Los Angeles DUI DMV Lawyers Representing Clients In Hearings After A Drunk Driving Arrest In California
When a driver is arrested or cited for driving under the influence, the driver typically receives a pink colored temporary license from the officer. This pink paper informs the driver that they have ten days from the date of the DUI arrest to request a hearing at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) where the driver’s privilege to retain their license will be decided by a DMV Hearing Board Officer.
Learn What To Expect At A DUI Hearing And How Our Attorneys Can Help
Here are some of the most common questions we receive about DMV DUI Hearings:
How Do I Request A DMV Hearing For DUI?
From the moment a person is arrested for a DUI, they will only have 10 days to arrange to have a DMV hearing set. If a DMV hearing is not set in those 10 days, the right to a hearing is automatically surrendered, and the driver’s driving privileges will be suspended 30 days from the date of the arrest. However, the suspension can be avoided through a successful DMV hearing which is why it is important to exercise your right to one.
A DMV hearing in a DUI case is an administrative procedure that only deals with driving privileges. The hearing is not a court process and the DMV, while they cannot send you to jail or fine you, can suspend your driver’s license.
Though it is not a court process, you are allowed to have a DUI defense attorney represent you. If you are successful, you will be able to keep your license until the hearing date, which often takes place in the next few months. This will buy you time.
DMV Vs. DUI Hearings In California
DMV hearings are similar to criminal trials, but there are some key differences:
First, the DMV hearing officer serves as both a judge and prosecutor.
Second, defendants do not have the right to a public defender because it is not a criminal process.
Third, the volume of proof that is needed to establish guilt is different during a DMV hearing than in any criminal proceedings.
Fourth, Fifth Amendment rights do not apply. This means that a driver may be forced to take the stand and testify against themselves in the hearing.
These differences are why it is incredibly important that any individual arrested for drunk driving consult a Los Angeles DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
What Happens At A DMV Hearing For A DUI?
The hearing will be conducted by a hearing officer and will be handled just like a prosecutor would handle a criminal case, but the officer makes the final decision based on the evidence that is presented.
To keep your driver’s license, your lawyer will have to show that the BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) was under .08% at the time of the arrest. If this strategy is successful, you may get the suspension dropped altogether. You will, however, have it suspended or revoked if you are convicted of a DUI.
In the DMV hearing, these factors will be considered:
- Did the officer have probable cause to suspect you of DUI?
- Was the arrest done lawfully?
- Were you driving with a BAC of .08% or more?
- Were you the one driving the vehicle?
To win a DMV hearing, you will need to present solid evidence and strong arguments against the factors listed above. Remember, you are allowed to have a DUI lawyer represent you in a DMV hearing, and you should not hesitate to exercise that right.
What Defenses Can A DUI Lawyer Use During A DMV Hearing?
Your attorney will take control of your case and schedule the hearing on your behalf. At the hearing, your lawyer is permitted to make legal objections to the Department’s evidence, as well as submit evidence and testimony to show why your license should not be suspended.
After the hearing, the Officer will decide whether or not to uphold the suspension. Having an attorney represent you at your DMV hearing is the best possible way of getting your license from being suspended.
Here are some of the defenses your lawyer may present at the DMV Hearing:
- The officers cannot prove you were driving
- This is a possible defense only if the officer didn’t actually see you behind the wheel, there were no witnesses, and there is no evidence that could determine that it was you driving.
- The officers didn’t have probable cause to detain you for a DUI.
- Your DUI defense attorney could dispute several reasons why the officer did not have probable cause to arrest you.
- The arrest occurred at a DUI / driver’s license checkpoint that was illegal
- The DUI sobriety checkpoint must strictly adhere to legal requirements that fall under California DUI law.
- There was no proper 15-minute observation period conducted by the officer
- The officer must strictly adhere to California’s Title 17 regulations when conducting the breath and blood tests.
- The breath testing instrument wasn’t calibrated and/or working correctly
- The law currently dictates that these instruments have to be checked for accuracy every ten days or 150 “blows.”
- Physiological reasons led to a false high “BAC” level
- High-protein, low carb diets are just one of the reasons that a sober person can trigger a false high BAC reading.
- The officer did not adequately warn you of the penalties for refusing to submit to a chemical breath or blood test
- You have the right to refuse to submit to a DUI chemical blood or breath test, but the officer must let you know that if you do decline to take a test, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for one year.
You will be notified by the DMV in writing only if the suspension or revocation has been set following the administrative review of the hearing.
If the DMV hearing officer does decide to suspend or revoke the driver’s license after the hearing, you may choose to appeal the decision. The appropriate documents must be filed within fifteen days of the receipt of the decision by the DMV.
Our Los Angeles DUI Law Firm Represents Clients In DMV Hearings And Is Ready To Represent You
If you or a loved one has had their license suspended or revoked following a DUI arrest in Southern California, hiring the skilled lawyers of Braden & Tucci for representation in your DMV hearing is the best way to get your license back.
To speak with our experienced DUI attorneys, contact us at (213) 935-7550 and learn how we can help you navigate the complicated legal system while fighting to keep your driving privileges.