In the state of California, if you are arrested for driving under the influence, you only have ten days within which you can request a DMV hearing. This can be an incredibly important component to your case, as it deals with your driving privileges. DMV hearings are not required, but they should not be ignored. After your arrest, you should be issued a notice of your arrest. With this notice should be instructions on how to petition for a DMV hearing. If you do not do so within ten days, you forego your rights to contest your driver's license suspension.
DMV hearings are separate from criminal hearings because DUI cases have two components: the administrative and the criminal. A criminal hearing will go over all aspects of your case: the arrest, the field sobriety tests, the chemical test evidence, etc. Your administrative hearing will only address the question "Should your driver's license be suspended?"
Unlike a criminal hearing, your DMV hearing will actually be held at the Department of Motor Vehicles in the jurisdiction where your arrest took place. There will not be a judge presiding over your case, but rather an employee of the DMV. It is important to understand that, while this is not your criminal hearing, you can and should heavily consider contacting a DUI attorney to represent you at this hearing. The Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry can present the evidence before the DMV employee so that you can keep your driver's license if at all possible.
If your driving privileges are revoked, then your attorney could possible petition for a hardship license. In California this is called "Application for Critical Need Restriction" per § 13353.8(a) of the California Vehicle Code. To learn more about the administrative process after a DUI arrest, please contact the firm today.