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I just got a DUI. When does my license become suspended? If I have a suspended license can I still drive to work and back??

Thousand Oaks, CA |

I have a previous DUI from about 15 years ago and I just got another last night. I need to be able to drive back and forth to my job. I can't remember how this all works and at the time I was not employed. Will the judge grant me the ability to drive to my work and back each day??

Attorney Answers 9


  1. It's not up to judge, up to DMV. But you should be fine if you didn't refuse a chemical test and your last DUI was 15 years ago.

    Suspension will start 30 days after arrest. The you will need to serve 30 days without a license before you can get a restricted license. To get a restricted license, you will need to enroll in DUI program, purchase SR-22 insurance, and pay a reinstatement fee to DMV. You can get your restricted license after serving a mandatory 30 day hard suspension.

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  2. Get in to see a lawyer right away. If you can't make it in quickly made sure you call DMV within 10 days of your arrest and ask for a hearing. If you do not do this your license will be suspended effective on the date listed on the temporary license given to you by the officer who arrested you and took your license. The contact information for DMV and requesting a hearing are also in the small print on that "pink" temporary license. There are ways to minimize any suspension, and obtain a restricted license, but again, contact a good criminal defense attorney who can assist you with all of this (and the court proceedings as well).


  3. You need to get a stay of suspension and a hearing on the issues of your arrest in order to continue to drive. The stay must be requested within 10 days of your arrest. If not requested you will be suspended 30 days after the date of your arrest. You will not be able to drive for 30 days if suspended and then you should be eligible for a restricted, work related license if you enroll in a drinking driver program, obtain an SR22 and pay a re-issue fee to the DMV.

    I believe you need to consult with a DUI attorney in your area and have them handle all of this for you.


  4. You should either call a dui attorney or call the dmv mandatory action branch. You only have ten days to request a hearing.


  5. I have a few thoughts. First, assuming your arrest happened in TO, Ventura County is among the toughest in the state on DUI cases, and the policy of the District Attorney is to seek extra jail time if you have an out of time prior. Second, you have 10 days to request a DMV hearing. If you don't, your license will automatically be suspended after 30 days, and the soonest you'll be able to get a restricted license is 31 days later. Requesting the DMV hearing is crucial. I definitely suggest that you consult with a locally experienced DUI attorney, of which there are a few on avvo. Many of us, myself included, offer a free consultation. Best of luck.

    Jasen Nielsen


  6. You will be eligible for a restricted license after a 30 flat suspension if you do nothing or lose a timely requested DMV hearing. You have ten days from the arrest date to request a DMV hearing so you will want to get on that ASAP. Which court is your case out of?

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  7. A court-triggered license suspension is two years when there is one prior DUI conviction within ten years. A judge, however, does not impose the suspension; instead the court notifies the DMV and the DMV imposes the suspension. Given that your prior DUI conviction was fifteen years ago, you should be eligible to obtain a restricted license after serving a thirty day mandatory suspension, assuming you agreed to take a chemical test. A restricted license will enable you to drive to and from work and your DUI program. The DMV will require that you file a SR22 form and pay a reinstatement fee in order to obtain the restricted license. I recommend that you consult a local DUI defense attorney who can answer this and any other additional questions about your DUI.


  8. You should get an attorney ASAP. You are eligible for a restricted license when you call the DMV to request your DMV hearing and ask for a temporary license and a stay of the suspension. Many on this list, including myself, offer free consultations, but get an attorney for this.

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  9. Hire an attorney as soon as possible and have them request a DMV hearing. Once the hearing is requested, you can drive until the results come out.

    Assuming that your license does wind up being suspended, you will be eligible for a restricted license after 30 days. That would allow you to drive to work and back.

    Good luck!

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