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When is a California License Suspended for DUI?

If you were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Orange County, you may have some confusion about the license suspension. It’s normal to feel this way; it is confusing for most people, especially when it’s their first DUI offense.

Say you were arrested for DUI and didn’t have your first arraignment until three months following the DUI arrest. You pleaded not guilty, and your trial was scheduled for two months later. You spoke to the District Attorney, who suggested you plead guilty; he said that if you enter a guilty plea, you’ll get your license back within a short month.

You asked him several times if he was sure, and he assured you that you’ll be eligible for a restricted license within 30 days as long as you enrolled in DUI School. You pleaded guilty, but then you received a letter in the mail stating that your license suspension was initiated, and you would not be able to obtain an unrestricted license for another six months. You were under the impression that your license had been suspended since your DUI arrest, so you became confused about the license suspension all over again.

Pleading Guilty is Bad Advice

If the DA told you to plead guilty, he or she gave you bad advice. Prosecutors are NOT on your side; they’re job is to secure convictions, not dole out legal advice to defendants. Their goal is to get defendants to plead guilty. Prosecutors have no legal duty to provide accurate advice about license suspensions. This is why you should always hire your own DUI lawyer.

Once you’re arrested for DUI, the license suspension begins 30 days after the arrest if you do not request a DMV hearing. That suspension is for 4 months if you do not get a restricted license, and 5 months if you do.

Note: The only way that you can get a restricted license is to serve the mandatory 30-day hard suspension.

If you are convicted of DUI, then a NEW license suspension goes into effect, and that one lasts for 6 months, beginning with the date of the conviction. If you already served the 30-day hard suspension and you either did not request a DMV hearing or you lost it, there’s nothing stopping you from applying for a restricted license.

We hope this advice clears up a few things for you. Contact our office to schedule a free case evaluation with an Orange County DUI lawyer. Let our Board-Certified DUI specialist help you fight to avoid a conviction and the loss of your driving privileges!