If you have been charged with DUI and are now facing a DUI hearing, it is understandable that you want to know more about what to expect and what may or may not happen during the hearing. There are different types of hearings that can take place after a DUI arrest, and of course the laws and procedures vary from state to state. Sometimes procedures can vary depending on the county as well.

The best person to tell you what you expect at your DUI hearing is the attorney that you retained to represent you. If you or a family member have been arrested for DUI but have not yet hired a DUI defense attorney, you should make that a top priority. Many people think that because they failed a breathalyzer test or a blood alcohol test that conviction is inevitable, but that is not true.

Administrative DMV Hearing

Most DUI cases have two sets of penalties to deal with. The Department of Motor Vehicles in your state probably has an administrative procedure under which you have had your license suspended upon your arrest, or you have had your license confiscated and been issued a temporary 30 day license.

  • You can also have your license suspended if you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer or blood alcohol test under the implied consent laws in your state. Implied consent laws say that you have agreed in advance to submit to these tests is requested in exchange for the privilege of having a drivers license.

Discuss with your lawyer whether or not you should attend the administrative DMV hearing, or if this hearing should only be attended by your attorney. These hearings are run by DMV personnel and not by a judge, so your attorney may decide it is in your best interest if you do not attend the hearing.

Preliminary Hearing in Criminal Court

On the other side of your DUI is the criminal case. A preliminary hearing, which you need to attend will be held in order for the judge to decide if enough evidence exists for a trial. Your attorney, the prosecutor and judge will do all or almost all of the talking at this hearing. Your guilt or innocence is not decided at this hearing, just whether or there is sufficient evidence to bring you to trial.

Talk to Your Attorney

Discuss your concerns about hearings with your attorney. People are always less anxious when they know better what to expect. Plan to dress in attire suitable for formal business for any court appearances that you make, and let your attorney do the talking.