If you were recently arrested for driving under the influence in Orange
County, one of your first concerns will be your driver’s license.
What will happen to it? Will it be suspended or revoked?
In order to understand the future of your driver’s license, first
we’ll need to explain the difference between the court appearance for the
DUI charge and the
California DUIs are broken down into two parts: 1) the DMV administrative
hearing, and 2) the criminal court process. While the court hearing addresses
your criminal charges, the DMV hearing is strictly an
administrative proceeding that addresses the
suspension or revocation of your driving privileges. Essentially, the DMV provides
you with the right to a hearing even though you are scheduled to appear
in court on the DUI charge.
Why does the DMV do this? Because our State and Federal Constitutions say
that no one should be deprived of property (in this case their driver’s
license) without due process of law. So, in order for the DMV to take
away your driver’s license, it’s supposed to give you the
opportunity to tell your side of the story; to be heard at an official hearing.
DMV Hearing Addresses Your Driving Privileges Only
The DMV hearing is separate from the court trial. It is an administrative
proceeding regarding the circumstances of your
DUI arrest and your driving privilege, whether or not you’re guilty of DUI.
During the DMV hearing, the following will be considered:
- Did the police officer have reason to believe that you were driving under
the influence of drugs or alcohol?
- Did you complete a blood or breath test?
- Was the police stop unlawful?
- Were you arrested and if so, was it a lawful arrest?
Were you driving a vehicle with a
BAC of .08% or more?
Are You Obligated to Attend the Hearing?
For starters, you are
not obligated to request a DMV hearing; however, if you don’t request
a DMV hearing, your driver’s license will be suspended automatically
regardless if you were driving under the influence or not.
If you decide that you want a hearing (which you should), you must request
the hearingwithin 10 days of your arrest. Otherwise, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended
once your 30-day temporary driving permit expires. If you do request a
hearing, do you have to attend? It depends.
Under certain circumstances you may not have to attend, such as: 1) you
request and receive a continuance, 2) you choose to have a phone hearing
(we do NOT recommend this), or 3) an Orange County DUI attorney from our
firm attends the DMV hearing on your behalf.
If you cannot take the time off work, or if you’ll be travelling
for work, or if you live in another state, we may be able to attend the
DMV hearing for you. We find this flexibility very beneficial, especially
for clients who cannot make the hearing for one reason or another.
To learn more about the benefits of a DMV hearing,
contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. Schedule your free consultation
with a Board-Certified DUI defense specialist today!