Occasionally, we are asked if it’s possible to reopen a
DUI case. Since this question has come up before, we want to explain how this
situation can arise because yes,
it is possible.
Let’s say that Anna, age 19, was arrested for driving under the influence
in October 2015, and the Department of Motor Vehicles suspended her driver’s
license until December of 2016.
Anna had a court date in March of 2016, where she was convicted of
underage DUI. She did not know what to expect as this was her first offense, and she
did not have a public defender or private attorney.
Anna thought her driver’s license suspension would be up in December
2016, the date set by the DMV, but Anna discovers that her license was
suspended for a full year, even though it was for driving under the influence
of marijuana. After she was convicted in court, Anna’s license was
suspended until 2017.
Anna thinks this is unfair because she submitted to the
breathalyzer test; she does not think her license should be suspended for a full year
because she did everything the officer asked her to do. Can Anna hire
a DUI attorney and reopen her case?
Reopening a DUI Case in Orange County
Yes, it is possible to reopen a DUI case. When someone is convicted of
a misdemeanor DUI and they are granted probation, the DUI defendant has
the right to reopen their DUI case within six months from the date of
the conviction providing they can show “good cause.”
Essentially, people in this situation must file to withdraw their plea
within six months of their conviction. If Anna had an attorney, she would
face an uphill battle to undo her plea, but if she was not represented,
then she does have a chance.
Contrary to what Anna thought, the judge did not suspend her driver’s
license, the DMV did. The DMV took a completely separate action against
Anna’s license because she was convicted of an underage DUI. Whenever
someone is convicted of DUI and they are under 21, their driver’s
license is suspended for one full year.
Do you have questions about reopening a DUI case? If so,
reach out to the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for a free consultation!