Why have I received an Order of Probation and Suspension from the DMV? If you have just opened an envelope mailed by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and found that it contains an Order of Probation and Suspension, you have just been put on notice that the DMV has begun the process to suspend or revoke your driver license. That’s right, without any other warning, the DMV has just fired a warning shot across your bow and you must react quickly or you will be taken off the road.
The DMV issues the Order of Probation and Suspension to any driver they have determined is a Negligent Operator. What this means is the DMV has concluded that your driving record or driving habits demonstrate a pattern of driving that is dangerous and they seek to protect the public by yanking you off the road….. Period!
Let’s be clear………. If you have received an Order of Probation and Suspension from the California DMV, the department is not suggesting that it MAY suspend your driver license. The DMV has just put you on notice that they have labeled you as a Negligent Operator and that they have already begun the process of taking you off the road. If you don’t react quickly, your license WILL BE SUSPENDED!
Surely your first reaction will be surprise, anger and then fear. Your first questions will be:
- What gives the DMV the power to do this?
- How do I protect myself?
What gives the DMV the power to suspend my driver license?
All of the DMV’s power is derived by the California Legislature and is defined and directed by the California Vehicle Code (CVC).
CVC Section 12809(e): “The department may refuse to issue or renew a driver’s license to any person if the department determines that the applicant is a negligent or incompetent operator of a motor vehicle.”
CVC Section 13359: “The department may suspend or revoke the privilege of any person to operate a motor vehicle upon any of the grounds which authorize the refusal to issue a license.”
Generally, the DMV will label a driver as a Negligent Operator for any of the following reasons:
- A driver who accumulates too many “points” from moving violations in a specified period of time.
- A driver who accumulates too many “points” from traffic accidents in a specified period of time.
- A driver who has caused or contributed to a “serious injury” traffic accident.
- A driver who has caused or contributed to a “fatality” traffic accident.
- A driver who has demonstrated any other negligent or incompetent driving that constitutes an immediate hazard to the public (i.e. road rage, reckless driving).
It is the publicized mission of the DMV to ensure that all drivers maintain the knowledge, skill and capability to safely drive. If at any time, the DMV determines that a driver demonstrates an instance or pattern of unsafe operation, the department may label that driver as a Negligent Operator and will work quickly to suspend or revoke that person’s privilege to drive. Once that determination is made, the DMV will issue an Order of Probation and Suspension and the process begins.
How do I protect myself? Once the initial shock of receiving the Order of Probation and Suspension has passed, the first thing you should do is take the time to read the document carefully. Normally the Order of Probation and Suspension is a 4-page document.
Page No. 1: This is the actual order which describes the action being taken by the DMV and the Vehicle Code sections which grant the authority to do so. This page will also document the effective date of the suspension and how long the suspension will run before you are eligible for reinstatement. This page will also advise you of your right to a hearing.
Page No. 2: This page explains your right to an administrative hearing. The most important topic on this page is the requirement to contact the DMV within 14 days of the “mailing date” of the order. Failure to contact the DMV within that time frame will constitute a forfeiture of your right to hearing and your license will be suspended. Don’t let this happen.
Page No. 3: This is a “Summary of Driving Record.” This provides the actual information that has caused the DMV to take the suspension action. If you have accumulated too many points, been involved in too many accidents or a combination thereof, it will be spelled out on this page.
Page No. 4: This page contains information on how a driver may provide “Proof of Financial Responsibility.” If the driver license is suspended or revoked for negligent operation, it will not be reinstated until an appropriate form of insurance has been filed with the DMV. This is normally completed by filing an SR-22 form.
Once you have carefully absorbed the information in the Order of Probation and Suspension, it is time to act. You should immediately pick up the telephone and call the DMV Defense Experts from California Drivers Advocates (CDA). CDA is a group of Administrative Law specialists with a long history of fighting and winning Negligent Operator hearings. Our team is comprised of Administrative Advocates, former police officers, former DMV hearing officers, investigators and scientists with an exclusive focus on winning DMV administrative hearings. This is the sole focus of our practice and we do it very, very well.
Once you have engaged us as your DMV Defense representative, CDA will immediately contact the DMV to schedule a Negligent Operator hearing and to request a “Stay of Suspension” so that the scheduled suspension of your license is stopped until the outcome of the hearing.
With the immediate hazards avoided, CDA will then begin the process of investigating and preparing your case for victory. DMV Hearing Officers have come to recognize that when we walk in the door with our clients, we come prepared to do battle. We present comprehensive and robust attacks on the DMV’s case and work diligently to demonstrate that our clients can be trusted to safely continue driving. Everything the DMV does is time sensitive, so you must be prepared to begin your defense without delay. Call CDA today, we are ready to begin working to save your driving privilege.