Charged with a DUI? You Only Have 10 Days to Protect Your License!
Overview of the DUI Process: It's a Two Step Process
In most criminal cases, the court process is intimidating but fairly straightforward. After all, you will only need to be dealing with the difficulties associated with the criminal process. When charged for drunk driving, however, it is important to realize that you will have to handle more than just the criminal aspect. In fact, you will have two completely separate and independent proceedings that you will need to deal with – and the truth is that both equally deserve your undivided attention.
On one side, you will still be required to handle the legal issues of the criminal court process. On the other, however, you will be asked to focus your attention on what is known as the DMV hearing. This is an informal administrative hearing held by the California Department of Motor Vehicles and will deal solely with the future of your driving privileges – not with the question of your guilt.
These are both two completely independent proceedings. The outcome of one will not affect the outcome of the other and vice-versa. Both, however, are vitally important and deserve to be handled by an attorney who will be able to invest the necessary time and energy into seeking a desirable outcome. At the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, they recognize the individual importance of these two cases and they remain fully dedicated to ensuring that their clients have the comprehensive representation that they deserve through both separate processes.
What is the DMV hearing exactly?
Most people know how the criminal process will play out – they've seen it on the silver screen, they've read about it and they've grown up their entire lives exposed to the process. What most people don't know about, however, is the DMV hearing. It's behind-the-scenes and often takes a backseat. This can leave many people confused when it comes time to face it. To help combat this confusion, the firm has both asked and answered some of the most common questions regarding the process below:
- Why do I only have ten days to act? If you are interested in taking part in the DMV hearing (something that is strongly recommended), it is important to realize that you will only have 10 days from receiving the notice of the action to request this hearing. Typically you will receive this action during the arrest. If you want a fighting chance of protecting your driver's license, you need to request this hearing within this small window or you're out of luck.
Will the DMV hearing determine whether or not I'm guilty? This is often the most commonly asked question regarding the hearing. Since the criminal process is there to deal with the guilt, many people are unsure just where exactly the DMV hearing plays in. The answer? No. The DMV hearing will not answer that at all. It will actually only deal with the anatomy of your arrest. Questions that will be asked at the hearing will include: Was there reasonable cause to perform the traffic stop? Were you lawfully arrested? Did you refuse the chemical test? These questions will not have to do with whether you were intoxicated behind the wheel – only the way that the
arresting process unfolded.
- Is the DMV hearing necessary? Do I have to go? Most people live busy lives and it's difficult to put everything on halt to deal with a DUI. If you're truly concerned about dealing with the DMV hearing, you don't have to request it. Does this mean that's recommended? Not at all! Having a valid driver's license is an extremely important asset to possess and if you don't attend this hearing, you will have it automatically suspended. If you can't fit the hearing into your schedule, you don't even need to show up! It is perfectly legal for your lawyer to represent you.
If the DMV hearing suspends my license and I'm later found not guilty in the criminal case, will I be given my license back? This is a spot of confusion for many people. After all, if you weren't guilty of driving under the influence, why should your license remain suspended? At this point, it's important to remember that these are
separate hearings and are dealing with
separate issues. If your license was suspended because you refused to take a
breath test, you won't get it back because your BAC was under the legal limit. Similarly, if you are found guilty of driving under the influence, but the DMV had earlier set aside the suspension per the outcome of their hearing, your driving privileges will still be taken away.
Hire a lawyer that can handle both sides of your case!
It is easy for people to believe that the criminal case is the only important part of the DUI process. This, however, is completely untrue. Both are important and both will have a direct impact on your future. So why hire someone who can only handle one side? Should you choose to work with Orange County DUI attorney Virginia Landry or another member of her legal team, you will be able to be confident knowing that you will have an advocate on your side who will devote the necessary time, energy and commitment to both sides of your case. By approaching it in this manner, you will be able to be confident knowing that your future will be comprehensively protected.
Contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry today if you have more questions about the DUI process.