If I Disagree With The Administration Per Se Hearing Decision, Is It Possible To Appeal It?
In Connecticut, administrative DMV hearings operate under administrative law doctrines and are civil in nature. This means that the concept of guilt is not involved; these hearings deal with purely civil matters that follow the Administrative Procedures Act, which is a civil matter.
If a person loses the administrative DMV hearing, they have several options. One such option is to request an additional review—Request for Reconsideration– by the DMV. Another option is to appeal the decision of the DMV hearing to the Connecticut Superior Court opposing the DMV’s ruling. There is an Administrative Judicial Superior Court judge who hears these Appeals at Superior Court, GA-15 in New Britain, Connecticut and has the authority to reverse rulings made by the DMV. If the judge reverses the DMV ruling, then the state of Connecticut may appeal and usually does to the Connecticut Appellate Court, and if you lose, you can appeal to the Connecticut Supreme Court. The State usually prevails. I have won at the Superior Court and Appellate Court levels only to lose at the Supreme Court.
There are time limits on the filing of the appeal, which your attorney can answer for you.
What Is The Legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limit For Driving Under The Influence Of Alcohol In Connecticut?
The Connecticut DUI statute mentions that you cannot operate a motor vehicle while such persons has an elevated blood alcohol content, which means a ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is eight-hundredths of one per cent (0.08%) or more of alcohol, by weight, except that if such person is operating a commercial vehicle, elevated blood alcohol content means a ration of alcohol in the blood of such person that is four-hundredths of one per cent (0.04%) or more of alcohol, by weight. If the person is under 21 years of age the ratio is two-hundredths of one per cent (0.02%) or more of alcohol, by weight.
What Happens When Someone’s BAC Is Higher Than 0.08? What Is The Distinction Between Below Legal Limit And Above It?
If 0.08 or higher you are in violation of the statute and you are presumed to be under the influence while operating. The statute states that you shall not drive at that level of alcohol. If you are below the limit there is no presumption for criminal court purposes; however, you should win your DMV per se case. The reason being that one of the 4 issues at the Per Se DMV Suspension Hearing is whether your Blood Alcohol Concentration is at or above the legal limit.
What Are Aggravating Factors In A DUI Case?
Over the years you develop a sense of what will help and hurt your client at sentencing. The sentencing is not like what you see on TV or read about in books. When I first started practicing law in 1969, I had a sentencing matter. It was a pro bono case that I was assigned by the Judge and it involved possession of a large quantity of marijuana that the client was selling. We went to trial and the jury convicted my client. Time was given for the pre-sentence investigation and the sentencing hearing was scheduled for 90 days after the conviction. I researched court cases to develop my argument. Some parts of my argument were based upon U. S. Supreme Court decisions pertaining to sentencing and what to consider and not consider. At the end of my argument the Judge decided to call a recess and asked counsel to meet him in Chambers. He sat down at his desk and asked, “Steve, do you know what court you are in?” I said, “Yes—of course I do.” “Well,” he said, “Then you know you are not in the U.S. Supreme Court.” He was making it clear to me that I should focus on local norms, customs, and common sense—local state law.
So, you can do all of the research that you want, but in the arraignment courts where I practice the prosecutors and judges look at the client’s record for criminality, his work history, traffic violations, how much he had to drink, is he an alcoholic, if he has a drinking problem has the client been to treatment, counseling and the like. A lot of times the client is not liked by the Judge or Prosecutor based upon the facts of the case and I am sure this influences sentencing. I tell my clients that if you are a multiple DUI offender you need to be pro-active and initiate a program of self-help: go into counseling or rehab, in-patient or out-patient treatment. You need to obtain letters of reference concerning your client’s background and history and develop your mitigating circumstances—reasons why he should only receive the minimum sentence if you are pleading guilty and there is no recommendation on sentencing from the prosecutor. Use the commonsense approach.
Sentencing in Connecticut is severe. You escape jail when you obtain the AEP. You may get a suspended sentence for a first offense conviction. However, a Second Offense conviction is severe—minimum mandatory 120 days in jail. A Third Offense conviction is a 1-year minimum mandatory sentence.
For more information on DUI Cases, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (860) 764-2744 today.
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