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How do I make my different DUI penalties concurrent?

San Mateo, CA |

Start my administrative suspension this week. Pre-trial isn't for a month. I'v tried to get the clerk to bump up my court date but they won't.

Assuming I plead guilty in a month, what will the suspension be from the court? I currently have 4 months from the DMV. Is the court suspension different from the DMV's? My lawyer friend told me that the court doesnt actually suspend - they just notify the DMV of the conviction and the DMV will do the suspension. is this true?

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Attorney answers 6


That is correct. They just notify the DMV of the suspension. There will not be concurrent suspension penalties.

Seth Weinstein, Esq.
Practicing throughout Southern California
(310) 707-7131

This reply should NOT be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. At this time I do not have sufficient factual/legal documentation to give a complete answer to your question and there may be more to the issues you raised then I have set out in my brief reply.


You can't make the penalty concurrent. If you failed to request a DMV hearing, that is what triggered the DMV suspension (I assume you didnt request a hearing). If you plea guilty to the DUI in Court, among other things, you're license will be suspended. Although the Court doesnt technically do the suspending, it is DMV that suspends a license based on the Court conviction.

I hope this lawyer friend didnt tell you to NOT call the DMV to request a hearing, too.

Anyway, the DMV administrative suspension is a 4 month suspension. You can get a restricted license after 30 days if you enroll in a DUI program and file an SR22 (assuming not a "refusal" case), or that this is only a first offense). This is 30 days from the start date, so it doesn't include the 30 days before the suspension went into effect from the arrest date.

A COURT conviction will trigger a 6 months suspension, though. You can also get a restricted license, after the conviction. But they are two "separate" convictions, but run concurrently. Meaning, you're suspension will not be for 10 months total, but only 6 and any suspension served for the APS suspension, should be credited to the Conviction-based suspension.

If you can, you should contact some local DUI attorneys to discuss the case. If the case can be reduced, it may be possible to get a new hearing with the DMV. Depending on what happened initially, in order to remove the suspension (which becomes VERY important if you get a 2d DUI within 10 years of the first).

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Yes, the DMV suspension you currently have (as a result of a lost APS hearing) is different than the court suspension; however, they are both imposed by the DMV. If you are convicted of a DUI, the court will send an abstract of conviction to the DMV, and the DMV will suspend for six months based on the court conviction. Since the DMV already suspended your driving privilege for four months, you will be eligible for a restricted license after the first 30 days, your four-month suspension will then turn into a six-month suspension, with one month of no driving and five months of restricted driving. This new six-month suspension could run concurrently with a suspension that would occur after a DUI conviction (in court). But, as you know, these two events (the DMV APS Hearing and a court conviction) rarely occur at the same time, so the total time on a restricted license could be longer than six months. The concurrent status of both suspensions only applies while they run together. I hope that makes sense; it can be confusing.


Just a thought, but an attorney might have an easier time advancing that court date. And you might also have a better chance if you talk to the court clerk in person, assuming your first contacts were on the phone. Good luck.

Jasen Nielsen


Since you elected to do the 4-month hard (no driving) suspension (rather than the 30-day hard suspension and 5-month restricted) imposed by DMV (civil conviction) - all 4 months WILL RUN CONCURRENT with any 6-month suspension imposed as a result of your court (criminal conviction).

Though difficult to understand - in sum, after your 4-month DMV (civil) suspension you will only need to do an additional 2-month suspension - for a total suspension of 6-months.

Had you elected to do the restricted license - your total suspension period could have been anywhere from 6 to 10 months total (depending on how and when your civil and criminal suspension periods began).

A competent DUI attorney should be able to explain this concept and help you decide which scenario is best for you.

Robert Lee Hamilton is licensed to practice law in the state of California. He cannot speak to the applicability of information in jurisdictions outside California. No two legal situations are alike, and it is impossible to provide accurate legal advice without knowing all the facts of a particular situation. Thus, the information provided in this column should NOT be regarded as individual legal advice, and readers should NOT act upon this information without seeking the opinion of an attorney in their home state. This does NOT constitute an attorney-client relationship and does NOT constitute legal advice. The information provided is for educational and/or informational purposes only.


Have your lawyer put the case on calendar and pull your time waiver. The judge will likely advance your pretrial date. That should get you bumped a few more weeks closer.

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