My Driver License has been Suspended for a Vision Problem. How do I fight this?
If you have received an Order of Suspension/Revocation from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) because the department suspects your vision does not meet the minimum requirement for driving, you have been effectively taken off the road by a Government Agency who does not care about your need to drive. The fact that we all have bills to pay and people to provide for is not relevant. The DMV puts the safety of the motoring public before all else…. Period!
Also, a suspension/revocation of this nature is for an indeterminate period of time. This means there is no automatic date by which you regain your driving privilege. With this type of action, your privilege to operate a motor vehicle will remain suspended or revoked forever; or until you take the initiative to prove to the department that you are fit to drive.
You also should be prepared for the fact that the DMV will use your vision issue as a launch point to examine every aspect of your knowledge, skill, and fitness to drive. So, if you believe you only need to be prepared to present evidence and testimony regarding your vision, you’re wrong. Once the DMV has it claws in you, they will examine every aspect of your life that could affect your ability to drive.
So… you’ve received your order from the DMV. What do you do now? Well, first of all don’t panic. In almost every instance, the damage can be repaired and you can be returned to driving. You have to expect the process to be long and frustrating but, in the end, you should be able to regain your privilege to drive.
The path to success requires several steps. Here are a few things to consider:
- Consider Representation: Administrative Hearings conducted by the DMV’s Driver Safety Office (DSO) are complex legal proceedings that few drivers have any experience with. Because of the complexity of these proceedings and because the DMV will give you little or no assistance, you should strongly consider hiring a DMV Defense Expert to represent you. The DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates (CDA), have been representing drivers in vision hearings for many years. Consulting with us is free and is a good way to get a good overview of what you’re headed for. Give us a call for a free consultation.
- Request an Administrative Hearing: Whether we represent you or you represent yourself, there is a critically important requirement that you contact the DMV in a very short period of time to request a hearing. Contact must be made with the Driver Safety Office (DSO) closest to your home to request an administrative hearing. If your Order of Suspension/Revocation was delivered by mail, you must make contact with the DSO within 14 days of the day when the order was written. If the order has provided to you “in-person” by a DMV employee, you only have 10 days to make that contact. There are critical protocols to consider before setting a hearing. Do you require a period of control before the hearing? Will you have difficulty getting doctors appointments before the hearing? Who will be your assigned hearing officer? As you can see, there is quite a lot to consider before just setting a hearing date out of hand. Once you engage CDA as your representative, we will contact the DSO on your behalf to ensure your rights are properly protected and we are assigned the best hearing officer available.
- Begin collecting your Evidence: Depending on the individual facts in your case, it’s now time for us to guide you through the process of collecting the medical evidence we must present at your hearing. Remember, the DMV will initially focus upon the vision issue that brought you to their attention, but then they will look into every other aspect of your physical/medical/mental health to ensure you are fit to drive; and your defense must be prepared to address those additional inquiries. The DMV Defense Experts at CDA have been conducing Administrative Hearings for decades and we know how to anticipate every game the DMV will play and be ready to head it off at the pass.
- Prepare for Testimony: One of the most vital benefits of being represented by CDA is our skill and knowledge when it comes to preparing you for testimony. We have appeared before every Driver Safety Hearing Officer in every DSO in the State. Each hearing officer has their own way of doing things and each one will have a different level of questioning for which we must be prepared. There is no substitute for being represented by a professional who knows the hearing officer and knows what that person is looking for. Once we fully understand the case and the evidence, we will prepare you to answer every possible question that may be asked. Preparation is key.
- Conduct the Hearing: As stated before, this type of administrative hearing is conducted like a mini trial. There are essentially three phases to this type of hearing:
- Documentary Evidence: This is the phase where we introduce all of the exhibits that we have collected to prove your fitness to drive.
- Testimonial Evidence: This is where we directly exam you in front of the Hearing Officer to further establish your fitness to drive.
- Legal Argument: This is where we use the provisions of the Vehicle Code and the Government Code to argue for the restoration of your driving privilege.
- After the hearing: After the hearing is concluded, and depending on the facts in your individual case, you may be asked to take a written test and a driving test to demonstrate that you possess both the knowledge and the skill to drive.
- Notice of Findings and Decision: Once you have crossed all of the hurdles laid before you by the DMV, the assigned hearing officer must render a final decision and notify all parties involved of that decision. These decisions are provided in writing and normally arrive in the mail within 15 days of the last event (Hearing or Driving Test).
Who can help me win my Vision Hearing?
The DMV Defense experts at California Drivers Advocates (CDA) have been fighting and winning this type of Administrative Hearing before the California DMV for decades. Our step-by-step approach to defense allows us to present you and your case in the best light possible. There simply is no substitute for preparation and that is where we have really earned our reputation. Many times, when we have finished directly examining our Clients, the DMV hearing officers simply sit back and say they have nothing to ask because our presentation has been so thorough.
If you must face the DMV to regain your privilege to drive, don’t attempt this on your own. In all likelihood, you will become terribly frustrated and end up losing your hearing. Remember, the DMV is not there to help you, but we are. Call CDA today.