DMV Hearings through the California Department of Motor Vehicles
After the occurrence of certain situations or violations, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), may require a hearing to be conducted addressing your driving privileges.
There are several different types of DMV Hearings. The most common types are hearings as a result of the driver being stopped for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) with a blood alcohol level of .08% or more, hearings regarding negligent operator of vehicles due to too many points (usually 4 points or more) being accumulated on their driving record within a 12 month period, or hearings where a driver has been deemed unfit to drive due to medical, mental or physical conditions and may be a danger to themselves or others if they continue to drive a vehicle.
Common DMV Hearing Mistakes
A mistake most people who are not represented by an experienced attorney commonly make is they do not realize that in California there are two sides to a DUI that must be addressed. There is the obvious criminal court case that must be addressed upon being charged with a DUI, but there is also the DMV side to a DUI. Upon being arrested for a DUI in California, you must contact the DMV within 10 days from the date of the incident to schedule a hearing regarding the suspension of your license. Failure to contact the DMV within 10 days means you have forfeited your right to a hearing.
At the Hearing, the DMV must prove (1) that the officer who stopped you had reason to believe you were driving in violation of Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) or 23152(b); (2) that you were lawfully arrested; and (3) you were driving with a blood alcohol level of .08% or more.
If the DMV meets their burden and proves the factors mentioned above, then they will take action against you and your license will be suspended for a period of time which is dependent on whether it is your first DUI or if you have had previous DUI’s.
For example, on a first DUI you will receive either (A) a 4 month suspension (also known as a hard suspension, meaning no driving at all) or (B) 1 month suspension (hard suspension) followed by a 4 month restricted license, where you are only to drive under limited circumstances. You may choose which option you want to do, but in order to obtain the restricted license, you will have to provide the DMV with (1) proof of enrollment in an alcohol program for first time offenders (Usually called AB541); (2) an SR-22 insurance form and (3) a $125.00 fee after the 30 days suspension period is over.
Contacting a Qualified DMV Hearing Attorney
DMV hearings can be very tricky and difficult to win. It is important to contact a skilled and experienced attorney to evaluate your case and investigate all aspects to help give you the best chance at succeeding at a DMV hearing. Contact Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney Ali Komaili if you need help with an upcoming Orange County DMV hearing.