Columbus Lawyers Handling Administrative License Suspension (ALS) Hearings
Experienced representation when Ohio suspends your driving privileges
It’s difficult to get around Columbus without a car, truck, or motorcycle. That’s what’s likely to happen though if you are convicted of operating a vehicle while under the influence, refusing to submit to a breath test, not installing an interlock ignition device if ordered, or accumulating too many points on your driving record.
Drivers who are notified that their license is being suspended do have a right to request an administrative license suspension (ALS) hearing – if they act promptly. An ALS is a civil penalty, not a criminal penalty. Still, drivers do have the right to hire legal counsel to help contest the suspension by showing that the defendant is not guilty of any related criminal charges, or that other legal or factual defenses apply. At Soroka & Associates, LLC, our seasoned Columbus ALS lawyers understand what challenges you can make to a license suspension. We also explain when the court can grant limited driving privileges during a suspension.
How can we help?
- When can Ohio suspend your driver’s license?
- How long can my license be suspended for refusing the chemical test?
- How much time do I have to request an ALS hearing in Columbus?
- What defenses can you assert at an ALS hearing in Columbus?
- Am I eligible for a license so I can work or do other necessary tasks?
- Do you have an ALS hearing attorney near me?
When can Ohio suspend your driver’s license?
An ALS hearing is heard by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), not by a criminal court.
Some of the reasons your license can be suspended include:
- A conviction of an OVI offense. The length of an OVI suspension increases with each subsequent OVI conviction. The suspension times are:
- First OVI. Three to six months.
- Second OVI. One to five years.
- Third OVI. Two to ten years.
- Fourth OVI. Three years to life.
- A refusal to take a chemical test. Drivers in Ohio give their implied consent to have chemical tests taken of their breath, blood, urine, or plasma if a police officer legitimately suspects a driver drove his/her vehicle while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. A violation of the implied consent rule can result in class C suspension of the driver’s license.
- Accumulating too many points.
- Driving under suspension or in violation of license restriction.
- Operating a motor vehicle without a valid license.
You can also have your license suspended for the failure to take a driver improvement program when a judge orders the program, or failure to install an ignition interlock device if you were convicted of impaired driving.
How long can my license be suspended for refusing the chemical test?
The suspension times for refusing to take a chemical test are as follows:
- No prior OVI convictions or refusals: 1 year. Drivers can request limited driving privileges after 30 days.
- One prior OVI conviction or refusal: 2 years. Drivers can request limited driving privileges after 90 days.
- Two prior OVI convictions or refusals: 3 years. Drivers can request limited driving privileges after 1 year.
- Three prior OVI convictions or refusals: 5 years. Drivers can request limited driving privileges after 3 years.
There are other driver suspension time limits if you take the test and fail it. In general, the level of the suspension dictates how long your license will be suspended.
How much time do I have to request an ALS hearing in Columbus?
You have the right to a prompt ALS hearing. Generally, you have 30 days to request an ALS hearing with the BMV to review the license suspension.
- Soroka & Associates will orally appeal the ALS Suspension at arraignment and ask the ALS appeal during the pendency of the case. The validity of the ALS suspension can be challenged by arguing:
- Specific defects in the completion of the BMV form 2255;
- Properly noting that the driver for “Was placed under an Administrative License Suspension;”
- The arresting officer properly swearing to the accuracy of the statements on the form;
- The BMV timely receiving a properly notarized and completed copy of the 2255;
- Any alterations made to the BMV 2255 form after you were served with the form, but before a true and accurate copy would need to be filed.
What defenses can you assert at an ALS hearing in Columbus?
Our Columbus license suspension lawyers assert every possible defense available. Some of these defenses include:
- The police must explain the consequences for refusing to submit to a breath test. By law, they must use a specific form, read the form to you, have the form notarized, and file it with the BMV or the court within a specific time frame.
- You have a valid health reason for refusing a chemical test.
- You passed the test.
- The police failed to comply with other procedures such as giving you a prompt suspension hearing.
- The police did not have grounds to stop you and request that you submit to a test.
- Failing to give you proper credit for any suspensions.
Am I eligible for a license so I can work or do other necessary tasks?
The ALS judge will set the terms and conditions for driving eligibility. To obtain driving privileges during a license suspension, drivers must meet certain conditions:
- Drivers must wait a preset length of time before applying for limited driving privileges.
- The driver must have proper proof of insurance coverage.
- Drivers may be granted privileges for the following limited purposes:
- Occupational, educational, vocational, or medical purposes.
- Taking the driver's or commercial driver's license examination.
- Attending court-ordered treatment.
- Attending any court proceeding related to the offense for which the offender's suspension was imposed.
- Transporting a minor to a child care provider, day-care, preschool, school, or to any other location for purposes of receiving child care.
- Any other purpose the court determines to be appropriate.
After the suspension period is complete, drivers can request to have their driving privileges reinstated. There is no automatic reinstatement. There are specific steps our Columbus ALS lawyers will explain.
- You must generally show that you’ve paid all required fines and court costs.
- You must have proof that you have liability insurance that meets the Ohio state minimum requirements.
- You need to pay a reinstatement fee.
- Other conditions also apply.
If you have driving privileges during a suspension, the court may order you to install an ignition interlock device (IID):
"Ignition interlock device" means a device approved by the director of public safety that connects a breath analyzer to a motor vehicle's ignition system, that is constantly available to monitor the concentration by weight of alcohol in the breath of any person attempting to start that motor vehicle by using its ignition system, and that deters starting the motor vehicle by use of its ignition system unless the person attempting to start the vehicle provides an appropriate breath sample for the device and the device determines that the concentration by weight of alcohol in the person's breath is below a preset level.
The Columbus office of Soroka & Associates is located at 503 South Front Street, Suite 205. We’re near I-71 and Rt. 23.
Talk to a strong Columbus ALS hearing advocate today
At Soroka & Associates, our criminal defense lawyers do represent Columbus drivers at administrative law hearings. We know how important it is for you to have a car for your work and for your family. Our lawyers understand the unique difficulties in contesting the suspension of your license. To fight for your driving privileges, call us at 614-918-4078 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation. You may have legal or factual defenses. The court may grant you driving privileges if certain conditions are met.