Do You Lose Your Driver’s License Automatically After a DWI/DUI?
New Mexico DWI/DUI charges are serious, even for a first-time offense. However, it does not necessarily equal an automatic loss of your license, but it can in many cases. If you are charged you will also face two (2) separate proceedings.
The criminal courts will process your DWI/DUI criminal charges. A conviction for a DWI/DUI in the criminal court will result in a revocation of your driving privileges. At the same time, the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) determines if the state will administratively revoke your driving privileges.
Recognizing the differences between these two matters is essential when you are facing the criminal process, or you could miss out on legal opportunities.
Contact my office, a DWI/DUI law firm in Las Vegas, New Mexico, to defend your rights with the MVD as well as in court. You never have to accept guilt for a crime that prosecutors do not have the evidence to prove.
What Are the MVD License Revocation Hearing Rules?
A New Mexico DWI/DUI may affect your driving privileges at the time of your arrest, as well as when a conviction occurs.
First Time Offense: If you registered higher than .08 percent or higher, then you face a six-month revocation of your license imposed by the MVD. This revocation period extends to one (1) year for a refusal to give a breath or blood sample because it is a violation of the Implied Consent Act.
An MVD license revocation hearing is your one shot at keeping your driver’s license, at least throughout the time your case is in court. Once arrested and charged with a DWI/DUI, you have up to ten (10) days to request this hearing. You MUST REQUEST an MVD hearing, along with a money order for $25.00, WITHIN TEN DAYS of your arrest.
If you miss this ten-day window, then you automatically lose your driver’s license. Once you have successfully requested your MVD hearing within the mandatory ten (10)-day deadline, then MVD must schedule your hearing within ninety (90) days of receiving the request.
What Happens at an MVD License Revocation Hearing?
If you request your hearing before the allotted window, your next step is to appear before the MVD and argue your case. Hiring an experienced DWI/DUI attorney to prepare for and represent you at the MVD hearing is an important step in fighting to keep your driver’s license.
Even though your charges are pending, you can still defend your driver’s license revocation at the revocation hearing. You can test the evidence against you, cross examine the officer and fight to keep your driver’s license.
It is challenging to keep your license if your blood alcohol content (BAC) was over .08 percent at your arrest. The MVD does accept evidence at the MVD hearing, including testimony regarding an unconstitutional stop, faulty investigation, faulty breathalyzers, or health conditions that triggered you to have an erroneous reading.
MVD will look into:
- Whether the arresting officer had probable cause for the arrest
- The formal charges against
- What your BAC was
- How long you have waited for your hearing
- Investigate other relevant facts of your case
You can fight to keep your driver’s license. Hiring a DWI/DUI attorney will help you uncover every opportunity available towards that goal.
Even if the arresting officer shows up to testify against you at this hearing, an attorney, like myself, knows that it is our opportunity to examine the officer on the record, test the case against you, and potentially help your criminal case in court.
Are There Alternatives to a License Revocation?
If you do face a revocation at the MVD license revocation hearing, there are legal alternatives that keep you on the road. Installing an ignition interlock device (IID) and obtaining an Ignition Interlock Driver’s License is the solution for many New Mexicans who have had their driver privileges revoked. It is also a mandatory requirement for obtaining an unrestricted “regular” driver’s license once the revocation period has expired.
The MVD can require an IID installation before you even face a DWI/DUI conviction at the criminal court level. However, your attorney will help you determine which course of action is best for your situation.
Your Criminal Record Affects the Amount of Time You Lose Your Driving Privileges
While it is possible to lose a driver’s license automatically, the revocation length ties into whether or not this offense is your first. A first-time DWI/DUI conviction requires an automatic one (1)-year revocation period. For acquittals, then the standard amount of time to lose your license is up to six (6) months.
The state adds an additional year to each subsequent offense. For example, a third DWI/DUI will cause you to lose your license for up to a three (3)-year suspension. Fourth or subsequent offenses can result in a lifetime suspension.
Call Grano Law Offices, P.C. for a FREE Case Strategy Session
Losing your license and a DWI/DUI conviction will impact your life negatively. Make sure that you have a DWI/DUI attorney in Las Vegas, New Mexico on your side to fight back against the charges you are facing.