Massachusetts drivers facing an OUI offense and those who have been convicted of a DUI or charged with other driving offenses will need to apply to the Registry of Motor Vehicles for License Reinstatement and undergo the hearings process, this requirement applies whether the driver has served the full suspension or he is seeking early reinstatement. RMV hearings are sometimes complex and follow specific administrative rules and laws. Drivers are far more likely to have these hearings go their way when they are well-represented by a MA RMV attorney who understands these procedures and how the law can be applied to a specific hearing.
Contesting A Suspension
When your driver’s license is suspended, or “revoked,” there are very specific procedures and rules that must be followed under the law in order for the suspension to be legitimate. However, the legitimacy of most suspensions is not automatically a question of law. This means that your suspension may need to be contested under the scrutiny of a trained RMV lawyer who will advocate for you and attempt to show the hearings officer why the suspension is not warranted under Massachusetts law.
The law also provides each person with the right to appeal any RMV hearing decision. If the hearings officer does not decide in your favor, you and your attorney will have 10 days to file an appeal with the Board of Appeal on Motor Vehicle Liability & Bonds. This appeal is procedurally similar to a civil action, and rulings by the Board can be further appealed to a superior court. The 10 day hearing requirement is not followed and the Board will hear cases filed outside of the 10 day appeal window.
However, if you are suspended for a Chemical Test Refusal (CTR) for an underlying DUI arrest, you will have to fight, and win your case either at the initial RMV hearing in Boston, or in the court of jurisdiction in order to get your driving privileges reinstated. The Board of Appeal will not hear breathalyzer refusal appeals and the appeal paperwork clearly announces this fact.
**You have only 15 days from the DUI date of arrest to apply for an RMV suspension hearing for CTR. **
Under the current MA law, no hardship, limited or restricted driving privilege is permitted after a CTR violation, except in first offender or second chance first offender DUI cases. You either fight your case to win your full license back, or you will have to serve the full revocation period without any driving at all, as the law currently stands in Massachusetts.
Cases that we often represent before the Board of Appeals include Habitual Traffic Offender suspensions, Out-of-State revocations, and OUI and CTR revocations. Most drug offense license suspensions were eliminated by the enactment of legislation.
RMV Hearings to Get Your License Back After a DUI
There are many RMV hearings you can go through after being charged with driving under the influence. They include:
- Conditional License hearing to obtain a Hardship or “Cinderella” license
- License Reinstatement hearings
- Chemical Test Refusal hearings
- Ignition Interlock Device Violation, revocation, & removal hearings
Each of these works differently, but they all share one important point: Drivers are statistically much more likely to have hearings go their way when represented by an OUI attorney who is highly experienced in RMV hearings.
As an example, if you are contesting a suspension resulting from a 3rd DUI offense, your OUI attorney may be able to present favorable evidence during a reinstatement hearing at the Registry. However, your DUI lawyer might not be familiar with the nuances of Registry hearing procedures and you may be better served by someone who understands how the RMV operates when it comes to suspension and revocation appeals and license reinstatements, which can be confusing to those who do not handle these matters on a regular basis.