DUI and your Drivers License – the DMV hearing In California, if you are charged with drunk driving, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is going to try to take your “privilege to drive” away from you without so much as a hearing. This will be in addition to whatever the courts may try to do to you.
The DMV, under what has been called the “Admin Per Se” law, will try and suspend your privilege to drive anywhere from four (4) months to one (1) to two (2) years without so much as a hearing. If the city police, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, or California Highway Patrol (CHP) arrest someone for drunk driving, then the officer will seize the person’s California Drivers License and give them a Temporary Drivers License which is good for only thirty (30) days. Depending on the circumstances, the temporary “privilege to drive” will end on the 30th day, and remain suspended from four (4) months to two (2) years.
First and foremost, act quickly in getting competent counsel. In the first ten (10) days after your license has been taken: Contact a competent, knowledgeable Orange County DUI defense attorney. He will know what to do. He can get you a hearing on the suspension and in most cases, if you follow my advice and act quickly, he can have the suspension of your “privilege to drive” stayed pending a hearing. That’s right, I can stop the DMV from taking your license pending a formal In Person Hearing. If you don’t act quickly, then the Department of Motor Vehicles will not give you a hearing, and will not “stay” the suspension of your “privilege to drive”.
Why would they do this? Simple, they can get away with it under the current state of the law. Department of Motor Vehicles policies and regulations are complex, but don’t let that scare you. With competent legal assistance, you can get the fair hearing you deserve. Always remember, the Department of Motor Vehicles is not “God” and these hearing can be won.
There are three (3) types of Department of Motor Vehicles hearing.
- The first of which is for an individual who is alleged to have been driving with a .08% or higher blood alcohol concentration.
- The second of which is for an individual who is alleged to have refused a chemical test of their blood, breath or urine after the request of a police officer.
- The third of which is for an individual under 21 years of age who is alleged to have been driving with a blood alcohol concentration of greater than .01%. The latter is sometimes referred to as a “zero tolerance” law.
Sometimes, other forms of DMV hearings are scheduled especially for those drivers who are alleged to have health problems or some form of impairment to affect their ability to operate a motor vehicle. The issues in those cases are too exhaustive to be treated here, and if you are in such a situation, please contact my office immediately.
What I have never understood is that drivers constantly and consistently waive DMV hearing rights all the time and never fight to preserve their rights. These hearings can be won. Yes, there are no guarantees, but they can be won. Every driver needs to demand that they get a “in person” hearing whenever their license is being threatened by the California Department of Motor Vehicles for a DUI stop or for any other reason.
In most cases, to properly handle the issues you are going to need an experienced DUI defense attorney. However, don’t sit on your rights and let the DMV win by default. Contact us if you need help with your DMV case.