Top 20 DMV Hearing Defenses

Procedural, Officer Mistakes, Chemical Test, PAS Tests, Refusals

Top 20 Hearing Defenses

Top 4 Procedural Hearing Defenses

Procedural hearing defenses are those that have nothing to do with the facts of your case. Instead, they provide a way to beat DMV based on the way the hearing officer conducted the hearing process. These defenses are often the best (or only) option the motorist has.

Many people wonder how a hearing officer can make a mistake that would provide a defense to a hearing. The answer is that they usually do not have an adequate understanding of the laws governing their job. The hearing officer is not usually a lawyer and often has no legal training whatsoever. In fact, they are usually promoted from the ranks of driving test examiners.

Learn these defenses so that if your hearing officer makes any of these mistakes, you will be able to capitalize on them and beat DMV.

Top 4 Procedural Hearing Defenses

Top 5 Officer Mistake Defenses

Police officer mistakes are a fruitful place to look for ways to beat DMV at a hearing. Because DMV must prove that an arrest was lawful, any police conduct which violates the motorist’s rights should provide a defense to the DMV action because it should mean the arrest was illegal.

Moreover, because the rules of evidence at DMV hearings require properly completed police reports, often an officer’s sloppy paperwork provides a defense to the action. If the reports aren’t prepared properly, they cannot be admitted into evidence, and the hearing officer must set aside the suspension and return a motorist’s license.

Top 5 Officer Mistake Defenses

Top 4 Chemical Test Defenses

For drug and alcohol-related hearings, a chemical test report is often the main evidence against a motorist. Most of these defenses challenge the use of the report in the first place because the rules for using hearsay evidence were not satisfied. (A chemical test report is considered hearsay evidence and must satisfy certain exception rules to be used by DMV.)

The rising blood alcohol defense, on the other hand, does not challenge the use of the report. Instead, it argues that motorist had a legal BAC at the time of driving but continued to rise until, at the time of the test, it had risen to .08% or greater.

These defenses take some skill and may require an expert to testify. But they can be the most powerful weapons in the motorist’s arsenal because DMV will not have an expert to rebut them.

Top 4 Chemical Test Defenses

Top 2 PAS Test Defenses

For motorists under 21 and folks on DUI probation, the law makes it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .01% or greater. It also allows law enforcement to use the less-reliable preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test instead of an evidential chemical breath or blood test.

There are two defenses that are particular to the PAS device used in these cases: one procedural and one substantive. The procedural defense involves the foundation required to be laid for the PAS results to be used in evidence. The substantive defense is based on the margin of error of the PAS device.

These PAS defenses are among the most successful in our office.

Top 2 PAS Test Defenses

Top 5 Refusal Defenses

Refusal cases present their own unique set of defenses at a hearing.

One involves the due process problem when an officer checks the wrong box on the DS367 police report form. Two of them exploit an officer’s failure properly to advise (or “admonish”) the motorist while offering the test. One defense is based on the motorist’s medical condition at the time of the arrest (particularly in accident cases), and one is the simple “he said, she said” defense that the motorist simply did not refuse the test.

Refusal cases are among the most difficult, but by mastering these five defenses you will increase the likelihood you will beat DMV.

Top 5 Refusal Defenses

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