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West Virginia Administrative License Suspensions / Limited Driving Privileges
Your Wheeling WV DUI lawyer will inform you that, in West Virginia, license suspensions are handed out by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), not the criminal courts. License suspension is a civil punishment, not a criminal consequence. The BMV may suspend your license for two reasons: refusing a chemical BAC test or having a BAC above the legal limit.
If you refuse a chemical test, the duration of your license suspension depends on your previous record. For first-time offenders or those who have never refused a chemical test before, the license suspension is one year. If you have previously refused a chemical test once, the suspension lasts two years. Two previous refusals result in a three-year suspension, and three or more refusals lead to a five-year suspension.
If your BAC is above the legal limit but you have never refused a chemical test, your license will be suspended for 90 days. If it has happened once before, the suspension will last for one year. Two previous incidents with a BAC higher than 0.08 percent result in a two-year suspension, and three or more incidents lead to a three-year suspension.
You have the right to appeal an administrative license suspension, but strict timelines must be followed. You need to file a request for a hearing within thirty days of your arraignment, which is also the first court appearance. It is crucial to contact a Wheeling WV DUI lawyer immediately upon receiving the BMV letter informing you of your suspension. Your Wheeling WV criminal lawyer can act swiftly on your behalf and represent you at the hearing.
Can I Get Limited Driving Privileges While My License Is Suspended?
If your license is suspended, you may wonder if there’s any way to have limited driving privileges. Well, the good news is that it is possible to regain certain driving privileges after serving a portion of your suspension. These limited privileges usually allow you to drive to work or school, attend court hearings, and visit doctors. However, it’s important to note that you are only allowed to travel to and from these specific destinations.
Now, let’s talk about the requirements for obtaining limited driving privileges. If your license suspension is a result of failing a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) test, you will need to serve a minimum of 15 days for a 90-day suspension, 45 days for a one-year suspension, and 180 days for a two-year suspension. Unfortunately, if your license was suspended for three years due to testing over the limit four times, you won’t even be eligible to request limited driving privileges.
For those who have their licenses suspended for refusing to undergo a chemical test, the rules are slightly different. If your suspension duration is one year, you must serve at least 30 days before requesting limited driving privileges. The minimum time served increases with longer suspensions: 90 days for a two-year suspension, one year for a three-year suspension, and three years for a five-year suspension.
Losing your driving privileges is no doubt a significant consequence of an DUI (Operating a Vehicle Impaired) offense, and it can have a detrimental impact on your life. It could lead to job loss, housing instability, and difficulties in caring for yourself and your loved ones. However, having limited driving privileges, albeit restricted, can be better than having no driving privileges at all. In situations like these, it’s always advisable to request permission to drive to work, school, court hearings, and medical appointments. If you find yourself facing a license suspension, seeking the assistance of a knowledgeable Wheeling WV DUI lawyer with experience in DUI defense can greatly aid you in reclaiming your driving privileges. To speak with a trusted attorney, call (304) 381-3656.
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