WILL YOU LOSE YOUR DRIVERS LICENSE AFTER A DUI ARREST?
If you are convicted of a DUI in California (even a first offense) your license will be suspended for a period of time. However, the total length of time, and whether you can get a restricted license, will depend on the circumstances of your case, so contact us right away. The following is some helpful information regarding DUI license suspensions.
There are THREE main kinds of driver’s license suspension:
- The “Administrative Suspension” during your case. Your license will be suspended automatically 30 days after your arrest by the DMV unless you ACT QUICKLY. You must contact the DMV within 10 days of arrest and request a hearing. If you hire our Law Firm, we will send your notice to the DMV by FAX. A receipt confirmation proves that you met the 10-day notice requirement.
It is EXTREMELY important to understand that this suspension can last up to 5 years depending on the circumstances of your particular case. Therefore, it is extremely important to contact us right away.
STOPPING THE AUTOMATIC SUSPENSION IS ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO MINIMIZE YOUR TIME WITHOUT A LICENSE.
- Loss of Driving Privilege. This is the most extreme punishment. This can happen if you have multiple DUI’s and for various other reasons such as being designated a Habitual Traffic Offender.
- Court Ordered License Restriction. A license restriction means you can drive anywhere. However, you will have to take some steps to obtain your restricted license to allow you to continue to drive. Call us and we will be happy to tell you what you need to do!
For a first time DUI, this restriction lasts a minimum of four months, but depending on the circumstances, it may be extended. Call us to discuss your case so we can advise you appropriately.
We understand that none of these penalties are easy to deal with. And we also understand that the less time you spend with suspended or restricted driving privileges, the better. We can provide you the knowledge and information to help you to be able to continue to drive even when your license is currently suspended! You need to get to work, school, and to travel. We understand this and are happy to provide you with information to get you driving again!
Because getting your license back is so important, it is one of the areas a good DUI lawyer focuses on. Your lawyer can help you in several ways:
- Potentially fighting and preventing the administrative suspension at the DMV (depends on the circumstances of your case.)
- Making sure you understand what you need to do to get your restricted license (which will allow you to continue to drive without limitation.)
- Helping you make the best choices in your particular case.
- Preparing a strong defense that can actually get you your license reinstated in full!
- Helping you to get your license reinstated in full after your suspension (yes, this does require additional steps you must take, but we can help you!)
THE DMV HEARING
To avoid automatic suspension of your license you need to request a DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest. If you do not request the hearing within 10 days, your license will be automatically suspended in most cases, EVEN IF YOU ARE INNOCENT!
You only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to make the request. To make sure you do not miss this IMPORTANT DEADLINE, call us right away and we will make the DMV Hearing request for you.
The DMV hearing can be done in person or over the phone. At this hearing, the DMV officer will ask just three questions:
- Was it reasonable for the officer to believe that you were driving under the influence?
- Were you lawfully arrested?
- Was your BAC 0.08% or higher?
Answering these questions, however, is NOT simple. Unless trained in DUI law, most people do not know how to present a great defense at the DMV hearing. The reason the DMV Hearing is not simple is because the DMV hearing is unfair to our clients, involves hearsay, is administrative in nature, and the usual rules of evidence do not apply. In most cases, the DMV will not even call the arresting officer to testify. The DMV will convict you just on the police report. You need an experienced attorney to help you through this complex and difficult process!
That is just one of the reasons it is important to hire a lawyer before the DMV hearing. Others include:
- A public defender (the defense attorney assigned to you by the state) will NOT represent you at the DMV hearing, but a private lawyer WILL. If you do not hire one, you must face the DMV hearing officer ALONE!
- Your lawyer will make sure to get key evidence before the DMV hearing—such as the exact results of your blood test, if any blood test was conducted, as well as thoroughly checking the machine calibration and maintenance records of the breathalyze to ensure their accuracy.
- Lawyers understand the legal process around an arrest. They will know whether the officer was acting in accordance to established procedure and whether the arrest was “lawful.”.
NOTE: The 10-day deadline for your DMV hearing is VERY strict, and there are NO appeals. If you miss the deadline or make a mistake at your hearing, it is too late to go back.
It is IMPERATIVE to HIRE a lawyer IMMEDIATELY after your arrest!
GETTING YOUR LICENSE REINSTATED
After your license suspension/revocation has terminated, you do not automatically get your driver’s license back.
You must go through a process to reinstate it. The process is not hard, but it MUST be done right.
To get your California Driver’s License fully restored, you will have to do the following:
- Serve out the full license suspension period.
- Complete your Drinking Driving Program.
- Provide an SR-22 to the DMV.
- Install an ignition interlock device on your car for the full period required.
To file an SR-22:
- Do not contact your automobile insurance for an SR-22. They will know that you have been convicted of a DUI because you asked them for the SR-22 and THEY WILL RAISE YOUR INSURANCE RATES! This may happen eventually, but we have a way to reduce the overall amount you will pay in increased insurance costs, which can rise by 300% for up to 3 years if you do not do this right. Call us, and we can help you reduce your overall costs.
THE REINSTATEMENT PROCESS
To apply for your reinstatement, you will need to provide the DMV with proof of completion of your Drinking Driving Program, proof that you have installed your Ignition Interlock Device for the period of time required by the DMV and the courts, proof of your SR-22, and no other pending DUI actions, warrants, or outstanding court fines.
Without a good defense, or a skilled and experienced DUI attorney, a DUI can ruin your life.
It can lead to additional JAIL time, THOUSANDS of dollars of excess costs, increased insurance premiums and months or years without your LICENSE.
Many defendants think there is nothing they can do in their case, only to see it get MUCH worse than they originally thought.
A lawyer can help you, but you have to act FAST!
The first deadline of your DUI case is just TEN DAYS TO REQUEST A DMV HEARING from the date of your arrest. Don’t miss that deadline!
IF YOU DO NOT FILE A REQUEST FOR HEARING BY THAT TIME, THE DMV AUTOMATICALLY SUSPENDS YOUR LICENSE.
After that, the court dates come rapidly—and you need to use this time to prepare your defense. We will review police reports, obtain additional evidence, including Body Worn Camera Video and we will investigate your case just as strongly as the police do, but on your behalf.
This is when a good DUI lawyer will subpoena the officers, pull data on the breath or blood test, scrutinize the arrest report, and find the holes in the case against you.
WITHOUT this kind of strategy, you are at the mercy of the prosecutor and the DMV Hearing Officer.
Talking to a DUI lawyer is the smart option, and it comes with NO commitment.
You can get your case evaluated for FREE.
There is NO substitute for a good legal defense in a DUI case.
CONTACT FIUMARA & MILLIGAN LAW AT 707-571-8600, 415-492-4507 or Toll Free at 855-247-3190 AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP YOU!
Since 1992 our Team of highly skilled and experienced DUI attorneys have helped thousands of satisfied clients, why not be one of them!
“The Right DUI Defense Attorney Makes All the Difference!”