One extremely important aspect to any Driving Under the Influence case is protecting your California driving privilege. At stake is your livelihood, ability to care for family and loved ones as well as other important issues related to your need to drive.
If you were arrested for DUI, the police likely confiscated your Drivers License and gave you a pink piece of paper called a "Temporary License / Order of Suspension". Even with a minimal level of suspicion, the law allows officers to confiscate California Drivers Licenses. This action sets in motion a DMV license suspension unless proper steps are taken. It is important that those arrested take immediate steps to challenge this suspension. Within 10 days of your arrest date, a hearing needs to be requested to have an opportunity to avoid a suspension. Our office can assist you in timely making this request.
With the suspension action, the DMV is attempting to suspend your California Drivers License for a minimum of 30 days. If you have a prior DUI arrest or if you refused a chemical test, the DMV may suspend your license for 1 year.
Scheduling A Hearing
The most direct way to request a hearing is to contact The Law Office of Southern California DUI Defense Attorney David Welch, who can immediately make this request for you.
The DMV "Administrative Per Se" Hearing
This DMV Hearing is completely separate and apart from the criminal Court proceedings. Once the hearing is requested, there is a request for a "stay", or temporary stop of the suspension action pending the outcome of a hearing. Also requested is "discovery" or evidence from the DMV, which is received well in advance of the hearing. After review of the discovery, a defense strategy is formulated to attempt to overturn the suspension action.
Since the outcome of these hearings is win or lose, it is important that an experienced DUI defense attorney be retained. Often, an experienced attorney can successfully contest the DMV suspension. Particular defenses apply to these hearings and therefore your best chance for success lies with an attorney who knows the rules, procedures and issues that apply to a DUI hearing.
Outcome Of The DMV Hearing
After objections and arguments are made on your behalf at the DMV Hearing, the Hearing Officer will take the matter under review and issue a decision in writing which will be received by both you and your attorney. If the DMV issues a decision favorable to you, your license will not be suspended. However, your license will be suspended if the DMV denies your case or the court finds you guilty of DUI. If your license is suspended, you can typically apply for and receive a restricted license within 30 days of the suspension date.
This restricted license will allow you to drive to and from work, in the course of employment as well as to and from any alcohol program imposed by the court or the DMV.
Possible License Suspensions
Depending on each individual's situation, the length of the license suspension can differ. If this is a first offense within 10 years, and you are 21 years of age or older, the license will be suspended for 4 months unless the DMV hearing is won. This suspension can actually be reduced to a 1-month suspension followed by 5 months of restricted driving. If the case involves a first-time refusal to submit to chemical testing, the suspension is for 1 year. If an individual has a second offense for DUI within 10 years or were under the age of 21 at the time of arrest, the suspension is also one year. For second offenders as well as under 21 offenders there are procedures that allow you to apply for a restricted license.
To obtain a restricted license, certain conditions need to be met: a $125 reinstatement fee to the DMV, proof of enrollment in a DUI program and SR-22 insurance. In Los Angeles County, an additional requirement is the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device.
Southern California DUI Defense Attorney David Welch is available to assist you with your DMV Hearing. Contact our office anytime for a FREE CONSULTATION on your DUI case.