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How do I get my license back after a DUI ACQUITTAL

Riverside, CA |

I was arrested for drunk driving in California. I was also charged with refusing to submit to chemical testing. My license was immediately suspended. I went to a hearing at the DMV Driver Safety Office in order to dispute the "refusal to test" charge. I didnt refuse to test. (I asked for a blood test,but the nurse was unable to obtain a sample). The arresting officer also appeared, and we both gave our version of events. The DMV concluded that the officers version was more believable...because I was drunk. I fought my case in criminal court. I had a jury trial and was found NOT guilty of all charges. I called the DMV to find out how to get my license back. They said that I had to take a drug test, show completion of a program, pay $140 reinstatement fee, and file an SR22 for insurance....and then they would CONSIDER reopening my case. I realize that the DMV and the criminal court are separate entities, but 12 jurors found me NOT gulty. I did nothing wrong. Is there any other way to get my license back? Or do I have to jump the the hoops with the DMV? I have no prior record. My driving record was spotless before this incident.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. I strongly suggest that you discuss the means of getting your license back with your DUI attorney. If you did not have an attorney, see one now.

    The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.


  2. As my colleague said, you need to talk to your trial attorney or if you don't have one, at the very least consult with an attorney directly about your question. I don't practice in California, but, I can tell you that in most states the license suspension by DMV is a separate proceeding from the criminal proceeding so that if you did not contest the DMV's suspension of your license and later you win the criminal trial, the license suspension remains in effect.


  3. It's interesting that DMV will reopen your case. That is the only way you can get your license back. It doesn't matter the result in court. The punishment for a refusal at the DMV level is a 1 year loss of license no matter the outcome of the court case. If this were not hte case many more people would refuse to give a chemical sample.


  4. You need to file a DS702 form with the DMV. This form is only available at your local driver’s safety office and is not available online. You will want to take it to the DA to sign as to why your case was dismissed (in this case you were found not guilty by jury) (understand that is not the same thing as innocent). Once this form is submitted to the DMV you should be granted a new hearing. Expect to lose the next hearing (this is how the DMV works). After you lose you will need to file a writ. This means that your case will be heard by a judge and if successful you will get the license back. This is not a do it yourself project hire an attorney that is familiar with this process.
    Robert Driessen


  5. Check the Court records. As the other attorneys mentioned, if it was a finding of "not guilty"/hung jury, you may need to request to reopen the hearing. If, however, you received an Acquittal (factual finding of innocence) than it may be possible to submit that documentation to Driver Safety headquarters and ask for reinstatement of your license.

    Definitely do not try to do this yourself, as they may lead to more problems. Look for a DUI attorney local to you and discuss the case with them in detail. After that, they should be able to let you know what the appropriate course of action should be.

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