Steps to Defend at Negligent Operator Hearings
As discussed elsewhere in this site, a Negligent Operator Hearing is a formal, legal, proceeding conducted before a hearing officer of the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Essentially, a properly conducted Negligent Operator Hearing is somewhat similar to a “mini trial.” Exhibits are presented, evidence is considered, objections are made, and witnesses can testify. Our defense at Negligent Operator Hearings prepare our clients to present themselves and their case in the best possible light. Proper defense at a Negligent Operator Hearing is not something the average driver should attempt on their own. The issues are too complex and the presentation is too demanding to simply have a chat with the hearing officer. If you are facing the prospect of losing your driving privilege because the DMV believes you are a Negligent Operator, your best approach is to enlist the aid of a DMV Defense Expert from California Drivers Advocates (CDA).
The DMV Defense Experts from CDA have a proven history of winning Negligent Operator Hearings for our clients. Our defense at Negligent Operator Hearings is essentially made up of four stages: Investigation,Preparation,Presentation &Follow-Thru.
As simple as this may seem, the reality is each stage of our defense at a Negligent Operator Hearing has been developed from years of fighting with the DMV. Our DMV Defense Experts know what the DMV is looking for and we know how to anticipate the hearing officer’s questions even before they come. Our defense at a Negligent Operator Hearing works! You can WIN a Negligent Operator Hearing.
What Happens During the Investigation Stage?
The moment we are hired to protect you, we begin the preparation of your hearing by planning our defense at the Negligent Operator Hearing. Entering the investigation stage, we immediately contact the Driver Safety Office (DSO) nearest to your home to set a Negligent Operator Hearing and to request a “Stay of Suspension” so you may continue driving until the outcome of the hearing. Next, we interview you in great detail to learn who you are and what brought you to the attention of the DMV. Your driving history, work history, medical history, and criminal history are all points to be explored. We file the proper requests with the DMV which forces them to provide copies of any evidence they intend to use at the Negligent Operator Hearing.
Again, as simple as this may sound, it is critical to conduct a thorough investigation so that nothing is missed. The worst possible thing is to be surprised during your Negligent Operator Hearing by an issue you did not anticipate. A thorough investigation is a fundamental building block to our defense at a Negligent Operator Hearing.
What Happens During the Preparation Stage?
To be frank, the “Preparation Stage” is where most Negligent Operator Hearings are won or lost. This is where you will realize the depth of your DMV Expert’s experience. Our defense at a Negligent Operator Hearing is based upon our ability to accurately anticipate the hearing officer’s concerns and suspicions and be ready to address them before they even arise.
The “Preparation Stage” of our defense at a Negligent Operator Hearing may include:
- The issuance of subpoenas for police reports, accident reports, insurance reports, or any other documents that establish or explain your driving habits.
- The complete review of your driving record to ensure is accuracy. It is common for us to discover an error in a client’s driving record that makes a huge difference in the case.
- The interview of family, friends, employers, or other people who may possess valuable information regarding your driving habits or your need to drive.
- Purchase of Day Planners, Calendars or vehicle accessories that may demonstrate a change in driving behavior.
- Your attendance at specified driving schools or courses to demonstrate your knowledge of the rules of the road and a willingness to modify your driving habits.
- Preparation and service of “Notices of Affirmative Evidence” to the DMV as outlined in the Government Code. This is so your evidence will be accepted by the DMV. Otherwise, it can be rejected.
- Finally, and most importantly, to prepare you for examination and cross-examination during your Negligent Operator Hearing.
What Happens During the Presentation Stage?
Now that your case has been thoroughly investigated and properly prepared, it is time to actually conduct the Negligent Operator Hearing. With years of experience and hundreds of Negligent Operator Hearings conducted, your DMV Expert from CDA will know exactly where we’re going, exactly what we’re doing, and exactly who we’re dealing with. There should be no mystery to entering and conducting a Negligent Operator Hearing.
The Negligent Operator Hearing is conducted in the private office of a DMV Hearing Officer. This does not occur in an open courtroom or with dozens of people standing around. Usually, the only people present in the room are the Hearing Officer, the accused driver, and the DMV Defense Expert from CDA.
When the hearing begins, you will be “sworn in” and promise to tell the truth during your testimony. The hearing officer will introduce the issues to be discussed and then our defense at the Negligent Operator Hearing takes center stage. Because we are fully prepared, we will introduce your testimony, evidence, and witnesses. Because our defense for the Negligent Operator Hearing included preparation for cross-examination, you will be prepared to answer the hearing officer’s questions honestly, completely, and intelligently. There are no surprises. At the end of the Negligent Operator Hearing, your DMV Defense Expert from CDA will offer a closing argument to wrap everything up and bring focus and clarity to your case.
What Happens During the Follow-Thru Stage?
It is rare that a DMV Hearing Officer will announce their decision at the end of the Negligent Operator Hearing. In almost all cases, the hearing officer will take the matter “Under Submission,” and then render a written decision within about 10 days (depending upon work load, this can be significantly longer).
Once the hearing officer has rendered a written decision, your DMV Defense Expert from CDA will remain active to guide you through whatever “post hearing” issues require attention. Our defense at a Negligent Operator Hearing does not end the moment the Negligent Operator Hearing closes.
Our follow-thru may include contact with the DMV hearing officer to check the status of a decision. It may include follow-up with the Mandatory Actions Unit in Sacramento to ensure that your driving record is properly updated. If the purchase of an SR-22 Insurance Form is required, your DMV Defense Expert will be prepared to guide you toward a variety of professional providers. It is normal for drivers to have many questions at the end of their Negligent Operator Hearing and we’ll be there to help.
Call Us Now to Protect Your Driving Privilege.
Remember, if the DMV has identified you as a Negligent Operator, the suspension of your driver license is automatic. Defending yourself is not. The best defense at a Negligent Operator Hearing is timely, properly planned and professionally executed game plan. Call CDA now and allow our defense at a Negligent Operator Hearing to protect your driving future.