Los Angeles DUI Lawyer information on DMV Hearings
If you were involved in a recent DUI arrest, you need to act fast to have any chance to save your license. This is because the DMV only gives you 10 days from the date of arrest to schedule a DMV hearing to save your license. Otherwise, they will automatically suspend your license.
DMV Consequences for First time DUI situations
For someone with a first time DUI, the suspension they are facing is 4 months. Additionally, in Los Angeles County, the driver must install an IID (Ignition Interlock Device) on their car before getting their license back.
DMV Consequences for 2nd or 3rd DUI situations
For DUI drivers with their 2nd or 3rd DUI… the suspension can range from 90 days hard suspension (meaning no driving whatsoever) to 10 years license suspension in extreme cases.
Factors considered by the DMV include:
-Age of Driver
-Did driver submit a chemical test
-How many prior DUI’s did the driver have within 10 years of the arrest
What will happen to my insurance rates?
Following a DUI arrest, you can expect your car insurance premiums to increase $2000 to $4000 per year. If you are successful at your DMV hearing, you can avoid these increased premiums.
Its critical to hire an attorney who understand DMV rules, DUI laws, and who will fight for the best possible results in your case. Pick up the phone and call a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer who knows the DMV rules and procedures so you can understand what to do next.
Should I Contact DMV Myself or Wait for an Attorney?
Because DMV hearings are legal proceedings effecting the driving privileges of the person involved. Therefore, it is important you contact a DUI attorney who can help you prepare for the hearing and handle the hearing for you. At the hearing, you could be asked questions whose answers could be used against you in court. DMV hearings have special procedural rules for things like discovery, cross examination of witnesses, evidence rules and other things only a lawyer would be competent in handling. It is not advisable to handle your DMV hearing by yourself.
DMV hearings are like mini-trials, so having a lawyer help you with them is the smartest step for most DUI drivers.
Once the DMV hearing begins, the DMV hearing officer acts as judge, jury, prosecutor and expert witness. These hearings are very one-sided, with all of the advantages being given to the police arresting officer. A DUI Lawyer will be able to help your case by knowing when a DMV Hearing Officer goes to far in the proceeding and makes the proper objections for the record. Your DUI Lawyer will be able to subpoena witnesses, collect evidence for your defense, and cross examine any witnesses (such as the arresting officer) that may testify at the hearing. Your DUI Lawyer will also be able to speak on your behalf, and argue the best possible argument for your case.
Should I set up the DMV hearing and then call a lawyer to go to it?
Sometimes DUI drivers call DMV themselves to select a hearing date. Then, they hire an attorney to go to the hearing for them. This is a bad idea for a number of reasons. First, the date you chose may not work for the lawyer, who could be busy on the day you set for the hearing. Second, the lawyer will want plenty of time to collect evidence, build defenses, and prepare your case. If you wait to call the lawyer, the delay may hinder them in properly building your case. Third, sometimes (in rare circumstances) it is advisable for drivers to not set a DMV hearing. (This is rare, but does occur for various reasons) so its best to speak to a DUI Lawyer who understands DUI and DMV Law.
Because of the complexities of a DMV hearing, it is certainly advisable for the attorney to request an in-person DMV hearing. This allows the lawyer to interact more with the hearing officer, to better cross examine witnesses, and to make sure everything is done on behalf of the client that could legally be done to ensure the best possible outcome for the client.
What factors does the DMV take into consideration?
Unfortunately, the DMV cannot take into consideration job loss or other hardships caused by a DMV license suspension. Your overall driving record isn’t taken into consideration (unless you have prior DUI’s) so an “otherwise perfect” driving record won’t help you at a DMV hearing.
The events leading up to your arrest, what you said, the field sobriety tests and chemical tests are all factors that the hearing officer will review.
What is actually argued at the DMV hearing in your case depends on the relevant facts of your case.
Possible Defenses for DMV hearings include:
-Did the officer have articulatable reasons to believe you were driving while intoxicated?
-Was the arrest lawful?
-Was your Blood Alcohol above .08% (or .01% if you are under 21)?
In cases where you refused to submit a chemical test (blood, breath or urine test) other issues present themselves.
Defenses that can be raised in a DUI refusal case are:
-Did the arresting officer have articulatable reasons to believe you were driving while intoxicated?
-Was the arrest lawful
-Was the DMV paperwork handled properly?
-Were you given the proper admonition that you could lose your license for 1 year if you refused to submit to a chemical test?
-Did you in fact refuse? Or was there a misunderstanding?
DMV hearing are serious affairs, so it pays to talk to a DUI lawyer who regularly handles DMV hearings and knows what defenses work in them.
For more information about DMV hearings, call our office and go over your case with a DUI lawyer during a free consultation.