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What is an Administrative Per Se Hearing and why do I need one?

What is an Administrative Per Se Hearing and why do I need one?

In 1990, California joined 27 other states in implementing a new law aimed at immediately taking drunk drivers off the road.  Known as the Administrative Per Se Law, this permits a police officer to immediately seize the driver license of any person believed to be driving under the influence of alcohol.  That’s right, under Administrative Per Se (APS), a police officer is empowered to steal one of your most important rights without a hearing or any offer of proof.

Recognizing the enormous impact an immediate license suspension can have on a person’s life, the California Legislature also provided that the suspension can be delayed for a short period of time; allowing the accused driver to contest the lawfulness of the suspension at an Administrative Per Se Hearing.

The State believes that by putting off the immediate suspension and by allowing a person to argue at an Administrative Per Se Hearing, the driver is afforded Due Process.  We disagree.  Once a police officer takes a license and the Administrative Per Se process begins, that action appears on the driving record.  The damage is done.  This can cause the driver to be uninsurable and to potentially lose their job.

If a police officer has seized your driver license for driving under the influence of alcohol, you must schedule an Administrative Per Se Hearing within the first 10 calendar days following the event, or the suspension of your driving privilege is automatic.  The Administrative Per Se Hearing is the only opportunity to protect your driving future.  Without an Administrative Per Se Hearing, your driving privilege will be suspended-Period!

 How do I get an Administrative Per Se Hearing?

When a person is arrested for DUI, their license is seized and the arresting officer issues a document known as a “Notice of Suspension.” The Notice of Suspension makes a brief reference to calling a phone number listed at the top of the form.  That telephone number (916-657-0214) is in small print at the top-right corner of the form.  That telephone number always rings busy and, even if you are able to connect, a recorded voice will give you little information.

To successfully schedule an Administrative Per Se Hearing, the accused driver must make contact with the Driver Safety Office that covers the area where the arrest occurred.  There are 15 Driver Safety Offices in California and you must contact the correct office.

Scheduling an Administrative Per Se Hearing should be as simple as telephoning the correct office and providing the necessary information to a DMV staff member who then schedules your hearing.  Unfortunately, the staff members who answer the phones are specifically instructed to dissuade a driver from scheduling an Administrative Per Se Hearing.  Many times drivers are told that Administrative Per Se Hearings cannot be won.  This is blatantly incorrect and all California drivers should demand their right to defend themselves at an Administrative Per Se Hearing.

Scheduling an Administrative Per Se Hearing can be frustrating and full of obstacles.  The DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates, know precisely how to schedule an Administrative Per Se Hearing even when the DMV would prefer to discourage it. Call CDA, we can assist you in making sure your rights are protected and that your Administrative Per Se Hearing is properly presented.And above all else, remember to act within the first 10 calendar days following your arrest!!!

What happens at an Administrative Per Se Hearing?

All Administrative Per Se Hearings are legal proceedings that are conducted in the personal office of an assigned DMV Hearing Officer.  Because the DMV operates under the guidelines of California Administrative Law, the DMV Hearing Officers are not required to be attorneys or judges.  They are DMV employees.

Under California Administrative Law, the DMV Hearing Officer is instructed to presume that all of the evidence is correct and that the accused driver is guilty of drunk driving. Completely opposite of what occurs in California Courts; at an Administrative Per Se Hearing, you are presumed guilty and then given a chance to show the DMV why they are wrong.

If handled correctly, the Administrative Per Se Hearing is run similar to a mini-trial.  Essentially, this is an opportunity for the driver to demonstrate their innocence or that the evidence presented by the DMV is illegal or inaccurate.  As simple as that may sound however, it is nearly impossible for a lay person to successfully win an Administrative Per Se Hearing.  The Hearing Officer will demand that certain protocols are followed and that any evidence presented is done so in accordance with the Evidence Code and the Government Code.

The outcome of an Administrative Per Se Hearing is win or lose. If the hearing is won, the driving privilege is reinstated.  If the hearing is lost, the Hearing Officer will order a period of suspension or revocation.

You should have no illusions about what is at stake.  The DMV flatly believes you are guilty of DUI and is blindly devoted to suspending your license.  The only way to beat the DMV is to schedule, investigate, and win the Administrative Per Se Hearing. 

 We can help you schedule and win your Administrative Per Se Hearing.

California Drivers Advocates (CDA) provides only one service.  We defend drivers at Administrative Hearings at the DMV; including the Administrative Per Se Hearing.  That’s it………nothing else.  CDA uses the most experienced Administrative Advocates, Investigators, and Forensic Scientists, to provide a cutting edge defense at an Administrative Per Se Hearing.

The moment you are released from custody or learn that the DMV intends to suspend your driver license, call CDA.  We will take immediate steps to contact the appropriate Driver Safety Office to schedule your Administrative Per Se Hearing.

Remember the suspension of your driving privilege is automatic……..Defending yourself is not!  Call the experts at California Driver Advocates, we can put you on the path to winning your Administrative Per Se Hearing.

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