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Why Do I Schedule/ Request an Administrative Per Se/DUI Hearing?
When any driver has been arrested for DUI in the State of California, they are thrown into the middle of two raging battles. First, the accused driver will be prosecuted by the local Superior Court in an attempt to convict them of a crime. Separate from that, however, the driver is also faced with the potential suspension or revocation of their driving privilege by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
In California, the Administrative Per Se Law permits the DMV to immediately suspend or revoke the driving privilege of any driver, if a law enforcement officer believes they were driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% greater.
In creating the Administrative Per Se Law, the California Legislature recognized the weight of automatically suspending a person’s driving privilege without any opportunity for Due Process. Based on this, California Law does permit an accused driver to defend themselves at an Administrative Hearing conducted by the DMV. This hearing is referred to as an Administrative Per Se or APS Hearing at the DMV.
The right to an Administrative Per Se Hearing is only granted if the accused driver makes a specific and timely request for the hearing.
Scheduling or Requesting an Administrative Per Se Hearing at the DMV is the only means by which a hearing will be granted and the accused driver be given an opportunity to defend himself. Furthermore, California Law specifically mandates that the accused driver make his or her Request for an Administrative Per Se Hearing within the first 10 “calendar” days following the arrest. This is not 10 “week days” but 10 actual “calendar” days, so weekends and holidays all factor into the equation. If the accused driver fails to Schedule/Request an Administrative Per Se/DUI Hearing within the first 10-Days, the right to a hearing is forfeit and the automatic suspension of the driver license goes into effect.
How Do I Schedule/Request an Administrative Per Se/DUI Hearing at the DMV?
In theory, Scheduling/Requesting an Administrative Per Se Hearing/DUI at the DMV should be as simple as picking up the telephone and making a 5-minute call. The problem is that the DMV is the quintessential government bureaucracy and they would prefer all accused drivers to simply “roll-over” and serve their suspensions like quiet little sheep. Consequently, the DMV is quite adept at being evasive, unyielding, and in some terrible instances, flat-out dishonest. Where a simple telephone call should be enough to schedule your hearing, if often is not.
At the time a driver is released from police custody, following a DUI arrest, the law mandates they be served with a “Notice of Suspension” (DS-367). This form is vague and does not clearly instruct the driver of what division of DMV is to be contacted. The form does an exemplary job of warning the driver that they must make contact with the DMV within 10-Days but does a terrible job of telling the driver where to go.
As a result, many drivers will walk into their local DMV Field Office seeking assistance. This is a mistake. The DMV Field Offices are set up to register vehicles and to provide driving tests for new drivers. They ARE NOT set up, and the employees ARE NOT trained to deal with Administrative Per Se issues, following a DUI arrest. As a consequence, information provided by DMV Field Office employees is very often incorrect and misleading.
When arrested for DUI, an accused driver must contact the Driver Safety Office which is most closely located to the place of arrest. The Driver Safety Offices are most often “stand-alone” locations that have no affiliation with the DMV Field Offices. The Driver Safety Office is the DMV version of a courthouse. The Driver Safety Office (DSO) is staffed by regular staff members (secretarial) and the DMV Hearing Officers. Within the world of the DMV, the Hearing Officer enjoys the same power as a Superior Court Judge.
Our best advice is that drivers should not attempt to contact the Driver Safety Office on their own. Contact the DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates (CDA) and we will assist you in making this important contact.
If you do seek to contact the DMV on your own, proper contact can be made:
- Facsimile Transmission
- US Mail
Here at CDA, we have come to recognize the problems in dealing with the overworked staff at the Driver Safety Office. Most often, errors in scheduling an Administrative Per Se Hearing are honest mistakes made by over-worked government employees. In some truly unfortunate instances, DMV employees will intentionally attempt to thwart a driver’s right to a hearing. If you plan to make contact with the DSO on your own, it is best to employ at least two of the methods listed above to make contact. Remember if you make your own contact with the DSO, document, document, and document.
When Scheduling or Requesting an Administrative Per Se Hearing at the DMV, one must decide if they want their hearing to be conducted “in-person” or by “telephone.” Our practice is to schedule most of these hearings “in-person.” Also, a driver must be prepared to request a “Stay of Suspension.” This means the driver is asking that the DMV “stop” the immediate suspension of the driver license until the outcome of the DMV Hearing.
The DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates have conducted Administrative Per Se Hearings at virtually every Driver Safety Office in the State of California. We have established professional working relationships with the DMV employees and hearing officers that benefit our clients’ cases. Call us today and let us work to Schedule or Request your Administrative Per Se Hearing at the DMV.
Let Us Schedule Your Administrative Per Se/DUI Hearing
The Administrative Per Se (APS) Hearing is a full-blown evidentiary hearing conducted under the provisions of California Administrative Law. Exhibits are introduced, objections are made, police officers and witnesses may testify, and legal arguments are waged. The Administrative Per Se Law was adopted to immediately take accused drunk drivers off the road. If you’ve been arrested for DUI, the only way to prevent the suspension or revocation of your driving is by winning an APS Hearing.
The very first step to winning any APS Hearing is to properly Schedule or Request an Administrative Per Se Hearing within the first 10-Days following your arrest. The request must be made timely and in a correct manner. You cannot afford to make mistakes from the very beginning. Call us immediately and allow us to contact the DMV on your behalf. The DMV personnel will not dissuade us or fail to document our timely contact with them.
Winning an APS Hearing requires that every step of the process be conducted correctly. Call the DMV Defense Experts at CDA now. We do it right!