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AWARD WINNING SAN DIEGO CRIMINAL ATTORNEY

DMV License Suspension First Offense in San Diego

If you are arrested for a first time California DUI, a private defense attorney from Ross Law Center can help you prevent the suspension of your license 2 ways:

Request a DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest and win the hearing.

- After your driver’s license is confiscated, it will be sent to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and will automatically be suspended unless you request a DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest. The suspension begins after the pink forms 30-day temporary license expires.

- If you request a DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest, you can delay your suspension until your hearing is complete. You will avoid suspension if you win your hearing, but may receive a different suspension if you are convicted in court of a DUI.

Win your DUI case in court

- After your DMV hearing and regardless of the outcome, the California criminal court process begins with you, your California DUI defense attorney (if hired), the prosecutor, the judge and perhaps a jury.

- Your case will begin with an arraignment and end with an acquittal or sentencing for the charges against you.

Court Triggered DMV License Suspension for a First Offense California DUI

If you are convicted in court of a first time California DUI you will receive and automatic 6 month license suspension (Vehicle Code 13352(a)(1)). The court will notify the DMV of your conviction and the DMV will impose the suspension.

There are 2 ways to avoid a court-triggered license suspension:

Have your charges reduced to reckless driving or an offense other than DUI.

Have your case go to trial and result in a “not guilty” verdict, hung jury, or mistrial.

Administrative License Suspension for a

First Offense California DUI

If your blood alcohol content (BAC) was .08 or higher at the time of your DUI arrest the California DMV will automatically attempt to have your license suspended due to an administrative per se violation (APS).

After your first California DUI offense, you have 10 days to request a DMV hearing from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. This will give you the chance to put a temporary hold on your driver’s license suspension.

- The DMV asks three 3 questions before they decided to suspend your license or delay your suspension.

Were you lawfully arrested?

Was your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) 0.08% or higher?

Did the arresting officer reasonably believe that you were driving under the influence (DUI)?

- You have the right to be represented by a DUI attorney at your DMV hearing. The DMV hearing is independent of your court case, but having a private attorney represent you highly increases your odds of saving your drivers license.

- DMV hearings are conducted over the telephone or in person.

If you or your private defense attorney does not request a hearing within 10 days, the DMV may automatically suspend your driver’s license.

The California DMV can suspend your driver’s license for 4 months if you loose your hearing (Vehicle Code 13353.3). If you win your hearing, the California DMV will not impose an administrative license suspension.

If your blood alcohol content (BAC) is lower than .08 at the time of your arrest, the California DMV will not attempt to have your driver’s license suspended. (Vehicle Code 13353.2). If you submitted to a chemical test and the results later show that your blood alcohol level was below .08, the California DMV will also not suspend your license.

Court Triggered DMV License Suspension vs. DMV Hearings for First Offense California DUI

Your California DMV hearing and your Court trail are independent of each other.

The California DMV hearing only deals with your driving privileges based on the details of your DUI arrest.

- You have the right to be represented by a private attorney at your California DMV hearing. Having a private attorney represent you highly increases your odds of saving your driver’s license. A public defender will not represent you for a DMV hearing.

- There are several benefits to having your private attorney represent you for your California DMV hearing, with the main one being saving your driving privileges. This is your private attorneys first opportunity to quickly expose possible mishandling by the police department and weakness in the prosecution’s case. Your attorney can also cross-examine and subpoena the arresting officer about your case and the officer’s transcript can be useful in negotiating a lesser charge later in court.

- California DMV hearings are conducted over the telephone or in person.

The Court trial will deal with the criminal act committed and whether you are guilty or not guilty of that criminal act.

- The outcome of your DMV hearing has no effect on your DUI court proceedings. The decision made by the California DMV is completely separate from the criminal charge, sanction, penalty or decision.

- During your Court trial you or your attorney must be present at all scheduled hearings. This includes your arraignment in California criminal court.

- Your case will begin with an arraignment and end with an acquittal or sentencing for the charges against you.

If you are convicted, your case will remain open in California throughout your probationary period and until your court obligations are fulfilled.

If you are acquitted of DUI charges in court, a revocation or suspension may be reversed by the California DMV. This will be decided by the DMV if they see that the courts decision is an acquittal on the charge of driving with .08 or higher BAC (Vehicle Code 23152 (b)).

If your DUI charge is reduced to reckless driving in the criminal court this will not affect your driving privilege suspension. The criminal court is independent from the California DMC administrative decisions.

If your charge is dismissed or not filed by a District Attorney because of lack of evidence, or filed and later dismissed by the court because of insufficient evidence and you previously lost your California DMV hearing, you may have a renewed right to a hearing within one year of your arrest date.

Obtaining a Restricted License after a First Offense California DUI

The California DMV allows you to file for a restricted driver’s license or to fully reinstate your license following your suspension by filing a SR22 form.

A restricted driver’s license will allow you to drive to and from work, school, and California DUI School.

- You can apply for a restricted license immediately if you received a court triggered suspension.

- You must wait 30 days to apply for a restricted license if you received an administrative suspension. The 30 days is from the start of your license suspension (Vehicle Code 13353.7).

- You must wait 30 days from the start of the administrative suspension if you received both suspensions to apply for a restricted license (Vehicle Code 13353.3).

- You must also wait 30 days to apply for a restricted license if it is your first DUI offense in California and you took a chemical test.

After the suspension period had terminated, you must file to have your California driver’s license reinstated. This can be done by filing a SR22 form with the California DMV.

If you refused to take a chemical or blood test at the time of your first DUI arrest, you risk having your license revoked for one year. You cannot contest this action at any point during the year of revocation.

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