In California, when one is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, two proceedings will begin. There will be a California DMV hearing and a criminal case. Each case must be dealt with as soon as possible in order to avoid unnecessary negative repercussions. In California Department of Motor Vehicle cases a person arrested on suspicion of drunk driving has only ten days within the date of arrest to request a DMV hearing, or the DMV will automatically begin a process of suspending the person’s license to drive. A suspension of the driver’s license may require the Department of Motor Vehicles to make a report to the Offender’s insurance company and to file an SR-22 form.
When it comes to the criminal charges, a driver will be given the option of pleading to a charge with reduced consequences, or to a reduced charge. A driver does not have to enter a Guilty plea, however. In fact, entering a plea of Guilty will automatically mean that a driver’s insurance company will be notified of the conviction. A conviction will require the filing of an SR-22 form.
The only way to avoid insurance company issues is to avoid a conviction. An accomplished and experienced DUI / DWI attorney can fight your case and win. Oftentimes it takes costly resources to fight a drinking and driving case, and the issues are complex. It is very possible to win a case with a criminal defense lawyer who offers a strategy for success in both the DMV hearing and the criminal case.
A individual who is convicted of driving under the influence, or whose driver’s license is suspended during a DMV hearing, is required to file an SR-22 Certificate of Insurance with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Unfortunately, many large national insurance companies have a tendency to drastically increase the cost of the policy or to cancel the policy altogether once they learn of a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Filing an SR-22 form is generally the last step in the process to restore a driver’s license after a suspension for drunk driving. A competent DUI / DWI attorney will provide guidance for completing this process. The driver will provide the insurer with the car’s VIN and license plate number. The insurance company will then prepare the form and send it to the driver for his or her signature. Most insurance companies then send the form directly to the DMV.
Many drivers who are arrested on drunk driving charges question if and when they are required to inform their insurance company of the arrest for drunk driving. They do not have to report the arrest. They only have to make a report if they are convicted of a crime or are sanctioned by the DMV. An individual is considered innocent until proven guilty and this standard applies to insurance companies too. Drivers are under no obligation to report a DUI arrest to their insurers unless they are convicted. The best course of action is to consult with an experienced DUI / DWI attorney, who can give advice on when and how to communicate with an insurance company.