Following an arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) in California, you will understandably have a lot of questions and concerns
regarding your future. In particular, you might be stumped by the mention
of something called a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
administrative hearing. Is this a form of DUI criminal trial unique to California? Or is it something
else altogether? Get these answers and more by checking out the following
comprehensive list of frequently asked questions about DMV hearings and
DUI court trials in California.
Of course, if you know you need legal help right away, you can
contact Law Office of Peacock & Le Beau online today. You can also call
562.888.9148 to set up a
free case evaluation with our Long Beach criminal defense lawyers, who both are also
certified criminal law specialists.
DMV Hearing FAQ
Do I have to request my own DMV hearing?
Yes, and you must do it
soon. You will only have
10 days to schedule a DMV hearing after being arrested for a DUI, or else your
driver’s license will be automatically suspended by the DMV; you
could be certifiably innocent of drunk driving and still lose your license
due to this automatic suspension. Do not hesitate a day to schedule your hearing.
Does a DMV hearing substitute a DUI court date?
No. At your DMV hearing, you will be arguing to keep your keep your driving
privileges. At your DUI court trial, you will be fighting the prosecution’s
claims and trying to prevent incurring any criminal penalties, assuming
you want to challenge your charges.
Can I use a lawyer’s help for an administrative hearing?
Yes. Your DMV hearing is going to be concerned with the elements of your
arrest, such as your apparent blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level
and whether or not your arrest was lawful in the first place. With an
attorney’s help, you can construct an argument that defends your
name and driving privileges.
The DMV took my license away but I was then found not guilty of my DUI –
do I get my license back?
Not necessarily. The DMV has the power to keep its suspension or revocation
in place, even after you are acquitted of any criminal wrongdoing, if
it believes that the evidence you presented in court does not warrant
Can I get a restricted license if a DUI trial ended with my conviction?
If you want to get a restricted license that will allow you to drive to
important locations, such as your place of occupation, you must enroll
in an approved DUI treatment program, show proof of financial responsibility
or car insurance, pay any related fees, and complete a 30-day suspension period.
If the DMV hearing officer let me keep my license, how does that effect
my DUI trial?
The DMV hearing officer is not an officer of the law or a court-appointed
judge. Any decision they come to regarding your license’s suspension
is entirely separate from the criminal justice system.