An Overview of the Administrative and Criminal Justice Processes
In America you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. However, there are consequences and limitations on your rights in the time between your arrest for drunk driving and your trial. You should know how to protect your rights and privileges, and you should seek expert legal counsel from a criminal defense attorney to help.
Administrative Hearings after a Drunk Driving Arrest
If you have been accused of drunk driving, you face the immediate revocation of your license. In other words, you can lose the privilege of driving unless you request an administrative hearing from the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) within 10 days of your arrest.
If you are being accused of a second or subsequent drunk driving charge, your vehicle may have been seized by the City of Albuquerque (or neighboring municipality). You will also need to request a hearing within 10 days of your arrest to retrieve your vehicle.
Criminal Process after a Drunk Driving Arrest
The criminal justice process can be long and complicated. Upon your release from jail, there are a number of conditions you must follow to avoid a warrant being issued for your immediate arrest. Such conditions usually include:
- You cannot enter an establishment that sells liquor
- You cannot consume alcohol or other drugs
If you are accused of a third or subsequent drunk driving charge, you may be required to get an ignition interlock device installed even while your criminal case is pending.
The entire criminal case (for misdemeanor DWI charges) takes about six months from date of the arraignment to the trial. During this time, you must attend a number of procedural hearings. Failure to appear can result in a warrant issued for your arrest and/or being held in contempt of court, which may entail fines or jail time.
Why You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been accused of drunk driving, you can make both the administrative and criminal justice processes significantly easier by hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The criminal defense attorneys at Patrick J. Martinez & Associates help you throughout your case by:
- Representing you at all MVD administrative hearings
- Attending all procedural matters in the criminal case on your behalf*
- Investigating the circumstances of your arrest
- Building a strong case in your defense of your innocence against drunk driving charges
We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your drunk driving case. When you retain one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys, we provide representation at administrative hearings at no extra charge. Contact us to schedule a consultation at our Albuquerque, NM office.