Requesting an MVD Hearing to Challenge or Delay the Admin Per Se Suspension.
If you timely request a hearing within the allotted 15 days, you can continue driving until the hearing takes place. It’s important to be sure that you correctly and timely request a hearing if you continue to drive. Requests must be made in writing and received by the Executive Hearing office within 15 days from the suspension’s service.
If you, or your Mesa AZ criminal defense attorney, timely requests an Admin Per Se hearing with MVD’s Executive Hearing Office, a hearing will be scheduled before an administrative law judge. If you hire a defense attorney, your attorney can appear for you and waive your presence.
The purpose of the hearing is to decide whether to uphold or void the ninety-day suspension. The hearing isn’t very formal; it takes place in a conference room at a large table. During the hearing, the judge will ask the police officer what happened during the DUI arrest. You, or your attorney, will have an opportunity to ask the officer questions. You may also testify; however, it’s usually not advisable.
The testimony at the hearing is limited to these issues: whether police had reasonable grounds to believe you were in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while impaired; whether you were arrested for DUI; whether a chemical test indicated a BAC of 0.08; whether the testing method was valid and reliable; and, whether the test results were accurately evaluated.
Since the scope of the hearing is limited, there are only a few common defenses raised: police lacked reasonable grounds to suspect impairment; police lacked reasonable grounds you were in actual physical control of a vehicle; police never arrested you for DUI; the alcohol tests are below .08; the drug tests only show inactive drugs; you have a valid medical prescription; the chemical test isn’t reliable; and, the chemical test wasn’t accurately evaluated.
At the end of the hearing, the driver can either stipulate to the suspension or make an argument to void the suspension. If the judge rules in favor of the driver, the Admin Per Se suspension is voided. If the judge rules in favor of the State, or accepts a stipulation from the driver, the judge will order the suspension. The judge will usually allow a request for a specific suspension start date, but will not delay it more than thirty days. For example, if the hearing took place on June 15th, the judge may order the suspension to start anytime between June 15th and July 15th.