When you show up for your first court appearance you will be advised by the judge that you license will be temporarily suspended because you refused to submit to a chemical test. You will then be provided with a form entitled “Notice of Temporary Suspension and Notice of Hearing” on one side and “Waiver of Hearing” on the other side.
The “hearing” being referred to is a DMV refusal hearing. A refusal hearing is a civil or administrative proceeding that runs separately from your criminal court case. The hearing is usually held within 15 days of your first court appearance in front of a judge and is conducted at the local DMV in the county where you were arrested. The outcome of a refusal hearing will have no impact on your criminal case.
The civil sanctions for refusing to submit to a chemical test as a first offender are:
- Mandatory revocation of your drivers license for at least one year.
- A civil penalty in the amount of $500
- A drivers responsibility assessment fee of $250 a year for three years.
This license revocation is a civil or administrative penalty separate and distinct from the license suspension/revocation from a VTL § 1192 conviction in criminal court.
This is a very simple and condensed breakdown of the law regarding refusal hearings. To ensure your rights are protected always consult with an experienced DWI attorney.