Challenging a California License Suspension for DUI

DUI License Suspension California

Facing a DUI charge in California can result in an automatic driver’s license suspension if you fail to request and win a DMV hearing. This suspension is triggered by an Administrative Per Se violation, which is usually tied to having a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. To prevent this from occurring, individuals charged with a first-time DUI must submit a request for a DMV hearing within ten days of their arrest. After that point, the suspension might be activated automatically unless a lawyer is able to intervene on your behalf at the hearing. If you prevail, there will be no driver’s license suspension. However, if you lose, a four-month suspension will go into effect – though typically, those who are suspended may be eligible to install an ignition interlock device that would enable them to drive provided certain conditions are met. Ultimately, it’s important to remember that successfully navigating the DMV process requires experienced legal representation.

Driver’s License Suspension For DUI Can Be Effectively Challenged

If you are convicted of DUI (CVC 23152), your driving privileges will be suspended for 6 or 10 months by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). In addition to any suspension of your driving privilege, you may face penalties, fines, and other restrictions.

CALIFORNIA DMV recently released statistics revealing that 34% of all suspended driver’s licenses resulting from DUI charges were reinstated in a DMV Hearing. When California Driver’s license suspensions were challenged by qualified DUI attorneys, reinstatement ratios for California DUI-related restrictions increased up to 70%.

DMV Drunk Driving Admin Per Se Hearing

When a drunk driving arrest is made in California, typically a pink notice of suspension and a temporary driver’s license ( DMV Form DS-367) is issued to the arrestee upon release from custody. Attending a driver’s license suspension is a separate matter from addressing the courts on criminal drunk driving charges. Chances of retaining driving privileges are significantly higher if you are represented by a DUI attorney who is skilled in administering the DMV Hearing process and familiar with the unique proclivities of the DMV Officials presiding over your case. It is critical that you request a DMV Hearing within ten days of your arrest, or retain legal counsel to administer this contact for you.

The fact is the DMV bears the burden of proof that your driver’s license suspension is justified. Be aware that, unlike hearings in the criminal justice courts, if you neglect to retain an attorney to defend your right to drive, you will not be assigned a Public Defender or an advocate for the DMV Hearing. In that case, you would be at the mercy of DMV Officials. It is, of course, their intention to take punitive and regulatory action against you which has resulted in driver’s license suspensions for many undefended California drivers.

DMV Hearing Objectives

If a complete dismissal of your case cannot be achieved, the objective will be to greatly reduce the charges against you and to minimize the damages of your California DUI arrest and/or Driver’s License suspension. In some cases, complicated by enhancements and previous DUI convictions, it may be that the best DMV resolution for your particular case is a limited driver’s license and a shorter revocation. A San Diego driver’s license suspension will obviously profoundly affect every area of your life, and all efforts must be made to avoid such a loss.

DMV Hearing Request Benefits

A DMV Hearing request will affect an extension of the 30-day temporary CA driver’s license that was issued to you at the time of your DUI arrest. The term for extended driving privileges can be up to several months until your case can be heard. If you have been arrested and charged with drunk driving, and face a potential driver’s license suspension, you have everything to gain by exercising your right to the DMV Hearing, especially when you have a DUI Specialized attorney acting on your behalf.

Restricted Driving Privileges

Generally, you can qualify for restricted driving privileges. During your suspension period, you can drive from and to work and court-ordered programs. During the initial 30 days, known as the “hard suspension,” you cannot obtain restricted driving privileges. However, for the majority of first-time misdemeanor DUIs, you should be allowed to get restricted privileges for the remaining six to nine months of the suspension.

It should be noted that these are the bare minimums. There are some circumstances in which you could face a longer suspension. You should consult with a CA DUI attorney to understand your options.

Restricted License

If you have been arrested for a DUI in California, there are two types of restricted licenses you may be eligible for. An IID-restricted license permits you to drive with an ignition interlock device installed in your car. This device will act as a breathalyzer and block the vehicle from starting if it detects any alcohol on your breath. To receive this type of license, you must file an SR22 form, complete a DUI school program, and pay all associated fees.

The second type of restricted license available is a California Restricted License which allows you to drive during certain authorized times such as to and from work, school, and/or California DUI school. You must also file an SR22 form with the DMV in order to obtain or reinstate your license after the suspension period, which could be up to three years.

How soon you can get a restricted license depends on whether you have suffered a court-triggered or administrative license suspension. If the suspension was court-triggered, you may be able to get a restricted license right away. If the suspension was administrative, you must wait 30 days from the start of the license suspension. If both suspensions apply, you must wait 30 days from the start of the administrative suspension.
Unfortunately, if you face a first-time DUI offense in California and refuse to complete a chemical or blood test, you will not be eligible for a restricted license but instead face a one-year revocation with no chance of getting a restricted license during that time. After the suspension period has ended, you will be required to file an SR22 form with the DMV before your license can be reinstated.

How Long Do Second and Third DUI License Suspensions Last?

Repeated DUI convictions result in severe punishments. The more prior crimes you have, the longer your license will be suspended. As an example:

  • Second DUI carries a 2-year suspension.
  • Third DUI carries a 3-year suspension.
  • Fourth DUI – 4 years suspension, but you may also be designated as a “habitual traffic offender” and your license may be permanently revoked.

According to California law, all DUI convictions during the last ten years qualify as prior crimes.

FAQs About License Suspension California

Can you appeal a license suspension in California?

Yes, it is possible to appeal a license suspension in California. You must file a “Petition for Reinstatement” with the DMV within 14 days of suspension or cancellation. This petition should include an explanation of your unique circumstances and any mitigating evidence that would support your case. Ultimately, the decision to approve or deny the petition will be up to the DMV’s discretion.

How do I get a restricted license after a DUI in California?

After being convicted of a DUI in California, you may be eligible to apply for a restricted license according to state regulations. Generally, this application must be filed at least 30 days after the conviction and include proof of enrollment in a state-approved alcohol education program. Once approved, the restricted license will allow you to drive to certain places like work, school, or medical appointments.

How do I fix my suspended license in CA?

To resolve your suspended license in California, you must first complete all the requirements set by the court or the DMV. This typically includes paying any outstanding fines and completing any mandated courses. Once those requirements are fulfilled and verified, your license can be reinstated.

How do I appeal a California DMV decision?

If you wish to appeal a California DMV decision, you must file a Petition for Reconsideration with the DMV within 60 days of the decision. During this process, you will need to provide evidence that supports your argument, such as supporting documentation or witness statements. The DMV will then review your petition and make their final decision.

How long is a license restricted after a DUI in California?

The length of time that your license will be restricted after a DUI in California depends on several factors, including your age and the severity of the offense. Generally, the restriction period is six months for adults and one year for minors. After this time has elapsed, you may be able to reapply for full driving privileges.

Can you get a hardship license in California?

You may be able to obtain a hardship license in California if you are facing extenuating circumstances that make it difficult or impossible for you to drive legally without a valid license. This type of license is usually granted on a case-by-case basis and requires approval from both the court and DMV.

What is the new law on suspended licenses in California 2023?

In 2023, California will begin implementing AB 53, which offers individuals with suspended licenses an opportunity to earn back their full driving privileges sooner. Under this law, eligible applicants must enroll in a comprehensive payment plan with the DMV and submit monthly payments until all remaining fees are paid.

How do I get around a suspended driver’s license?

Unfortunately, there is no way to “get around” a suspended license, so it’s important to comply with all the requirements set by the court or DMV before attempting to drive again. If public transportation is not an option, consider carpooling or renting a vehicle while your license remains suspended.

How do I appeal a suspension?

To appeal a suspension, you must submit a Petition for Reinstatement to the DMV within 14 days of suspension or cancellation. This petition should include an explanation of your individual circumstances and any evidence that could help support your argument. The DMV will then review your petition and decide whether or not to grant the request.

Can you get your license back after 3 DUIs in California?

It is possible to obtain a restricted license after three DUIs in California, provided certain conditions are met. These might include successfully completing traffic school, paying outstanding fines, or undergoing court-ordered treatment or probation. Additionally, some counties may require applicants to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in their vehicle before getting approval for a restricted license.

Can you get a diversion for a DUI in California?

Depending on your individual circumstances and the severity of your charge, you may be eligible for DUI diversion in California. This involves postponing your prosecution until you can fulfill certain conditions, such as completing an alcohol/drug assessment or participating in community service or other forms of rehabilitation. Upon successful completion of these conditions, your charges will generally be dismissed.

Can you go to traffic school for a DUI in California?

Depending on the severity of your offense and its impact on your driving record, you may qualify for traffic school to reduce or dismiss penalties associated with your DUI charge(s). Traffic school must be completed within 90 days of your conviction and is often offered through courts or community organizations.

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