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Is it Possible to Reopen a DUI Case?

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!