with your DWI refusal hearing. Attorney Stephanie Selloni defends those who refuse DWI sobriety testing throughout Nassau County and Suffolk County including the towns, cities, and communities of Hempstead, Riverhead, Mineola, Glen Cove, Central Islip, and Long Beach.

Call (516) 972-1212 or simply submit an online contact form to speak to Ms. Selloni regarding your criminal case today.

Overview for DWI Refusal Hearings in Long Island, NY

DWI Criminal Case vs. DWI Refusal Hearing

It can be confusing when discerning between a DWI criminal justice proceeding and a DWI refusal hearing at the DMV. Both of these events can result in one common consequence, the revocation of a driver’s license. However, revocation of a driver’s license from a DMV hearing is distinct from the revocation of your license from a criminal conviction.

A DWI refusal hearing is handled by an administrative judge at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The burden of proof is much lower when it comes to a DWI refusal hearing. There is also no district attorney present at a DMV refusal hearing. Additionally, the judge in a DMV proceeding has one ultimate decision to make. If the judge believes your refusal was unnecessary, the result is the revocation of your license.

However, a criminal case may have multiple penalties. If you are convicted, the charges may become a part of your driving record. Furthermore, you may be facing large fees and possible probation or jail time. A number of end results can happen from a DWI criminal conviction. Alongside this, a criminal conviction has a much higher burden of proof.

If you refuse sobriety testing for a DWI stop, you will be required to attend both a DMV refusal hearing and face your charges in court. However, the results of a DWI refusal hearing may affect the outcome of your criminal case. Positive results from the DMV may save you from further penalties down the road. Lastly, it should be noticed that the administrative revocation period is not the same as a revocation period from a criminal conviction.

Elements for License Revocation at a DWI Refusal Hearing

An administrative judge will focus on four key elements when it comes to your DWI refusal hearing. If you are equipped with a seasoned criminal defense attorney, you may be able to combat these elements to regain the usage of your license. If law enforcement fails to prove these elements, then the revocation of your license may be dismissed.

  1. Whether the police had probable cause to arrest the motorist
  2. Whether the police had a reasonable suspicion that the motorist was driving in violation of New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law 1192.
    1. Unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle;
    2. Aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle;
    3. Leaving the scene of an incident;
    4. Driving under the influence;
    5. Aggravated driving under the influence;
    6. Operating without an interlock device;
    7. Circumvention of interlock device
  3. Whether a motorist was given a clear and sufficient warning of the consequences of the refusal
  4. Whether the motorist actually refused

Significance of a Police Office in a NY DWI Refusal Hearing

The DWI refusal hearing will require the appearance of the arresting officer from your DWI stop. The presence of your arresting officer is incredibly important, present or not. If the arresting officer for your case does not appear, you driver’s license will most likely be given back to you. Additionally, a second hearing will be scheduled.

The time between hearings can be valuable. Using the time between hearings, you and your attorney can prepare any evidence to attest the revocation of your license. If the arresting office does not appear for the second hearing, the judge may make a ruling based solely on refusal documents supplied by the police department. The police officer’s inability to testify in court will also make a stronger case for your criminal charges.

However, if the arresting officer appears, this is still a positive. A DWI refusal case is a rare instance where a defense attorney has the ability to cross-examine the arresting police officer. This is unique, as there will be no district attorney present at this hearing. In addition, the officer’s testimony will be recorded and given under oath.

Any testimony given at a DWI refusal hearing can be used as evidence in your criminal case. An unsure testimony from your arresting officer may be the answer to reducing or dismissing your charges.

Additional Resources

NY Court Jury Instructions – Visit the official website for the New York Courts Jury Instructions for Vehicle and Traffic Law. Jury instructions are unique, as they are what a jury uses as a guide to deliberate a verdict on a case. View the documents that detail the factors a jury must find to deliberate a guilty DWI conviction.

Suppose Your License Was Taken Away – Visit the official website for the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and read a guide to suspension and revocation of driver’s licenses. See the various legal definitions, the different charges one may face, other similar violations, and DWI/DUI statistics in New York.

Lawyer for DWI Refusal Hearing in Nassau County, New York

A DWI refusal hearing can be very significant to not only the ability to use your license, but also the future criminal proceedings. It is important that you are prepared for what is next and use this time to your advantage. Take control of these DWI accusations, and call Stephanie Selloni at Law Office of Stephanie Selloni today.

Stephanie Selloni at Law Office of Stephanie Selloni is knowledgeable in the procedures and leverages in refusal hearing at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). She has been practicing criminal law in the Long Island area for years with outstanding results. Attorney Stephanie Selloni approaches every client with compassion, but is aggressive in her courtroom negotiation skills. Ms. Selloni is a part of several esteemed law associations such as the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NYSACDL), and the Nassau Criminal Courts Law and Procedure Committee.

Start your plan of defense. Law Office of Stephanie Selloni represent those charged with a DWI or aggravated DWI throughout Suffolk County and Nassau County including Mineola, Long Beach, Central Islip, and Riverhead.

Dial (516) 972-1212 to schedule a free consultation about your case with attorney Stephanie Selloni today.

This article was last updated on August 30, 2018.