Drivers License Suspensions by the California DMV
What are the grounds for the DMV to suspend a drivers license?These are the specific grounds for suspension of your driver's license:
1.) Medical reasons (e.g.: epilepsy, dementia, alleged loss of skills, etc.)
2.) Failure to pay child support,
3.) Collision without insurance,
4.) "Negligent Operator" usually from getting too many tickets (points),
5.) Failure to appear in court / failure to pay fine, and
6.) Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
What will happen to my drivers license if I am arrested for a DUI?If you are arrested for DUI, your driver's license is automatically suspended for at least four months (with a one month "stay"). Immediate action is required to save your drivers license.
A hearing at the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is necessary to get your drivers license back. Please note that this hearing is completely separate from the criminal court proceedings in your DUI case. Driving on a suspended license is a criminal offense with minimum jail sentences, so obviously every effort should be made to regain your driving privilege.
Is there any important deadline in requesting a hearing from the DMV to set aside a DUI license suspension?Yes. It is imperative that you have your attorney request a DMV hearing within ten (10) calendar days, or else you will have waived your only chance to get your drivers license back. A new temporary driver's license will be issued pending the result of your DMV hearing.
What happens at a DMV hearing toAt your DMV license suspension hearing, the Hearing Officer will hear evidence presented by your criminal defense attorney, and he or she will then decide whether your driver's license suspension that took place at the time of your arrest will be sustained or set aside.
There are three separate areas that the DMV Hearing Officer will examine at a DUI suspension hearing in your DUI case:
1.) Was there probable cause for the initial stop? 2.) Were you lawfully arrested? 3.) Were you driving with .08% or more of blood alcohol?
The good news is, if you prevail in even one of the above questions at your hearing, then your driver's license will be returned and the original suspension permanently set aside. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by arranging for a DMV hearing and, with the help of competent legal counsel, offer a defense on any or all of these questions.
What can I do to attack an unfair suspension of my drivers license by the DMV?A Writ of Mandamus may be prepared by your attorney and filed to attack unfair DMV decisions in which the client's driver's license suspension was wrongfully sustained by the DMV. Such a Writ (which is an application to the Superior Court to have an adverse DMV decision in your case reversed) is your only effective recourse to having the suspension sustained. Administrative review by the DMV of its own decision against you are all but useless.
Can I handle my own DMV suspension case by myself?Would you handle your own medical diagnosis and treatment? Of course not, so why would you risk navigating unfamiliar legal waters when your driver's license is on the line? Preparing and offering a defense in a DMV hearing is a complex and legally sophisticated matter, and you will need a good criminal defense lawyer to accomplish this.