When Your Driver’s License Is Due to Be Suspended, You Are Entitled to a Hearing at the Department of Motor Vehicles

With regard to the Division of Motor Vehicles, those hearings are normally because somebody has accumulated a number of points on their license. They are facing a license suspension for a period of time.

It Is Important to Respond to the Written Notice of the Impending Suspension

The driver will get a notice in the mail that Motor Vehicles is seeking to suspend their license due to point accumulation. That notice will tell him that he has an opportunity for a hearing. Many people unfortunately ignore that notice and ignore the deadline in which they’re allowed to respond.

It’s very important that a person read the mail and see how much time they do have before they lose the opportunity to have a hearing.

It Is Advisable to Attend This Hearing with Your Attorney

It’s very important one take this opportunity to attend this hearing with a lawyer. This does not mean that the examiner at the hearing office in Motor Vehicles is going to be sympathetic because of the loss of a license. It’s a hardship. That has nothing to do with it.

Your Attorney Will Present an Argument to the Examiner That Includes Any Mitigating Circumstances

You have to establish, based upon the record in a legal way, why the suspension should not take place. It’s not just, “This is a hardship to me. I can’t work anymore.” Motor Vehicles couldn’t care less.

You have to present any mitigating circumstances. Have the points accumulated over a period of years? Were there any accidents involved? What was the reason for it? Was the person engaged in driving like a professional truck driver, traveling hundreds and hundreds of miles per week? The amount of driving is a factor.

It takes some skill to set up an argument for Motor Vehicles to consider not suspending for the full amount of time or negotiating the suspension down to a shorter time period. Your first step should be read the notice, noting the deadline and retaining an attorney before the deadline expires.

In Some Cases, Motor Vehicles Will Suspend the Driver’s License Prior to the Trial but You Are Entitled to a Hearing If You Are Exonerated to Restore Your Driver’s License

There are different kinds of hearings. An example would be if there’s a vehicular homicide and a person’s license is going to be suspended for say five years by Motor Vehicles. If the court case goes in your favor, you could ask for a hearing in Trenton to introduce new facts and evidence so that the person’s license can be restored by Motor Vehicles.

For example, if someone is charged with vehicular homicide but then is not found guilty of that, DMV meanwhile might have impose the suspension before the person is actually even found guilty. Then the person has to battle the suspension once the case has been resolved in a favorable way.

It doesn’t mean that DMV automatically takes it away. You’ll have to have a hearing with them and explain what happened. The same can happen if someone is driving while suspended. If the charge is dismissed in Court, the DMV may still impose a suspension.

Interviewer: So if I win my Court case I can request a hearing with my attorney to present evidence on my behalf to restore driving privileges?

Jacqueline: The DMV will have to be updated as to what’s going on regarding the Court outcome. They have an administrative hearing process. They’ll set a date and a time and your lawyer presents the evidence with the client to get his license restored.

In New Jersey, You Will Not Be Subject to a DMV Hearing for a First DWI Offense Alone

Interviewer: In some states, I have come across, even on your first DWI offense that a DMV hearing is required. It’s separate from your criminal case.

Jacqueline: Not in New Jersey. In New Jersey, the suspension is triggered by points, failure to pay surcharges or a serious traffic offense such as vehicular homicide.