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Why You Should Subpoena the Arresting Officer in a DWI Administrative Hearing

March 26, 2022

Being proactive is vital to every aspect of a DWI case. This is especially true of Administrative Hearings. They are often scheduled with less than 30 days notice and rarely are continuances granted without good cause.

Further, the hearing officer is an attorney with the General Counsel's Office of the Department of Revenue. Their job is to review the evidence presented and determine whether or not the Director of Revenue's suspension of your driver's license should be sustained or overturned.

Without subpoenaing the arresting officer, the sole piece of evidence admitted into the record will be the Police Report and its accompanying Alcohol Influence Report with BAC Test Results. It's no small wonder that most Administrative Hearings are lost by the Petitioner, especially when all they do is submit the matter on the record (i.e., they ask the Hearing Officer to make the decision based on only the Police Report).

Why Subpoena the Officer for an Administrative Hearing?

Simple, without you and your attorney taking the steps to procure a subpoena form from the DOR and paying a Process Server to formally serve it upon the arresting officer, she or he will not appear at the hearing.

The amount of evidence needed for the Hearing Officer to sustain the Director's suspension is very low in comparison with a criminal case. The report itself will be sufficient unless it is full of errors or lacks important information.

If the officer is brought to the hearing to testify, then your attorney will have an opportunity to cross-examine the officer. Only through the officer's testimony will your attorney likely have a chance to win your Administrative Hearing.

Additional Benefits of Subpoenaing the Arresting Officer

If you spend a little extra money, you can hire your own Court Reporter to appear at the Administrative Hearing. While there, the Court Reporter will take down every word that is said. Afterward, a transcript of the record, including the testimony given under oath, will be provided to you and your attorney. This will be helpful when you are charged with a DWI in criminal court or if you wind up appealing the decision of the Administrative Hearing.

The key to any strong defense is being proactive. Be prepared to take those steps necessary to build your case. It could be the difference between jail time and no jail time, or between a conviction (SES) or no conviction (SIS).

Whatever you do, do not waste time. You have only 15 days from when you are arrested for DWI in which to request your Administrative Hearing before you suspension goes into effect.

Contact DWI attorney Anthony Bretz now to learn how he can protect your rights. Anthony has been successfully defending his client's driving privileges at Administrative Hearings for 14+ years.