If you are a California resident of driving age, chances are, you rely on the ability to drive to and from home, work, and school—as well as to perform all the other activities common to daily life here in West Covina, San Bernardino, Los Angeles County, and Riverside County. However, if you violate one of many rules set forth by the California DMV, including restrictions against driving under the influence (DUI), your rights to drive can be suspended almost immediately. Unfortunately, the process to get your license reinstated can be much more complex than the simple violation that led to its suspension.
In addition to the necessary legal proceedings in California court for a DUI charge, you will also face an administrative hearing at the DMV. While the former determines the specific criminal penalties that you will face as the result of your DUI—potentially including monetary fines, jail time, DUI classes, and more—the latter determines your eligibility to drive your vehicle. Simply put, the California court system can send you to jail or assess fines, and the DMV can suspend your driver’s license.
A driver’s license suspension begins almost instantly after your arrest for DUI, regardless of how many violations you have accrued in the past. However, it is possible to halt this process by formally requesting an administrative hearing with the DMV within 10 days of your DUI. Fortunately, you do not need to handle the DMV alone—contact the Law Office of Daniel P. Flores to negotiate against the DMV’s suspension of your driving privileges as soon as possible.
As the California government agency charged with the authority to grant, suspend, or revoke any California driver’s driving privileges, the DMV reserves the right to do so whenever a driver has given them good cause. As a violation of the California code, driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs presents good cause for the DMV to revoke your license.
At the time of your DUI charges, you should have received a pink notification of license suspension from the arresting officer. This notice not only serves as your temporary driving permit for 30 days after your DUI arrest but also informs you of your right to an administrative hearing with the DMV. As mentioned, you must apply for this hearing within 10 days of your DUI arrest or risk forfeiting your hearing and losing your license within the 30 days specified on the notification slip.
A DMV administrative hearing takes place separately from any California court proceedings regarding your DUI. As a result, administrative hearings are held at the DMV’s offices, rather than in a courtroom, and take place only once you have requested a hearing within the 10-day timeframe after your arrest. However, in some cases, an administrative hearing can occur over the phone; regardless, you will not be required to appear in court to complete any portion of a DMV hearing.
After a DUI, the sole purpose of the administrative hearing is to determine whether you should retain your driver’s license. For this reason, you are not legally obligated to hire an attorney to represent you, nor will an attorney be provided for you, as are the circumstances in regular court proceedings. However, an experienced attorney already representing you in your California DUI case is often considered essential for navigating the complex proceedings at your DMV hearing.
While a DMV hearing may not occur in an actual courtroom, the proceedings can be likened to a regular DUI court trial in some ways. For example, the arresting officer will present facts regarding:
Your attorney (or you, if you choose to represent yourself) will then be allowed to cross-examine the officer, as well as enter your own evidence and witnesses. Finally, you will be able to enter a plea for leniency based on the evidence presented.
All DUI cases are different, and the possibilities for defenses against your driver’s license suspension depend on the unique circumstances surrounding your arrest. However, these are some common reasons a DMV administrative hearing may reverse a suspension:
Just as the California criminal code presents a complex network of laws and procedures necessary for a court trial, the California DMV follows a strict set of procedures that the average person is not accustomed to navigating. Hiring an experienced DUI lawyer can help you ensure you follow the correct procedures to subpoena witnesses and police officers and review arrest documents and testimonies before the hearing to identify a potential defense.
Your lawyer can also ensure that you file the correct documents in a timely manner to keep your suspension case moving forward and prevent the automatic suspension of your driver’s license. Once your hearing begins, a lawyer can argue the merits of your case effectively, giving you an improved chance at a suspension delay through the remainder of your DUI proceedings or even a complete suspension reversal. If a reversal is not possible, an experienced lawyer can guide you through the new procedures (updated in 2019) necessary to obtain a restricted license.
After a DUI arrest, it is essential to immediately secure a skilled DUI attorney’s services to help you address your automatic driver’s license suspension. The Law Offices of Daniel P. Flores has been providing area residents with skilled DMV hearing representation for years, including administrative hearings after DUI charges, chemical test refusals, driver medical evaluations, negligent operator counts, and more. We also handle DMV hearings requiring medical experts and state expert testimony for individuals with BAC over 0.08%.
Dealing with the DMV is one of the most time-consuming and complicated procedures you’ll experience after receiving a DUI charge, but you do not have to do it alone. Secure the representation of Daniel P. Flores and fight for the reversal of your license suspension. Call (626) 628-1692 or request a free consultation today.
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