What to Expect at a DDS Hearing

A person arrested for a DUI will have to attend a Department of Driver Services (DDS) hearing. At the hearing, your case will be reviewed, and it is here where the decision will be made as to whether you will be allowed to keep your license. This hearing is purely administrative and is separate from your criminal DUI charge.

After being arrested on a DUI charge, your license is automatically confiscated and you will be given a “notice of suspension.” This allows you to continue to drive for a maximum of 30 days, at the end of which the license will either be suspended or revoked depending on whether you can successfully fight your DUI charge at the DDS hearing.

From the day you are arrested, you have 30 days to request a DDS hearing to ensure that you have a chance to defend your rights.

What happens at a DDS hearing?

Your case will be heard by an administrative judge who is a trained lawyer. It will be their final decision as to whether the license remains suspended. Because the hearing is treated differently to a criminal proceeding or criminal trial, it can be harder to prove your innocence. Hiring an attorney to argue your case at a DDS hearing can be the best way to ensure you retain your driving privileges.

At the hearing, a person can present their evidence and bring into question the evidence against them. They can do this by questioning any witnesses, the arresting officer, and testifying on their own behalf. If the arresting officer had reasonable suspicion that you were driving under the influence of alcohol, you will have to try to prove you were not. This is the most powerful piece of evidence that a DDS hearing officer will take into consideration, regardless of what your blood alcohol concentration was or if you were arrested lawfully.

If you win, your license suspension will be overturned and you can continue to drive. It is important to note, however, that if you refused to take the chemical test, your license may be automatically suspended for one year unless you can successfully prove at your DDS hearing that you were not asked to take the test, not advised to take the test, and that you knowingly refused to do so. However, the law is currently in flux regarding this and it is not always the case that a person will automatically lose their license for refusing the chemical test.

If you lose, your driving license will be suspended for a set period. This is usually between four months to three years depending on whether you refused the chemical test at the time of your arrest and if this is your first offense. Even if you win your DDS hearing, this doesn’t necessarily mean the court will then modify their sentence. As always, it’s best to have an experienced attorney on your side to make sure you receive the best possible outcome.

If you have any questions about a DDS hearing in Georgia, or to hire an attorney to provide you with an aggressive defense, get in touch with the professionals at Pak & McRae for a free, confidential consultation.

The following two tabs change content below.

Pak & McRae Law

At Pak and McRae Law, LLC we provide straightforward, sincere criminal defense for local, state, and federal matters. Our team includes a former Assistant District Attorney, so we understand how prosecutors approach cases and will use those insights to benefit your case.

Latest posts by Pak & McRae Law (see all)

%d bloggers like this: