What to Expect at Your DMV Hearing

dmv hearing

An arrest for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) can be a harrowing experience. The possibility of hefty fines, the loss of your driver’s license and the consequences for your future can be a lot to take in at once. What many people do not realize is that you actually face two different legal proceedings after an arrest for DUI. One takes place in a criminal court and the other takes place at the Department of Motor Vehicles. 

What is a DMV Hearing? 

The results of the “admin per se” hearing will determine whether or not you will lose your driving privileges with the California DMV.  This is an administrative hearing, not a criminal hearing. The DMV will only deal with matters pertaining to whether or not your driver’s license will be suspended. This hearing does not determine fines, jail time or other penalties associated with a DUI conviction. 

Upon an arrest for driving under the influence, the officer will take your driver’s license. In its place, you will receive a “Notice of Suspension.” This pink slip of paper acts as your driver’s license for a period of 30 days. If you do nothing at this point, your license will be suspended after the 30 day period. 

However, the “Notice of Suspension” also informs you of your right to request a DMV hearing. This request must be made within 10 days of your arrest. If you request a DMV hearing after the 10 days, you will be unable to plead your case in front of the DMV hearing officer and your license will automatically be suspended 30 days after your arrest. 

What are your rights at your DMV hearing? 

Even though the DMV hearing is not a criminal legal proceeding, you still have rights that must be upheld. One right that you should exercise at a California DMV hearing is your right to have your attorney present. DMV hearings are more informal than criminal proceedings, but they can still have serious consequences that can dramatically impact your ability to work, go to school or care for your children. If you need help navigating your San Diego DUI, contact the Law Office of Joni Eisenstein today. 

Similar to a criminal court, you have the chance to review and challenge any evidence brought against you, as well as the ability to present your own evidence for your defense. Some of the rights that you are afforded during a DMV administrative hearing include the right to: 

  • Representation by an attorney paid for by the defendant 
  • Review the DMV’s evidence against you
  • Present evidence for your own defense
  • Testify for your own defense 
  • A written decision from the DMV
  • An administrative review if the DMV’s decision is not in your favor 

How can you win your DMV hearing? 

A California DMV administrative hearing is presided over by a DMV officer. Their job is to determine if there is enough evidence to support a DUI charge. If so, they will decide to revoke your driving privileges until certain conditions are met. The DMV officer will consider if there was probable cause for the arrest as well as the results of any tests that were done at the time of the arrest. The officer will also determine if the arrest was legal. 

An attorney with experience fighting DUIs in California will know how to present a strong argument on your behalf. Depending on the specific facts of your case, there are a number of options for challenging your charges during the DMV hearing: 

  • There was no probable cause for the arrest.
  • The officer at your arrest neglected to wait the required 15-minute observation period. 
  • The testing equipment for the breath test was faulty. 
  • The results of the breath test were inaccurate due to a pre-existing health condition or some other known factor.
  • The arresting officer failed to tell you required information during a DUI arrest.

Don’t Fight Your California DUI on Your Own

The loss of your license can be more than just inconvenient. It can significantly change the way you live your life. When you have been arrested for a DUI in Oceanside, San Diego or the surrounding area, do not wait to contact an experienced DUI attorney. Joni Eisenstein has over 25 years of experience helping her clients fight their criminal charges. Before you step foot in your DMV hearing or a courtroom, make sure you have the right legal counsel by your side. 

Contact the Law Office of Joni Eisenstein today to schedule a free consultation with our tenacious Oceanside DUI attorney.