When you get arrested for
driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or
drugs in Orange County, California and throughout the rest of the state, you
will have to handle two separate parts: 1) the DMV administrative hearing,
and 2) the criminal court trial.
You will be scheduled to appear in criminal court on your DUI charge, but
this is not the same as your DMV hearing. The
DMV hearing is separate from the criminal court hearing; it is strictly an administrative
proceeding that addresses your driver’s license suspension or revocation only.
DMV Hearing vs. Criminal Court Trial
Unlike the criminal court trial where the court is trying to determine
if you are guilty of driving under the influence, the DMV administrative
proceeding is interested in the circumstances surrounding your arrest,
and whether your driving privilege should be suspended – it does
not address your criminal charges.
The DMV will specifically want to know:
- Did the arresting officer have probable cause to suspect that you were
driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
DUI arrest legal?
- How much alcohol was in your bloodstream?
- If you refused a chemical test in the form of a blood, breath or urine
test, did the police officer have good reason to believe that you were
under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
Did the police officer inform you that if you refused a
chemical test, it would result in a one-year license suspension, or a two to three-year
- Did you fail to complete a chemical test after a police officer asked you
to take one?
- Did you fail a chemical test after a police officer asked you to submit to one?
Under the state and federal Constitutions, people are not supposed to be
deprived of their property (in this case, their driver’s license)
without due process of the law. For this reason, whenever the California
DMV intends to take negative action against someone’s driver’s
license, the driver has a right to a hearing.
In order to have a DMV hearing, you must request it within 10 days of the
DUI arrest. If you do not request the DMV hearing, your license will be
In summary, the key differences between a DMV hearing and a criminal court
trial are: the DMV hearing deals with your driving privileges, whereas
the criminal court trial determines if you are guilty of DUI – a
For legal representation during your DMV hearing and court trial,
contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for a free case evaluation!