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DMV Win Negligent Operator Hearing San Bernardino

Case History: California Drivers Advocates was engaged to defend a client whose driver license was being suspended because the Department of Motor Vehicles had identified him as a Negligent Operator because of a series of criminal convictions.

Our 26 year old client is a military veteran and works as a control room operator for an electrical power plant.  In addition to commuting 50 miles each day to work, the maintenance of his driver license is a condition of employment.  Essentially, no driver license means no job.

In the span of four months, our client was arrested for DUI and a separate incident of Hit & Run. When those two criminal cases ended with guilty pleas, the DMV assessed a total of 4 violation points which is more than is permitted in a 12-month period.

 DMV’s Position: The California DMV’s position here is crystal clear.  Our client had been assessed two violation points for a conviction of DUI.  He was assessed an additional two points for a conviction of misdemeanor hit & run.  Finally, he was assessed a single point for the at fault traffic accident. This meant he had accumulated a total of 5 violation points  in less than one year.

California Vehicle Code Section 12810.5(a) determines….. “a person whose driving record shows a violation point count of four or more points in 12 months, six or more points in 24 months, or eight or more points in 36 months shall be prima facie presumed to be a negligent operator or a motor vehicle…”

So, based on a point count alone, the DMV will determine a person to be a Negligent or Incompetent driver and will move directly to remove that person from the road.  The DMV does not require anything more than a point accumulation to initiate a license suspension.

Our Defense: As is always the case, our defense began with a comprehensive interview of our client to learn everything about his personal history, medical history, criminal history and driving history.  It is imperative that we know everything about our clients so we can present them in the most favorable light.

Early in our investigation, we discovered that our client has been driving in California for more than ten years and that his driving record was spotless.  That caused us to question if there was something going on in our client’s life that caused an accumulation of criminal arrests in such a short period of time.  We discovered that our client had been burning the candle at both ends.  He was working double shifts to earn extra money and was taking a full load of college classes in order to qualify for a promotion at work.   As a result, he was not sleeping enough, was not eating right and had begun drinking heavily.  All of this was a recipe for disaster and wound up with him being arrested twice in a short period of time.

We spent a great deal of time preparing our client to testify at his hearing.   Because of our level of experience, we also recognized that the assigned hearing officer would be aggressive in cross-examination.  It was clearly important that our client be remorseful and willing to accept responsibility for his actions but he also needed to be prepared to face the verbal attack by the hearing officer.  Because of the extensive preparation, the normally nasty hearing officer was impressed and found our client to be credible and committed to modifying his driving behavior for the future.

Two weeks later, we received official notice that the hearing officer had terminated the suspension of our Client’s driver license and had placed him on driving probation. This grants our client full driving privileges (subject to his DUI probation); he simply cannot receive any additional citations for moving violations and cannot be the cause of a traffic accident for a period of one year. We were able to save our client’s driver license and thus he is still employed.

Call CDA Today.  We can keep you driving.

The DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates include former police officers, DMV Hearing Officers, Investigators and Scientists.  Our training, our experience and our reputation provide any driver, including commercial drivers, the best opportunity to win their Administrative Hearing.  If the DMV is working to suspend or revoke your driving privilege for any reason, give us a call.

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