If you or someone you know has been arrested for driving under the influence, it is imperative that you make initial contact with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within ten calendar days of the arrest to request an administrative hearing. If no hearing request is made, your driver license will be automatically suspended. Seeking help from an experienced DMV Defense Expert is the best way to ensure your rights are protected and the burden of dealing with the DMV can be eased.
How to Request a DMV Hearing
An experienced DMV Defense Expert can contact the California DMV on your behalf to schedule a hearing for you. The hearing will be convened at the DMV Driver Safety Office closest to the scene of your arrest. Your representative will formally notify the DMV of your request for a hearing and that you are being represented by an industry professional. Further, your advocate will request a Stay of Suspension so you can continue driving while the case develops. Also, a decision will be made to convene your hearing by telephone or in-person. Finally, your advocate will file a “Request for Discovery” which compels the DMV to provide copies of any evidence it intends to present at your hearing.
What to Expect at a DMV Hearing
A DMV Hearing Officer is an independent “Trier of Fact” who wears many hats. The Hearing Officer acts as the judge, prosecutor and jury. The assigned Hearing Officer will not only oversee the hearing, but will also make a final decision on your case based on any evidence or testimony that was presented. In the event the Hearing Officer rules against you, you may be able to request an Administrative Review with the DMV or even file a Writ of Mandate with the Superior Court. A DMV Defense Expert is familiar with these procedures and depending on your situation it may be a viable option.
You Have Lost Your Privilege to Drive, Now What?
The California Department of Motor Vehicles has the authority to revoke, restrict or suspend an individual’s privilege to drive and operate a motor vehicle following a DUI. This action is distinctly separate from any criminal charges you might be facing in the Superior Court.
If your driver license has been suspended, you may qualify for a restricted driver’s license. A restricted driver’s license permits you to operate a vehicle in a limited manner. The restricted license typically permits you to drive to and from work, during the course and scope of work and to and from any assigned DUI schools. The restricted license is specifically intended to prevent pleasure driving.
In the event that the results of your DMV Hearing are not favorable, you can expect an increase in insurance rates. This is because the law requires that any driver who loses a DMV Hearing or is convicted in court, must file a particular form of insurance known as an SR-22. When you ask your insurance company for an SR-22 form, the carrier will label you as a high-risk driver. Typically, a driver must maintain SR-22 insurance for a period of 3 years and your insurance carrier is required to inform the California DMV you cancel the insurance for any reason.
Adding even more stress is the fact that some insurance providers will decline to insure clients who have committed a DUI offense. Your insurance carrier can raise your rates or may entirely cancel your policy at any time following your DUI. The insurance carrier will then send you a notice of cancellation and you will be obligated to find another insurance company who is willing to cover you at a higher rate.
Seeking an DMV Industry Professional to Represent Your Case
If you have been arrested for DUI, you are definitely in jeopardy of losing your driver license. It is important to know that you may be able to protect your driving privilege with the help and service of a DMV Hearing Professional. A DMV Defense Expert can ease the stress of dealing with the DMV and can also help explain the entire process to you. Proper DMV Defense may be able to overcome the DMV’s intended suspension of your license; thereby saving you time, aggravation and money. The California Drivers Advocates are devoted DMV Defense Experts who will champion you at the DMV. You can learn more about their hearing defense at Administrative Per Se hearings (APS), by clicking here.