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What is a DMV Hearing?

If you were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs in Orange County or anywhere else in California, you will soon learn about the DMV hearing, which is different than the criminal court hearing. How are they different?

According to the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles, the DMV hearing “is an administrative proceeding regarding the suspension or revocation of your driving privilege only.” So, why do you have the opportunity to address your license suspension in a separate proceeding? Because, under the State and Federal Constitutions, no one is supposed to be deprived of their property (in this case a driver’s license) without “due process of the law,” according to the California DMV.

What is the DMV Concerned With?

The DMV hearing is technically an administrative proceeding; it is not part of the criminal trial. The purpose of the DMV hearing is to address your driving privilege and to examine the circumstances of your DUI arrest. The DMV is not trying to decide if you’re guilty of driving under the influence – that’s the court’s job.

These are the facts the DMV will be concerned with:

  • Did you take a blood, breath or urine test?
  • Did the police officer have a good reason to believe you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol under Vehicle Code Section 23152?
  • Did you refuse to take a chemical test?
  • Was the arrest lawful?
  • Did the officer tell you that if you refused a chemical test, your driver’s license would be automatically suspended for one year or revoked for two or three years?

You are not obligated to request a DMV hearing; however, we highly recommend having one because if you do nothing, your license will be automatically suspended after 30 days from the date of your DUI arrest. To avoid this automatic suspension, you must schedule a DMV hearing within 10 days of your DUI arrest.

At the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc., we represent clients at DMV hearings throughout Orange County. Contact us today for a free case evaluation!