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What is a Preponderance of Evidence at a DMV Administrative Hearing?
The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is the State Agency possessing the absolute power to grant a person the privilege to drive in the State of California. What many people do not realize is the broad power the DMV also possesses to strip a driver of that privilege. The California Vehicle Code (CVC) grants the DMV this power and outlines numerous reasons for the DMV to suspend or revoke the driving privilege of anyone who drives in this state. Some of the more common reasons for the DMV to suspend or revoke a driving privilege are:DUI, Negligent Operator, Physical or Mental Conditions, Lack of Skill, Fraudulent Activity & Driving without insurance (Financial Responsibility).
With very few exceptions, before the DMV can arbitrarily suspend or revoke a person’s driving privilege, the driver must be given the opportunity to defend themselves. The process by which an accused driver attempts to reverse the intended suspension/revocation of their driver license is through a DMV Administrative Hearing. These hearing are most often referred to as:
- An Administrative Per Se Hearing (APS), following an arrest for DUI.
- A Negligent Operator Hearing if a driver accumulates too many moving violations.
- A Re-Examination Hearing to address any Physical or Mental problems a driver may have.
- A Lack of Skill Hearing for those people who demonstrate a lack of knowledge or a lack of ability to safely drive.
- A Fraudulent Activity Hearing for those persons accused of obtaining a driver license fraudulently or using a driver license in a fraudulent manner.
- A Financial Responsibility Hearing for those drivers involved in traffic collisions when they are not properly insured.
DMV Administrative Hearings are complicated as they are full-blown evidentiary hearings where evidence is introduced, witnesses testify and legal arguments are entered. It is nearly impossible for the average driver to successfully defend themselves at any of the listed Administrative Hearings. If the DMV is seeking to suspend your driver license, call the DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates. We can help.
All Americans have become accustomed to a standard of proof that is applied during criminal court proceedings. Nearly anyone on the street will tell you that if you are accused of a crime, the prosecution must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that you are guilty. If not, the charges must be dropped or you must be acquitted. This is the highest standard of proof applied in the justice systems throughout the world.
The standard or proof at a DMV Administrative Hearing, however, is much less. For the DMV to rule against a driver and to strip them of their driving privilege, it only needs to prove guilt by a “mere preponderance of the evidence.”
Black’s Law Dictionary defines a Preponderance of Evidence as “A standard of proof in civil cases, is evidence which is of greater weight or more convincing that the evidence which is offered in opposition to it………… That is, evidence which as a whole shows that the fact sought to be proved is more probable than not.”
In other words, if the evidence at an Administrative Hearing were placed on a set of scales, and the weight supporting guilt is greater than the weight supporting innocence, the DMV Hearing Officer will find on the side of guilt. This is a terribly low standard or proof and one that should give a driver cause for great concern.
Although this standard of proof is incredibly low, a DMV Administrative Hearing can still be won. The Preponderance of Evidence can be shifted to such a degree as to make it more probable than not that the accused driver is innocent. This requires a deep understand of the law, and years of experience with the DMV. It also requires a certain amount of cunning.
The DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates possess all of these qualities, and more. We have been winning all forms of DMV Administrative Hearings for years and we are ready to go to work on your case. Call us today!
How Can I Reverse the Preponderance of Evidence?
To put it bluntly, it is highly unlikely that the average driver in California will stand a chance of rebutting the DMV’s evidence at an Administrative Hearing. To prevail in such a hearing requires a commanding knowledge of a wide range of laws and codes. It requires the ability to study and assess the evidence from both sides of the fence. It also requires the knowledge and the willingness to conduct a complete investigation and to determine the truth. Finally, it requires the ability to put knowledge into action.
DMV Administrative Hearings can be won because a police officer does not have probable cause for his actions. These hearings can be won because documents or reports are not properly introduced as evidence. They can be won because affirmative evidence reveals that the evidence against you is dishonest or untrustworthy.
The secret to success is knowledge, experience, investigation, and action. The DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates are a team of former police officers, DMV hearing officers, investigators, and forensic scientists with the knowledge, experience, and desire to beat
Call Us Today and Let Us Work to Shift the Preponderance of Evidence to You.
We employ a team concept in DMV Defense that has been winning DMV Administrative Hearings throughout California for years. From Redding to San Diego, our team can stand beside you and get the job done correctly. Don’t lose your driver license because you’re unprepared for the fight. Call CDA today, were ready to fight for you.
Call CDA today, we have been fighting and winning APS Hearings for years. We’re ready to go to work for you.