The Road Map to Winning Your DMV Case

Did the festivities of the New Year in San Diego bring a little too much to drink, and you found yourself staring at a DUI charge? Under California law, you can not only lose your license as a result of a court conviction but can also suffer an automatic administrative license suspension 30 days following your arrest. DMV laws require suspension of your license if your blood alcohol level was at or above .08.

Requesting a Per Se Hearing

The Only way to stop this automatic suspension is to request an “Administrative Per Se Hearing”

If you were arrested for DUI over New Year’s you only have 10 calendar days to request your DMV hearing to avoid license suspension. January 10 is the deadline for people arrested before midnight on New Year's Eve and January 11 if arrested after midnight on January 1st.

If a hearing isn't requested, the DMV automatically suspends your license FOR 6 MONTHS beginning 30 days following the arrest. 

Hire a knowledgeable DUI attorney with experience with both DMV and San Diego County Court Proceedings.

Challenging an APS suspension is important because the outcome of an APS hearing is independent of the verdict of your criminal case. Just because you were arrested for DUI, it doesn’t always mean the DA will file criminal charges against you. The DMV acts independently of the criminal court so you have to mount a strong defense for both proceedings.

How to get the APS verdict you want 

An APS hearing is not as formal and intimidating as a court proceeding as you’ll sit down with a single DMV officer in the presence of your lawyer, without setting foot in a courthouse. In fact, you can even have yours over the phone if you prefer. The general practice is for the attorney to handle the DMV hearing without the client so that your life does not have to be disrupted.

So how can you be sure to influence the ruling in your favor? You’ll need to hire a competent and experienced lawyer to be on your side.

A knowledgeable attorney will be aware of the plausible arguments that could bail you out, some of which include:

  • The officer didn’t tell you that it’s a crime to refuse the test
  • You were not operating the vehicle at the time of the arrest
  • Your BAC was within the legal range, and that equipment error, or some other reason, is to blame 
  • The officer arrested you without probable cause or illegally
  • Even though your blood alcohol level was .08 or above at the time you took the test, it was below .08 at the time when you were driving the vehicle.

Your lawyer will be able to present the required evidence to support the argument.

What if you don’t win your Administrative Per Se DMV Hearing?

If this is your first DUI offense, the APS suspension period is for 6 months. If this is your second, third, or fourth DUI offense within 10 years, the suspension period is for one year. If you are currently on probation for a past DUI, you will suffer a ONE YEAR hard suspension without the ability to obtain a restricted privilege to drive. 

The good news is that as of January 1, 2019, the DMV rules changed allowing for the ability to immediately obtain a restricted privilege to drive as long as you have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. This avoids not being able to drive to work, your DUI program, shuttling kids around or going to the grocery store and all other necessary errands and travel. 

On the fence about hiring a DUI defense attorney, stop thinking about it, and do it now

Hiring a criminal defense attorney like Joni Eisenstein can help you go from a place of uncertainty to freedom.