If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Massachusetts, then the odds are pretty high that you’re also facing a driver’s license suspension. Your chances of appealing a license suspension, however, will depend on the particulars of your situation (Was this your first OUI/DUI? Did you refuse the breathalyzer test?).
Appealing a license suspension isn’t impossible though, especially if you have an experienced DUI attorney on your side. Here’s a simple breakdown of what the license suspension appeal process might look like:
Getting the Process Started
There are different ways to approach reinstating a suspended driver’s license. It will all depend on the nature of the suspension and the duration of the suspension. If you are aggrieved by a decision made by a hearings officer at the Registrary of Motor Vehicles (RMV), then you can file your appeal with the Board of Appeal (BOA). For example, if you have a lengthy suspension due to multiple OUI offenses on your record and you apply for a hardship license, and the RMV denies your request, you can appeal that decision to the BOA. The BOA has the authority to overturn or otherwise modify decisions made by hearings officers at the RMV.
Any driver’s license suspensions that occur as a result of a Breathalyzer Refusal/Chemical Test Refusal (CTR) generally result in having to be appealed through the court system. The BOA does not hear CTR appeals.
The Steps of Appealing a License Suspension
If you’re appealing a license suspension in Massachusetts, then you must fill out and mail your appeal form (these can be printed or picked up at the RMV) to the Board of Appeal along with a non-refundable check or money order for $50.00. You will later be notified (by mail) with information regarding the time, date, and location of your appeal.
Here’s a helpful chart from Mass.gov to help you determine when you can expect your hearing to occur once Board has received your application form:
- If facing a 30-day suspension: Your hearing will occur after 2 weeks have passed
- If facing a 60-day suspension: Your hearing will occur after 3 weeks have passed
- If facing any other type of driver’s license suspension: Your hearing will occur after 3 to 8 weeks have passed
***Please note: These times are estimates and do not reflect any delays attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic.
From here, it’s up to you to make sure your attorney is notified and that you arrive in person for the hearing. It’s recommended that you arrive at the RMV as early as possible.
What Comes Next?
Once the Board has received and reviewed your situation and all the relevant paperwork, you can expect to receive a decision in a timely manner. The general turnaround time is 7-10 business days. If you’re not content with their decision, then you can bring your appeal to the Superior Court of the county in which you reside.
If your appeal is successful, then you may need to take a written exam or road test to complete your suspended license reinstatement. This is why it’s so valuable to have a Massachusettes OUI/DUI attorney during this process. With their expertise, you can make sure you have all the information you need to go through the process for appealing a license suspension as seamlessly as possible.
If you have any questions about the appeal process for a driver’s license suspension in Massachusetts or want to learn about other options (such as a Hardship license), then don’t hesitate to reach out to an attorney today!