If you have recently been arrested for driving while intoxicated in New Hampshire, there are some important things that you should know. A DWI is administrative as well as criminal. Because there are two aspects to your case, there are also two distinct hearings: the criminal case and the administrative case. The administrative case is the DMV hearing, and this hearing will evaluate whether or not you get to keep your driving privileges.
A DWI arrest is one way you could lose your license. Another way to lose your license is to refuse a breath, blood or urine test. Your arrest will begin the administrative suspension process. You will be given a temporary permit to drive until you can schedule a DMV hearing. If you do not request a DMV hearing, you forego your right to contest your driver license suspension and, once your temporary driving permit expires, you will no longer be able to drive until the term of your suspension is up.
In New Hampshire, if you are arrested for DWI or refusing to submit to a chemical test, you will be given a temporary permit to drive that will last only 30 days. This means that you must have an administrative hearing within this time frame. There is no guarantee that this administrative hearing will result in a restoration of your driving privileges, but it could. Think of this as your last chance to fight a suspension before your temporary permit expires.
If your temporary driving permit does expire, then you will have to serve out the 180 days of administrative license suspension. This is the case with most first-time DWIs. For a second or subsequent offense, you could face driver's license suspension for up to two years. This further highlights the importance of requesting a DMV hearing.
Do you have to have an attorney present at this hearing? No, but it can be extremely beneficial. A NH DWI lawyer will be familiar with administrative suspension procedures and can present evidence that could result in you getting to keep your license.
Remember, time is limited to schedule a DMV hearing. Your temporary permit to drive is just that, temporary. 180 days to two years is a long time to lose your driving privileges. Without your ability to drive, your mobility is severely restricted as you will have to rely on public transportation and rides from friends or family. To learn more about DMV hearings and defense against license suspension, please do not hesitate to contact a New Hampshire DWI attorney at Shaheen & Gordon today to request a free consultation.