Third Time Offenders and the DMV Hearing
The driver who is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol will require the counsel of a California criminal defense attorney with vast experience in DUI / DWI cases. An attorney is required for those who seek to protect their driving privileges in California. In California there is both a Department of Motor Vehicles 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.
Two crucial factors in a DMV hearing will be whether there are prior drinking and driving violations on the driver’s record, and whether there was a refusal to submit to chemical tests. Previous driving under the influence offenses must have occurred within the past ten years in order to be counted as prior offense. If there was a refusal to submit to the chemical tests following a driver’s third DUI / DWI arrest, a the third time drunk driving violation will carry an automatic three year suspension without any chances of getting a restricted license to allow for travel to and from work. The driver will be required to file formal proof of insurance with the Department of Motor Vehicles by filing a SR-22 form at the end of the suspension period in order to regain driving privileges.
A third offense driving while intoxicated arrest where the driver voluntarily submits to a blood or breath test after being arrested, the punishment will be a two year suspension and the driver will be required to file formal proof of insurance with the DMV by the filing of an SR-22 form. This filing will be required for three years. After eighteen months of the suspension, a third time offender may be entitled to a restricted license that allows for the travel to and from work as well as that will be required for a third time offender.
In order for any sanction such as restriction, suspension, or revocation can take place, the Department of Motor Vehicles hearing officer must face three issues, and be satisfied with each of the three issues. In short those issues are 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 DMV has the sole authority in California to suspend driving privileges. Criminal courts do not have this authority. However, when a driver is convicted of a DUI / DWI in California, the DMV will find out. Once the DMV has found out that a motorist was convicted of a third drunk driving offense, the driver’s license will be automatically suspended for a period of two years. This two year suspension will run concurrently with the original suspension given after the Department of Motor Vehicles hearing.
Furthermore, the DMV will also require the installation of an ignition interlock device and eighteen to thirty months of .
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.