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What is an Administrative Per Se Hearing at the DMV?
Whenever a driver is arrested for driving with an alcohol level of .08% or greater, California’s Administrative Per Se Law mandates that the person’s driver license be immediately seized and suspended by the arresting law enforcement officer. In the legal community, this is known as the “stop and snatch.”
Although the Administrative Per Se Law was enacted as a means immediately remove potentially dangerous drivers from the road, it is contrary to the legal protections all Americans enjoy. Under our system of justice, it is inappropriate for an accused person to be convicted and punished without being given the opportunity to defend themselves. This is Due Process.Recognizing that the Administrative Per Se Law grants the government broad power to seize an incredibly valuable property right from a driver, the California Legislature added a provision to the law which allows an accused driver to be granted a “temporary” driving privilege and to present a defense against the intended suspension of their driving privilege.
The process by which an accused driver is permitted to defend themselves is a legal proceeding called an Administrative Per Se Hearing. Often referred to as an APS Hearing, this is a full evidentiary hearing convened before a DMV Hearing Officer at the DMV Office of Driver Safety.If properly conducted, the APS Hearing at the DMV permits the accused driver to present evidence, attack evidence, and to cross-examine law enforcement officers or other witnesses. The accused driver may present their own expert witnesses or any other relevant evidence to rebut (disprove) the DMV’s case.
The APS Hearing at the DMV is run in accordance with the provisions of California Administrative Law. The rules of evidence and standards of proof are entirely different than what is common in a court of law. Because of this, most drivers find it impossible to properly conduct an APS Hearing themselves. In fact, most attorneys are not trained sufficiently to properly defend drivers at these complex hearings.
At California Drivers Advocates (CDA), DMV Defense is all we do. The DMV Defense Experts at CDA have been fighting and winning APS Hearings at the DMV for many years. Our proven approach to an APS Hearing gives our client’s the best opportunity to regain their driving privilege.
Why Do I Need an Administrative Per Se Hearing at the DMV?
When a person is arrested in California and charged with DUI they have two entirely separate issues working against them:
- A criminal case will be filed with the court alleging that the driver committed a crime.
- An administrative suspension of the accused person’s driver license is initiated and will proceed regardless of the outcome of the criminal case.
If you have been arrested for DUI in California, the DMV will automatically initiate the process to suspend or revoke your driving privilege. The length and term of suspension will be dictated by the facts of the case, but make no mistake, the DMV intends to take you off the road.
The only way to prevent the automatic suspension or revocation of your driver license is by scheduling and conducting an APS Hearing at the DMV.
If you are in a position where the suspension or revocation of your driver license will not have a negative effect on you, then perhaps you don’t need to conduct an APS Hearing. You will simply sit out the suspension or revocation period, complete a DUI school, file an SR-22 Form, and pay a re-issuance fee.
Conversely, if you will be adversely affected by the suspension or revocation of your driver license, then scheduling and winning an APS Hearing is the only option you have. Simply put, the suspension or revocation of your driver license is automatic following a DUI arrest; defending and protecting yourself is not. If you do not schedule and conduct an APS Hearing your driver license WILL be suspended.
Don’t let the DMV steal your driver license without a fight. Call the DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates. We’re ready to fight for your driving rights.
What Happens if I Don’t Schedule an APS Hearing at the DMV?
When a driver is arrested for DUI in California, their driver license is seized by the arresting officer and they are provided a pink colored DMV Form DS-367, which permits them to lawfully drive for 30 days. If that driver contacts the Driver Safety Office at the DMV within the first 10-days following the arrest, they may schedule an APS Hearing to fight the intended suspension of their driver license. They may also request a “Stay of Suspension” to stop the suspension until the outcome of the APS Hearing. At that point, the accused driver would begin the process of preparing to conduct their hearing.
On the other hand, if you don’t contact the DMV and you don’t schedule an APS Hearing within the first 10 calendar days following the arrest, you will forfeit your right to an APS Hearing and the suspension of your driver license will go into effect automatically. In this case, the suspension or revocation will begin when the pink colored DS-367 expires; 30 days after the arrest.
There is absolutely no down-side to scheduling your APS Hearing. California Law does not permit a driver to be punished more severely if they exercise their right to an APS Hearing. In other words, the DMV can’t suspend your driver license for a longer period of time because you ask for a hearing. All you can potentially do is make the situation better.
The DMV Experts at California Drivers Advocates believe that the driver license is one of the most valuable property rights we have. The loss of your driver license can mean the loss of your job, loss of income, and certainly the loss of your freedom to move about easily. This is serious stuff and the Defense Experts at CDA work every day to protect our client’s rights.
Call Us Today to Schedule Your APS Hearing
If you have been arrested for DUI there is simply no question that the DMV is already working to suspend or revoke your driving privilege. Ignoring this issue or hoping that it will just go away is not an intelligent response to your problem.
Everything the DMV does is time sensitive. If you have any hope of preserving your driving privilege, you must act within the first 10 calendar days to protect yourself. Call CDA today. We have years of experience fighting and winning APS Hearings. Let us begin fighting for you today.