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First time DUI - DMV ruling vs. court ruling. Is there anything that can be done?

Los Angeles, CA |

Charged with DUI. Hired an attorney for DMV and court cases. DMV hearing resulted in license being suspended for 6 months, though was able to get a restricted license after one month. Court case dragged on for several more months as attorney tried to convince DA to offer reckless driving or wet reckless. Eventually was informed would have to go to trial or accept standard DUI plea. Entered no contest plea and got 3 year probation and fine. Attorney said court couldn't suspend license but just got letter from DMV saying license would be suspended for 6 more months from present even though had suspended and restricted license. Shouldn't have gotten credit for license suspension from DMV? Is this "double jeopardy" or double punishment? Attorney now says his job is done and case is over

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Attorney answers 8


It's not double jeopardy, but you are supposed to get credit for the suspension period you served in the APS suspension. However, that is only for the hard suspension portion - that portion which you did not have a license at all; not even restricted.

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Typically, when someone is arrested for a DUI and the cop suspects or has evidence that the blood alcohol level was .08 or higher, two independent tracks go on. One is the DMV/APS suspension track, the other is the court case if a criminal case is filed. The APS suspension if it happens, is for 4 months. If an individual gets convicted of a DUI in a criminal case, DMV has a separate department called Mandatory Actions that deals with suspensions as a result of a DUI conviction. In most 1st time DUI convictions, it is for 6 months from the time of conviction. If the conviction happened in one of four test counties in California (LA would be one of them), even on a first DUI conviction, the individual would be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) for 5 months. Once installed after conviction, the driver can drive anywhere anytime 24/7 in the car with the IID. Unless the two suspension periods overlap, the driver does not get credit for any portion of the APS suspension that does not overlap. However, a court conviction suspension does not result in a 30 day no drive period. There is no double jeopardy issue.


I agree with Atty. Murillo.


Unfortunately the process that occurs in the courts is distinct from that which occurs with the DMV. The DMV is the "king" of your license. The court's job is to handle the criminal aspect of a DUI, rather than the driving privileges. You might want to call your attorney again and ask for a more detailed explanation. A good lawyer will want to make sure you under stand every aspect of the plea you entered and the punishments that follow. Good luck.


Will get credit for the 30 days actual suspension. And a restricted license
for the remaining. The legislature screwed up the amendment a few years ago
to the license suspensions and obviously they're not going to fix it the
intent was to make sure that either and ministrator action or conviction
got a suspension. Before that if you won the administrator even if you have
a conviction you would not suspended


There are two potrential suspensions with a DUI or .08 B.A case, one as a result of the DMV hearing for being .08 B.A or more and driving which is 4 months. However, after one month of actual suspesnion, this suspension can be converted to a restriction for 5 months. In order to get the retriction, you need to wait 30 days from the start of the suspension, be enrolled in the California DUI program, have an SR-22 inurance form on file, go to DMV and pay a $125 reissue fee. Once the DMV verifies proof of school enrollment and SR-22 on file, they will take the reissue fee and issue a restricted license. There is a second suspension triggered automatically by the conviction, this suspension is immediately curable with a restriction and payment of a reissue fee as long as you are in compliance with the DMV Per Se Hearing restriction requirements.


Nothing can be done. DMV suspends based on it own petition (administrative per se) and abstract of conviction from court. You did get at least one month credit. This has specifically been ruled not double jeopardy. Attorney is correct.


Sorry to hear about your situation. However, the Court does not suspend your license, the DMV does based upon the notification of the entry of your conviction. Your attorney should have timed any Admin Per Se suspension to coincide with the court suspension, if possible.

No legal advice is given here. My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must NOT be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions & Answers forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. I am only licensed in the States of California and New York and the District of Columbia

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