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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 25933
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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How can a judge take to rule on a not guilty plea DUI? It's

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How long can a judge take to rule on a not guilty plea DUI? It's been 14 months without a ruling and driver's license. Larue County, Kentucky court.
What steps need to be taken to get driver's license back?


I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. I'm reviewing your question now.

Is the defendant represented by counsel? What is delaying the trial?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Defendant had a public defender. The arrest was in August 2015 (14 months) and she pled not guilty, but had to surrender her driver's license because it was a second offense (1st was 3 years prior). The hearing with witnesses was at least 8-9 months ago, but the Judge still has not ruled nor has her driver's license been returned.

Sorry for the delay. I turned off the computer for the night right before you responded.

It is not typical for a judge to defer his ruling. In most instances, a ruling on a hearing is made right at the hearing. In some cases, the legal issues may be more complex and the judge will defer a ruling for him and the lawyers to research those issues and present further argument.

For the results of a hearing to be delayed for more than 8 months is highly irregular unless the judge made some kind of statement after the hearing explaining why it was necessary. Since I was not privy to the court proceeding and since I cannot look at the court papers, I could not possibly tell you what that could have been. It is possible a judge wants to have the defendant's behavior monitored in order to help determine the case's ultimate outcome. Also, a hearing is not a trial, and this defendant is not finished with his case.

You tell me that this defendant is represented by counsel. If she wants to know why there's such a delay and when she can expect to get her license back, she can find out easily enough from her lawyer, who can get the matter back before the judge to try to move the case forward, if she wishes to do that. She has a right to a speedy trial, and her lawyer can help her assert it, even perhaps get the matter dismissed.

If you are not the defendant, her lawyer will probably not speak to you. You could call the clerk of the court and try to get the current status of the case, which I suspect may not be exactly what you think it is, since this is highly unusual.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I was at the submission hearing, October 15, 2015, and the judge made no statement and she is not being monitored. Her PD days the judge can take add long as he wants. Seems to me there should be a time frame and recourse to get her license back.

Was this the administrative hearing for the suspension of his license, rather than a hearing on the actual case? What is happening on the actual case?

Did she agree to test when she was arrested or did she refuse the test?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
This was the actual case with witnesses and the arresting officers. No jury.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
She was not even driving. The car was not running.

The car doesn't have to be running. If she's behind the wheel and the keys are in the ignition, that's considered operating a vehicle. If she was not in the car when the police found her, but the car couldn't have gotten to where it was unless she drove it there, they can still try to make out a circumstantial case that she'd been driving while intoxicated.

Did she agree to test?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
She had taken the keys out of the ignition and threw them in the back seat. They were camping on private property, with permission. She had gone back to the car (parked on the side of the road due to mud beside the barn where they were camping) to get blankets out of the trunk. The car had not been started in hours. They did give her a breathilizer at the police station.Can they hold her driver's license this long without a ruling?

She should ask her lawyer if he can get the judge to issue her a hardship license, but yes they can keep her from a full license until her case is resolved. As states and DMVs are fond of saying, driving is a privilege and not a right.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
But there are no time limitations on how long a judge can take to rule?

If it becomes unreasonable, her lawyer can get the case back and press the issue on speedy trial grounds (I'm assuming that the hearing was a hearing and not a bench trial). But there wouldn't be a statute defining how long the judge has to render a decision.

Zoey_ JD and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
The judge was supposed to rule. Her PD called and has put her case back on the docket. She asked about a jury trial and he said, "No you don't want to do that! "Thank you for your assistance.

You're welcome and good luck to your friend.

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