What happens at the El Segundo DMV Office?
There are different types of DMV offices: there are general branch offices that most people are familiar with that have long lines and staff that handles driver tests, title and registration paperwork and license renewals. Then, there are offices called “Driver Safety Offices” or DSO’s. DSO offices handle administrative hearings that limit or restrict eligibility for driver’s licenses.
APS, P&M and Negligent Operator Hearings: Your right to a lawyer.
DSO offices are concerned with driver license restrictions or limitations for safety related issues. These include:
-DUI (which are handled in an APS or “administrative per se” hearing)
-P & M (Colloquially abbreviated for “Physical and Mental”) hearings where someone with a medical condition can have their license suspended or limited.
–Negligent Operator hearings (Where a Driver has accrued too many “points” and faces a suspension based on poor driving record)
In both APS and P&M hearings, the driver has an absolute right to a lawyer to represent them. (Lawyers are not provided free of charge for indigent persons (like public defenders in criminal court cases) ). Although a free lawyer isn’t a right, a driver facing an APS or P&M hearing has the right to hire a lawyer to help them:
-Prepare evidence for the hearing
-Subpoena documents or other evidence that will help the driver
-Cross-examine witnesses that may testify against the driver
-Object and move to strike inadmissible evidence in the hearing itself.
APS or P&M hearings are not “informal interviews” or everyday occurrences. They are serious legal proceedings that impact the driving privileges of the people involved and can result in suspensions as short as 30 days to as long as a life time ban on driving.
What happens at a DMV Hearing?
At the hearing itself, a DMV employee called a “Hearing Officer” will conduct the proceedings. The hearing happens in a small office that can seat the Hearing Officer and up-to 3 people. During the hearing, the Hearing Officer will act as judge, jury AND prosecutor, putting on the evidence the DMV has in the case. Evidence in DMV hearings is usually in the form of sworn police reports, or laboratory reports. Witnesses may be called in to testify, and do so under oath, administered by the Hearing Officer.
The El Segundo DMV DSO Office is located at:
390 North Sepulveda, El Segundo, CA.