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What Are the Advantages of a Requesting a DMV Hearing in California?

Posted on in DUI

San Francisco DUI defense attorneyIn the state of California, a driver who has been arrested for a DUI has 10 days to request a hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to keep his or her driving privileges. A DMV hearing is an administrative proceeding involving the suspension of your driving privilege only. It is a completely separate matter from a criminal case for a DUI charge. If a motorist fails to request a hearing, his or her driver's license will be suspended. It is important to know you are not required to request a DMV hearing after a DUI arrest, so you may want to discuss the potential advantages with a skilled DUI lawyer.

Due Process

In California, due process of law entitles you to a notice if the DMV intends to revoke your driver’s license and gives you an opportunity to be heard. The DMV hearing focuses on the details of your arrest and your driving privileges. It does not decide your innocence or guilt of a criminal act. Some of the issues discussed at a DMV hearing include the following:

  • Whether or not you took a blood, breath, or urine test.
  • Did the police officer have reasonable cause to pull you over if he or she believed you were in violation of the law.
  • Was your placed under lawful arrest?
  • Were you operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher in your system?
  • Whether or not you refused or failed a blood, breath, or urine test.

These issues may seem fairly straightforward, but there could be factors that made your arrest unlawful or without probable cause. For example, the arresting officer could make a mistake in the police report or fail to note an important detail.

If you are successful at your DMV hearing, that may give you an advantage with the prosecution during plea-bargaining for your DUI criminal case. In some cases, if the DMV hearing shows substantial flaws in the state's case, it could even persuade the prosecutor to dismiss your DUI charges altogether. It is best to seek legal counsel to understand California DUI arrest laws and how they apply to your case.

Contact a San Francisco DMV Hearing Defense Attorney

If you are facing a DUI charge in California, you have the right to request a DMV hearing. Separate from a criminal case, this proceeding can allow you to retain your driver’s license. You should speak to a knowledgeable San Jose DUI lawyer to learn the process of a DMV hearing and how it might impact your driving privileges. Call the Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson at 408-246-3004 for a free consultation today.



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