If you are charged with drunk driving in Mississippi you will be facing a suspension of your driver’s license.  Whether you refused to submit to a chemical test upon request by the police will determine what type of suspension.

There are basically two types of DUI license suspension in Mississippi: those where you took the breath or blood test, and those where you refused.  If you took the test and failed (.08% blood alcohol concentration) you’ll of course be charged with DUI, and your license will also be seized by the police.  You’ll be given a receipt which will serve as your license and will allow you to drive.  The receipt is valid for 30 days to allow your case to be heard, although it can be extended if it takes longer to have a trial.  If you’re convicted at trial, or you plead guilty, your license will be suspended 90 days although you can apply for a hardship license which reduces the suspension to days.

The second process if when you refuse the chemical test.  This is quite different.  In this case you’ll get a letter in the mail stating that because you refused your license is going to be suspended for 90 days, starting 30 days after the arrest (though the starting date could be later).  The letter will say that you have 10 days from receipt of the letter to request a hearing on your license suspension.

The hearing is different from the trial on your DUI charge.  The license hearing is purely administrative, and is just to determine whether the police had reasonable grounds and probable cause to believe you were driving under the influence, that you refused the test, and that you were properly informed of the consequences.  It is not to determine guilt or innocence on the DUI.

So there are significant differences on your license when you take the test and when you refuse.  You can have administrative license hearings for either one, but only in the case of when you took the test can you postpone the hearing while the criminal case is going on.  Also if you refuse but beat the charge, you can still lose your license just on the refusal.

If you’re facing a drunk driving charge in Mississippi, contact Southaven DUI lawyer Patrick Stegall.  Mr. Stegall can advise on both the criminal and administrative aspects of your case.  Call him at (901) 205-9894 or by email pstegall@stegall-law.com.

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