The Burden of Proof in DUI cases in California, is different, depending upon what type of proceeding is involved. As we have discussed elsewhere on this site, there are two types of hearings involved in the typical DUI arrest.
The first is your DMV hearing, which in a DUI case affects your driver’s license, and your ability to drive.
The second is your criminal court proceedings, which can affect your wallet or purse, your freedom, and your criminal record.
The Burden of Proof in DUI cases at your DMV hearing
DUI cases in California involve a DMV hearing regarding your driving privileges. The DMV hearing is separate from your court date and your court hearing. The DMV only has jurisdiction over your driver’s license, and the court has jurisdiction over all other aspects of your case, as far as punishment. In other words, the court cannot take away, or give you, driving privileges – all of that is left up to the Orange County DMV Office of Driver Safety.
The DMV hearing, however, is an administrative hearing, so as a civil proceeding, as opposed to a criminal proceeding, the burden of proof is the lower “preponderance of the evidence” standard. That means that if the evidence shows all the issues at the DMV hearing is proven by 51% versus 49% unproven, then the DMV wins, and you lose driving privileges for a period of time. That is different from the court standard of proof.
The Burden of Proof in DUI cases in your criminal court proceeding.
In a criminal case, however, the burden of proof is much, much higher – the highest of all types. In a DUI court case, all the elements of a crime have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. That means that any doubt that exists, as long as it is reasonable, would be enough to show the defendant is not guilty. The prosecutor has to prove each and every part of the case to that standard, and show driving, intoxication, an alcohol level above a .08%, all beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury or judge.
Why The Burden of Proof in DUI cases is important
The burden of proof is important because it sets the limits of what needs to be proven by the defense, the prosecution, or the administrative hearing officer, in DUI cases. It can be used in your case to help you dismiss your Orange County DUI case.
Contact Our Orange County DUI Defense Law Firm
Contact our firm today if you have any questions about the burden of proof in a DMV hearing, or in a criminal hearing, or if you want help for your case or your loved one’s case. We can help you, as we have helped many others.