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How is the DMV hearing different from the trial?


A: Many motorists arrested for DUI do not understand the relationship between their criminal case and the DMV. Arrests for DUI trigger two separate cases: the criminal case and the DMV case. In the past, both the court and the DMV could order license suspensions. Now, only the DMV can suspend a license, either because of an unsuccessful DMV hearing or a criminal court conviction. In other words, even if the jury finds you not guilty, the DMV may still decide to suspend your license. The DMV hearing following a DUI arrest is known as an “administrative per se” hearing, or APS. They are held at the DMV offices nearest to where the offense occurred. Unlike court trials, which involve live witness testimony, the DMV hearing will focus on the various police and chemical test reports. Another unique aspect of the DMV hearing is that the prosecutor and the judge are the same person. In other words, the individual seeking to introduce evidence is the same person who will rule upon it. This person is not a judge or an attorney, but an employee of the DMV.