Keeping Your License after a DUI Arrest
DUI laws and regulations vary across the country. However, in virtually all states today, a DUI arrest will result in an administrative suspension of your driver’s license. In order to keep your license – or get it back following a DUI arrest – there are certain actions which you must take.
What Happens during a DUI Arrest?During most DUI arrests, the arresting officer will take the offending driver*s license away from him or her at the scene. The officer will then issue a temporary driver*s license. The temporary driver*s license will have an expiration date on it. This expiration date is the beginning date of the license suspension. In California, you have 10 days from the date of arrest to request an Administrative Per Se Hearing with the DMV.
DMV HearingA driver*s license suspension following a DUI arrest is an administrative penalty imposed by the state*s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This means that the DMV can revoke an offender*s driver*s license even in cases where the DUI charge is ultimately dismissed by a court * or where a court decides to reduce the charge down to one that does not ultimately include license suspension as a penalty.
The exact procedures and protocols depend upon the regulations of the state where the DUI arrest took place. However, in most cases, a DUI arrestee must request a hearing before the DMV in order to have his or her driving privileges reinstated.
At the DMV hearing, the driver*s license will either be reinstated or revoked for a certain period of time. The hearing officer at the DMV hearing will determine the length of time for which the license will be suspended. In California, refusing to take a urine, breathalyzer, or blood test can result in an automatic driver*s license suspension for a period of one year.
Attorney Representation at a DMV Hearing and Court HearingIt is extremely important that you be represented by legal counsel at any DMV hearing or criminal hearing in your DUI case. During the hearing or trial, your lawyer can advance one or more legal arguments which can lead to your driver*s license and driving privileges being reinstated. In some cases, a lawyer may be able to stay the suspension of your license while your DUI case is pending, allowing you to keep driving legally.
Contacting a DUI Criminal Defense LawyerIn addition to the potential fines and penalties associated with DUI arrests and convictions, there also comes the possibility of a driver*s license suspension. Given the inconvenience associated with a driver*s licenses suspension, you should do everything in your power to keep your license post-arrest or post-conviction.