A. This depends on what you have been charged with. You must first look at the driver's license suspension penalties applicable to you. You start serving out this sentence at the time of your arrest, before you've ever seen the inside of a courtroom.
These suspension periods relate only to your driving privileges . If you are not a resident of Arkansas, then your driving privileges in your home state not be suspended unless or until you have received notification from your home state. However, using Texas as an example, we have had clients from Texas (although very rarely) be suspended while their case in Arkansas was pending; at the same time, we have had Texas clients who never received any drivers license suspension whatsoever.
It is important to understand that, at the time of your arrest, your case is on 2 separate tracks:
Track #1. Court and
Track #2. The "DMV" or "Driver Control" (as it is called in Arkansas), which is a division of the Department of Revenue.
For the most part, what happens to your driver's license has NOTHING to do with "Court." Court controls jail time and fines; Driver Control controls your driver's license.
At the time of your arrest, the officer probably took your driver's license (or more precisely, "the piece of plastic that represents your license to drive") right there on the spot. From that time, you have SEVEN (7) DAYS to make a written request to Driver Control for temporary relief so that you can drive for all, or at least some part, of your suspension period. Keep in mind that your particular driver's license penalties will determine whether you are even eligible for relief.
If you are eligible for relief, and you made a request for temporary relief within the seven (7) day period, then you will be scheduled to appear at your local Revenue office for a "hearing." Although this is called a hearing, the "hearing officer" typically has no formal legal training. At the hearing, it is usually just you and the hearing officer. There is no judge, no prosecutor, and no cops. Your defense lawyer CAN attend this hearing, and in rare cases, prevent your driver's license from being suspended.
Usually, the only time that Court affects your driver's license is when you win your DWI or DUI. If you are still within your suspension period at the time of your win, then you get your license back without any further penalties or requirements.
However, if your case ends with a DWI or DUI on your record OR if you have served out your suspension period but your case has not yet gone to trial, then you can get your unrestricted Drivers License back if you:
1. Take an approved alcohol class(es) (aka DASEP) (or complete alcohol treatment, if a multiple-offense DWI),
2. Attend a Victim Impact Panel (VIP) meeting (usually provided by the same treatment provider mentioned in #1),
4. Spent a period of time equal to your suspension period (e.g. 6 months for DWI 1st) with an interlock device installed on a car.