What is a Negligent Operator at the California DMV? – As Californians, we all grow up knowing that driving in California is not a right but a privilege. Essentially, this means that once we earn our California Driver License, we must obey the rules and act responsibly or our privilege to drive may be taken away. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is the government entity empowered to monitor the driving habits of all persons who drive in California and to suspend or revoke that privilege if they don’t play by the rules.
The California DMV is empowered to suspend or revoke your privilege to drive for a variety of reasons:
- Driving Under the Influence
- Financial Responsibility
- Physical or Mental Problems
- Lack of Skill
- Negligent Operator
In this chapter, we discuss the DMV’s power to suspend a driver’s privilege to drive because they have been identified as a Negligent Operator. The label of Negligent Operator is liberally applied to a driver when the DMV suspects that he or she has a demonstrated history of unsafe or dangerous driving. For the most part, the DMV will label a driver as a Negligent Operator for one of the following reasons:
- Accumulating too many “points” for moving violations in a specific period of time.
- Being involved in too many traffic accidents in a specified period of time.
- Causing or contributing to a “serious injury” accident.
- Causing or contributing to a “fatality” accident.
- Any other incident or pattern of driving that is considered unsafe (i.e. road rage, reckless driving).
If the DMV has identified you as a Negligent Operator, they believe your driving history or habits demonstrate that you represent a hazard to yourself and the public. Based on this, the DMV will begin the steps to suspend or revoke your driver license to remove the perceived threat from the road.
What is a Negligent Operator Hearing at the DMV? Most drivers will learn that the DMV has identified them as a Negligent Operator when they receive an Order of Probation and Suspension in the mail. This letter should clearly identify the reason the DMV has identified you as a Negligent Operator and the effective date of the intended suspension. Also contained in the order is information that advises of your right to a hearing to contest the suspension.
Important Note: If you have received an “Order of Probation and Suspension” for being a Negligent Operator, you only have 14 days to request a Negligent Operator Hearing. If you or your representative do not contact the DMV within the first 14 days, your right to a hearing is forfeit and your driver license will be suspended on the effective date.
Even though the act of driving in California is a privilege, possession of the California Driver License is a vested property right. This means that if the government seeks to remove your driver license, you have a right to Procedural Due Process to defend yourself.
If you wish to prevent the suspension of your driver license for Negligent Operation, you must schedule, prepare and win a Negligent Operator Hearing at the Driver Safety Office closest to your home. A Negligent Operator hearing is a full-blown evidentiary hearing that is run very much like a mini trial. Evidence is introduced, witnesses may testify and legal arguments are heard. Very few California drivers have the necessary training and experience to successfully represent themselves at a California DMV hearing. Without question, an accused driver has the best chance for winning a Negligent Operator hearing if they are represented by a DMV Defense Expert.
The DMV Defense Experts from California Drivers Advocates (CDA) have been fighting and winning Negligent Operator Hearings for years. We have the experience necessary to carefully investigate the DMV’s case and then prepare a comprehensive defense to keep you driving. The Negligent Operator hearing at the California DMV can be frustrating and confusing. Don’t let the DMV steal your driver license because you were not prepared. You don’t have to fight the DMV alone so call CDA today.
How can I protect myself? Everything the DMV does is time sensitive so you have no time to waste. If you have received an “Order of Probation and Suspension” which labels you as a Negligent Operator, there is no question that the DMV intends to suspend your privilege to drive. If you simply cannot endure the loss of your driving privilege, or if you believe the action is not warranted, you simply must react immediately.
Call the DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates. We will immediately contact the Driver Safety Office to schedule a Negligent Operator Hearing. We will also request a “Stay of Suspension” which will STOP the suspension of your license until the hearing has been concluded. Next, we will conduct a complete investigation of the facts and prepare you to win your hearing. We will be side by side with you through every step of the hearing process. The suspension of your driver license is automatic……….. defending yourself is not. If you must prevent the suspension of your driver license, call CDA today. We are ready to begin working for you.