You can fax them a letter or call them directly. Call or fax the local Licensing Operations Division of the DMV where the person was arrested within 10 days of the arrest date. If the 10th day falls on a weekend or holiday, it would be the following Monday. Make sure you keep the fax confirmation if you're faxing the letter.
Request an "Administrative Per Se Hearing"
Every case is different, and there may be times NOT to request a hearing. But typically, you are requesting that the DMV conduct a hearing, which can be in person or telephonic, in order to determine if the arrestee's license should be suspended. Your request should simply state, "I am requesting that an Administrative Per Se Hearing be conducted".
You should request that all discovery be forwarded to you immediately so that you can prepare for the hearing. Most of the time, the DMV office won't have the discovery yet. Once they get the police reports from the agency, they'll then forward it to you. However, there may be additional information from the reports which you also want. Once your read the reports, you may find you need more time and should be prepared to ask for more time to prepare when the hearing date approaches...more on this in a moment.
Request a "Stay of Suspension"
You'll want to request that a "stay of suspension" be instituted. What will happen is that the automatic suspension of the license will be postponed or "stayed" until the outcome of the hearing. If you win the hearing, there will be no suspension. If you lose, it will be initiated at a date as stated in the "Notice of Suspension" you receive after the hearing.
Those are the basic steps for setting up the hearing.
When You Receive Discovery, Review It Immediately and Respond Appropriately
Once you receive the discovery, you need to review it immediately to see if additional work must be done, which is almost always the case. If you decide to subpoena one of the police officers, be prepared to use the DMV subpoena which is on the DMV website. It must be served no less than five business days before the hearing so the officer has enough notice to appear. Most law enforcement agencies also request $150 per subpoena, and they bill against it, so it could end up being more. Include your check with the subpoena. Also, there may be additional information as referenced in the police reports and discovery which you received, so you may need additional time to prepare. As soon as you see the need for more time, put it in writing to the DMV Office so they know you are requesting a continuance of the previously set hearing. If not, they will make it difficult to continue and may deny the request.
Everything you do, every correspondence you have, every conversation, every letter - document it with proof. The DMV always assumes that you made a mistake, you are the reason for the delay, you are the cause of the problems with the hearing going forward. If you document everything, you can offer the proof that you were diligent, professional, and prepared.
Additional resources provided by the author
You can also refer to the California DUI Lawyers Association, the National College for DUI Defense, and the DMV website for further information.
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