What is the 42 day rule for Vermont DUIs?

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According to the Vermont legislature – “In no event may a final hearing occur more than 42 days after the date of the alleged offense without the consent of the defendant or for good cause shown.”

In essence, this means that the state cannot push the final hearing on a civil trial back further than 42 days from the alleged incident without approval from the defendant or for good cause shown. “Good cause” is essentially a discretionary call by a judge, for example extending the hearing due to the arresting officer being at a training the day that the hearing was scheduled for. 

If this rule is violated, then it is the defendants right to argue for their civil suspension to be dismissed. 

Another option that the defendant has is to waive their 42 day rule at the preliminary hearing and combine the civil and criminal cases into one case, meaning that both matters would be heard at the same time instead of two separate cases. 

It is important to understand your rights following your DUI arrest in Vermont. If you request a hearing on the merits, and do not have a final hearing within 42 days, it is your right and the responsibility of your attorney to argue for a dismissal of the case pursuant to Vermont Supreme Court precedent.

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