Your Legal Rights in Mass. License Suspension Cases

Whenever the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles takes action against your license, you have the legal right to have a hearing before a Registry Hearings Officer. In immediate threat cases, due to public safety considerations, the Registry may revoke your license first and grant you a hearing afterwards. Likewise, if you are arrested for OUI, and you refuse to submit to a chemical breath or blood test, or you fail such a test your license will be immediately revoked at the time of the Breathalyzer refusal or failure. You can have a Registry hearing after the revocation takes effect, where you have the legal right to have an attorney represent you.

In most other cases, the Registry is legally required to grant you a hearing prior to the suspension or revocation of your license or right to operate in Massachusetts. You have the right to be represented by a lawyer at this hearing. You also have the right to be represented by a lawyer at any hardship license hearing, whether it is conducted by MassDOT or the Division of Insurance Board of Appeal.

Being represented by a lawyer can often make the difference between getting a license or getting denied and having to serve the balance of your suspension or revocation. If the Board of Appeal has denied you a hardship license, it is usually too late to hire a lawyer. If you’ve been denied by the Board, the avenue of appeal is to Superior Court, where it is extremely difficult to reverse a hardship license denial, even with an attorney.