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Frequently Asked Questions About DUI License Suspension in California

Posted on in DUI

San Francisco DUI defense lawyerThough the United States is one country, there are 50 states that make up the country - and each can make their own laws. Because of this, many DUI laws differ from state to state, and that can cause confusion over what kinds of penalties will be given for a DUI conviction. Whether you are a new resident to California, a new driver on the road, or just are not clear on what the laws are surrounding DUI license suspensions in California, everyone can use a refresher on current laws and punishments for driving under the influence.

Can I Still Drive While DUI Charges Are Pending?

Yes, but only if you request a DMV hearing within 10 days after your arrest. If you do so, you will be able to retain your driving privileges until your case has been resolved.

In California, the state has put into place what is called an “admin per se” license suspension, which is carried out by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and is an action that is independent of any criminal DUI charges you may be facing in court. If you were pulled over for a DUI and the officer asked you to complete a chemical test, you face an admin per se license suspension if:

  • Your BAC was determined to be .08 or more while driving a noncommercial vehicle;
  • Your BAC was determined to be .01 or more while on DUI probation; or
  • You refused to submit to chemical testing to determine your BAC.

The officer will take your current license, send it to the DMV to be destroyed, and issue you an Order of Suspension/Revocation, which usually includes a temporary driver’s license that is valid for 30 days after the date of your arrest.

Can I Fight the License Suspension/Revocation?

You have 10 days after your Order of Suspension/Revocation is issued to you to challenge the admin per se suspension. You must request a hearing with the DMV to prove why the suspension or revocation was not justified by presenting your testimony and/or other evidence that proves you did not deserve to have your license suspended.

How Long Will My License Be Suspended or Revoked?

The length of time during which your license will be suspended or revoked is dependent on whether or not you submitted to the chemical test, whether or not you have previous DUI convictions, and whether or not you were driving while under DUI probation. If your BAC was determined to be over .08 while driving a noncommercial vehicle, your license may be suspended for four months for a first conviction, or one year for more than one offense in the past 10 years. If your BAC was over .01 and you are on DUI probation, your license could be suspended for an additional year.

If you refused to take a chemical test, your license may be suspended for one year if it is your first DUI offense, two years if it is your second offense in 10 years, or three years if it is your third or subsequent offense.

Get Help From an Experienced San Francisco DUI Defense Attorney

A DUI charge can be devastating; not only will your driving privileges be affected, you will also have a criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life. If you have been charged with a DUI in Santa Clara County, you should immediately contact a skilled and knowledgeable San Francisco DUI defense attorney. The Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson can help you fight your DUI charge and keep you in the driver’s seat. Call the office today at 408-246-3004 to schedule a consultation.



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