Patrick J. Martinez & Associates have focused our practice on the criminal defense of DWI/DUI charges. With more than 20 years of experience in this area of law, we know many of the questions you are going to ask before you even get to your initial consultation. Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions following a drunk driving arrest in the greater Albuquerque, NM area.
Can I drive? Will I lose my license?
These questions are very closely related, so the answers overlap. Once you are released from holding after a drunk driving arrest, you are able to drive. However, at the time of arrest, you likely forfeited your physical license to the arresting officer. In order to recover your license, you must schedule an administrative hearing with New Mexico MVD within 10 days of your arrest.
At this hearing, you may get your license back and driving privileges restored while the case is pending. It is also possible, based on the circumstances of the arrest and the police officer’s presence and/or testimony, that your license may be revoked. The duration of license revocation is usually determined by the number of DWI offense:
- 1st offense (not aggravated): 6 months
- 1st offense (aggravated): 1 year
- 2nd offense: 2 years
- 3rd offense: 3 years
- 4th offense: lifetime
License revocation periods may be extended if a criminal DWI conviction follows. In the event of license revocation, you may appeal to the administrative board for restricted driving privileges to allow you to get to/from work.
My car was seized by the City. How do I get it back?
If you were arrested for drunk driving within the city limits of Albuquerque, your car was likely towed to a city impound. In order to recover your vehicle, you must request a hearing with the City of Albuquerque within 10 days of your arrest.
Do I have to get an ignition interlock?
Ignition interlock may be required if you are convicted of a DWI, even for a first offense. However, an ignition interlock cannot be ordered by the MVD administrative body.
Do I need an attorney?
You are not required by law to have an attorney for criminal defense or for representation at administrative MVD hearings. However, you will likely fare better with experienced legal counsel. The criminal defense attorneys at Patrick J. Martinez & Associates have decades of experience fighting DWI convictions so that you can retain your driving privileges and avoid costly DWI penalties. To get started with your case, contact us for a free initial consultation. We provide representation at all MVD administrative hearings at no extra charge when you retain us for your DWI criminal defense.