Type of Case: DWI Refusal Hearing at the DMV Case Result: Hearing Won! Attorney:Clarke Dummit
When our firm takes on DWI defense cases we often look for the needle in the haystack. Many times, we find it and many times we don’t. Occasionally we find a defense we were not expecting, and a case that looks like a pure losing case turns into a win. Attorney Clarke Dummit recently had that experience in a DWI refusal administrative hearing at the DMV.
Know Your Rights
When a person is arrested for DWI and taken to the breath testing room they will be read their Implied Consent Rights from the government form DHHS 4081. Afterward, the charging officer or trooper will request the person to submit to a breath or blood test. If the person refuses to take the test they will be marked as a Willful Refusal. They will be told they are losing their license for an entire year for refusing a breath test. Most people get the wrong impression that this is “automatic” or that it can’t be fought. But, at Dummit Fradin we regularly advise clients to exercise their right to an administrative hearing at the DMV.
The DMV Administrative Hearing
While it can be difficult to win these DWI refusal hearings, often our clients are happy to simply keep their license until the entire DWI trial and Administrative hearings are complete. We do not win all of these hearings, but you just never know until you play your hand to see what the other side has.
In the attached DMV Hearing Order, you can read the findings the Hearing Office made in this case. Our client refused to get out of his car after being detained by law enforcement. The Deputies and a Trooper forcefully removed him from his vehicle. He then refused to cooperate in any field tests and probably would have refused the breath test too after hearing his rights from form DHHS 4081. Yet, as we learned in the hearing, the Trooper instead elected to get a search warrant for our client’s blood and go straight to the EMS station to have the blood drawn.
Our client was marked as a refusal to take a breath test. Yet, at the hearing, the Trooper surprisingly testified that he had gone straight to the EMS station (bypassing the breath room stop). He only had one form DHHS 4081 because that was all he brought with him. Then he said that since it was done at the EMS station before drawing his blood under the search warrant, and because he did not have a spare copy, he did not give our client a copy of DHHS 4081 about his rights.
Thus, we won an issue we had not anticipated. The client frankly has very little recollection of the process and we were very thankful that the Trooper involved is such a straight shooter that he stuck to the truth even when it hurt the State’s case.
Through the years our DWI Attorneys have learned many strategies to win these hearings. There are several ways to win DWI Refusal Hearings, but it is always refreshing to win one based upon the pure honesty of the Trooper.
Get Help with a DWI Refusal Hearing Today
If you have been subjected to a refusal driver’s license suspension it is critical that you request the DWI refusal hearing within 10 days of getting the revocation notice from the DMV. Paying the $450.00 DMV filing fee can be financially painful in the short run. But, in the long run, it is generally worth the filing fees and attorney fees if even to simply keep driving and line up the DWI one-year revocation with the DMV one-year revocation.
Contact Dummit Fradin today to book your free criminal consultation. We have offices conveniently located in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and High Point.