Requesting a DMV Hearing
It is of the utmost importance that anyone in California who has been arrested for drunk driving request a Department of Motor Vehicles hearing within ten (10) days of the arrest. These 10 days include weekends and holidays, so there really is very little time for delay. The consequences for failing to request the DMV hearing can be dramatic if one does not wish their California driving privileges to be suspended by the DMV. California law allows the Department of Motor Vehicles to institute an administrative per se (APS) sanction following every DUI / DWI arrest in California. This is the case whether the DUI / DWI charges relate to a breath test, blood test, or a refusal to take either test.
The consequences of a DMV Administrative Per Se (APS) Hearing can range from nothing to harsh suspensions and revocations. With the help of a California criminal defense attorney with vast experience in drunk driving cases, the consequences of these hearings most likely will be limited.
The effect of failing to request a DMV hearing within 10 days is that the Department of Motor Vehicles will begin an automatic process of suspending the arrestee’s driving privileges in California. This is true even if the arrestee has a driver’s license from another state. Failing to request the DMV hearing in a timely manner will mean that one will be forced to file an SR-22 proof of insurance with the DMV in order to lift the suspension of one’s driving privileges. The problem for the insured is that an SR-22 will raise a red flag at the insurance company, who will then find out that their insured has been charged with a DUI / DWI, and this is likely to result in the cancellation of the insurance policy.
However, if a driver’s job requires driving, or if a driver cannot get to work unless they drive there, the APS judge may restrict the license to limit driving privileges to going back and forth to work and to court. If the circumstances of the driving under the influence offense are grievous or if the driver is a repeat offender, restrictions may not be granted.
People with out-of-state licenses may not be concerned about requesting a Department of Motor Vehicles hearing and losing their California driving privileges, but they should understand that DMV action in California can affect their driving privileges in their home state, thanks to the Interstate Driver’s License Compact which allows states to share information on drivers who drive under the influence. Therefore, if your state finds out that you received a DUI / DWI in California, your state may move to suspend your home state driver’s license.
The results of the DMV hearing will vary depending on whether it is the driver’s first offense, or second or third offense. However, a qualified lawyer who focuses on drunk driving defense can work to achieve the best possible result in any case, in order to try to prevent the suspension of an arrestee’s driver’s license. This is a crucial consideration to keep in mind in a state like California where people most certainly need to drive to survive.