When you are arrested for suspicion of Driving Under the Influence in San Luis Obispo County California, it is important to learn about your rights, the system and get expert assistance so you can keep your right to driving and stay out of jail.
Request a DMV Hearing within 10 Days of your Arrest
1. Request A DMV Hearing Within 10 Days of Your Arrest When you are arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI), you only have 10 days to request a hearing with the California Department of Motor Vehicles. If you fail to do so, you will lose your right to the hearing and your driving privilege after 30 days. It is important to request a hearing, because in San Luis Obispo County you generally won't have your first court appearance for 45 to 60 days from the date of arrest. This means you will have to wait to review the police report that the DMV and the San Luis Obispo District Attorney will be reviewing to determine the criminal charges that they will probably bring against you. If you fail to request this DMV hearing, your license will automatically be suspended 30 days after your arrest. If your request a DMV hearing, you are entitled to obtain the Police Report and other "discovery". When you request this DMV hearing with in 10 days you are entitled to a "stay" of your California license suspension, which allows you to keep driving until the DMV makes a written decision on your right to drive.
2. Hire An Attorney Who represents people regularly in San Luis Obispo County
Every county in California has their own criminal court system. In San Luis Obispo County we currently only hear criminal matters in San Luis Obispo. The court in San Luis Obispo has different procedures, people, and practices. This makes it important to have someone who is very familiar with the system and can easily use the system for your maximum benefit and avoid the pitfalls that can occur to a novice to these practices.
3. Hire an experienced Attorney who will use the evidence in your case for your advantage.
An experienced attorney can seek to issue DMV subpoenas to get the records related to your case including information on the stop, the arrest, and maintenance and calibration records from the breath machine. Other documents relating to the validity of the blood test, as well as videos or other documents that are essential to the defense of your case. If the records are not produced quickly your attorney can obtain a continuance of the DMV hearing to allow you to keep driving.
3. Use The Information Obtained Through Discovery To Fight The DMV
Using the information obtained through subpoenas, your attorney is armed to fight the DMV to disprove any of the elements they must prove to suspend your license. The DMV must prove you were driving a vehicle, and your blood alcohol level was a 0.08% or higher, and that you were lawfully arrested. If any one of these things can't be proven, or if any number of technical errors were made, the DMV won't suspend your driver's license.
4. Fight Your San Luis Obispo DUI Court Case
Your attorney should have a good assessment of your case by the time the matter is first called in San Luis Obispo Superior Court. This will often occur through "informal discovery requests" and include DMV subpoenas to obtain the necessary information in a timely manner. Your attorney can use this information to file defense motions, negotiate a plea bargain, or set the matter for a jury or court trial.
5. Your Attorney Should Consider Potential Consequences To Your Career
A DUI conviction can have serious, adverse consequences to your career or career that you wish to purseu. Often State Employees will need to consider how this may effect their employment. Other need to consider their licensing board or boards that they may want to take in the future. Students should carefully consider what licensure they may want to pursue after they have received their formal education. A DUI and or associated charges could keep you from obtain the license you are working toward.
6. Take Action
Follow the steps set forth above and make sure you hire the right attorney for you. You can check the status of an attorney at calbar.org. A DUI conviction can easily cost you $10,000 or more in fines, increased insurance rates and other consequences. You owe it to yourself to obtain good representation.
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