Second Time Offenders and the DMV Hearing

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Second Time Offenders and the DMV Hearing

A driver who is arrested for a DUI / DWI in California will require the counsel of a California criminal defense attorney with vast experience in DUI / DWI cases. An attorney will be needed for those who are looking to protect their driving privileges in California. In California there is both a DMV hearing and a criminal court case. Court date and hearings for the criminal case will be set by the court after arraignment. However, a DMV hearing will only take place if the driver requests a hearing within ten days of the drunk driving arrest. If no request is made, a thirty day automatic suspension of driving privileges will take place.

The two most important factors in a DMV hearing will be whether there are prior driving under the influence violations on the driver’s record, and whether there was a refusal to submit to chemical tests. In the case of a prior offense, the prior offense must have occurred within ten years of the current case. If there was a refusal to submit to the chemical tests following a driver’s arrest, a second time drunk driving violation will carry an automatic two year suspension and there will be no opportunity of getting a restricted license to allow for travel to and from work.

The sanctions on a driver’s license for a second time offender who did submit to the chemical tests will typically be a one year suspension of driving privileges with the possibility that there be conditions that allow the driver to drive to and from work and alcohol education classes. The driver will be required to file formal proof of insurance with the Department of Motor Vehicles. This is done with the filing of an SR-22 form.

In order for any sanctions against a driver’s license such as restriction, suspension, or revocation can take place following a DMV hearing, the Department of Motor Vehicles hearing officer must consider three issues, and be satisfied with each of the three issues. Briefly, those issues include whether the officer had reasonable cause to believe the driver was under the influence of alcohol or committed another crime or vehicle code violation. Next is whether the arrest of the driver was lawful, and lastly is whether the driver’s BAC was above the legal limit at the time of driving.

The Department of Motor Vehicles is the only authority in California to suspend a person’s driving privileges. Criminal courts no longer have this authority in California. But, when a driver is convicted of a DUI / DWI in California, the DMV will find out. Once the DMV has found out that a driver was convicted of a second driving under the influence offense in 10 years, the driver’s license will be automatically suspended for two years. This two year suspension will run concurrently with the original two year suspension given to the second time drunk driving offender after the DMV hearing. The Department of Motor Vehicles will also require the installation of an ignition interlock device and eighteen to thirty months of alcohol education classes.

Consequences of DMV hearings may be harsh. It is best to have a California criminal defense attorney with vast experience in DUI / DWI cases on your side if you want to minimize the consequences against your license. Seek a free evaluation from The Kavinoky Law Firm if you want to fight the DMV and protect your driving privileges.