A DUI arrest can be a frightening thing to go through. Especially if this is your first drunk driving offense, you may be wondering what you need to do next. If you have just been arrested for DUI in Orange County, the next step is for your arresting officer to send you a copy of the "Notice of Suspension."
Notice of Suspension
The Notice of Suspension does a few things:
- It notifies you of your arrest
- It lets you know that you have 10 days to request a DMV hearing
- Allows you to drive under a temporary license for up to 30 days
At the time of the DUI arrest, the arresting officer will confiscate the driver's license, provided that the driver was driving with a current and unsuspended license.
DMV Administrative Review
Immediately following a DUI arrest, the officer will forward their information to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Once the DMV receives the arresting officer's report, suspension order, and any test results, the DMV will begin their administrative review process. During this process, the DMV may decide not to uphold the license suspension/revocation. If they do uphold the suspension/revocation, the DUI offender may request a hearing to contest suspension. Again, DUI offenders only have 10 days from the date of their arrest to request this hearing.This is your only chance to contest license suspension or revocation.
The DMV administrative review and suspension hearing only deal with administrative penalties, such as your right to drive. Because DUI is a criminal offense, you will also have to attend a criminal hearing. For DUI offenses, court dates usually take place not long after the initial arrest. In many cases, DUI court hearings take place the next day. The first step in the criminal court process is the arraignment, where the judge will read your charges to you and you will enter your plea.
Hiring an Attorney
All DUI offenders have the right to have an attorney present. Anyone who cannot afford an attorney or chooses not to retain private counsel can be appointed a public defender. We encourage you not to use a public defender for a number of reasons. Most importantly, their caseloads are incredibly large, leaving them with little time to devote to your defense. Typically, they urge their clients to accept a quick plea bargain even if it is not in their best interests.
Contact The Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry today. Our Orange County DUI defense law firm is one of the best, and we can fight for you!