“I feel fine, I only had…” is the classic line given by those later arrested for DUI while driving away from a night of fun and drinks with friends. As the years have gone by, the California legislature has put the hammer down more and more on drinking and driving, leading to harsher punishments and longer license suspensions. The California DMV will suspend your license for a very long time if you don’t meet its deadlines and prevail in your administrative hearing. Even then, your license will still be suspended if you are convicted in your criminal court case. Hiring an aggressive and knowledgeable attorney is key.
In California, if you have been arrested or cited for driving under the influence (DUI), the first thing you must do to protect your driving privilege is to request an administrative hearing with the DMV. The rule is that you have only ten days from the date you were cited or arrested for driving under the influence in order to request the administrative hearing with the DMV. If you fail to contact the DMV within 10 days to request an administrative hearing, your license will be automatically suspended. The length of the suspension will depend on many factors, including whether this is your first DUI or whether you have already been convicted of DUI offenses in the past. For example, starting January 1, 2012, a person arrested for a fourth DUI (within a 10 year period) now faces a 10-year driver’s license suspension.
In order to request the administrative hearing, you must contact the driver safety office that handles the geographic area where your were cited or arrested. A list of the driver safety offices can be found on the DMV’s website at http://dmv.ca.gov/fo/dsolistings.htm. Your attorney should also request discovery from the DMV and request that the automatic suspension be stayed pending the outcome of the DMV administrative hearing.
It is critical that you have an attorney represent you at your DMV administrative hearing. These hearings involve complex issues such as whether you were legally stopped and whether the police officer had probable cause to arrest you. The lawyers at The X-Law Group, P.C. are experienced in both DUI and DMV matters, and can handle your both your DMV hearing and your criminal DUI court case. We offer free consultations and affordable payment plans. If you would like more information you may visit our website at www.thexlawgroup.com or give us a call at 213-599-3380.