Orange County DUI License Suspension at DMV Hearing
Most people don’t realize that when they are arrested for DUI in Orange County, they will face a potential trial for the DUI charge, but also there is another hearing that they have to worry about. If you’ve been arrested for DUI, you should also request a hearing at the DMV so that you can fight your license
suspension. In many cases, especially for first-time DUI arrests, the license suspension is the most important aspect because it will happen quickly and it usually has the most impact on a person’s life. In many cases, after the DUI arrest, you are let out of jail while you await the DUI criminal proceedings. So, at least for a while, you won’t have any ramifications from the DUI, especially if it’s your first time. But the license suspension will happen in a matter of days unless you take the necessary steps to avoid it.
Not only should you hire a lawyer to go to the DMV hearing with you, but you definitely shouldn’t attempt to handle your Orange County DUI arrest and charge on your own, even if it’s your first DUI offense. There are many pitfalls you won’t know of that might hurt your case. You need to have a team of aggressive Orange County DUI lawyers fighting for your rights to help get the best outcome for your case. The Orange County DUI lawyers at Wallin & Klarich are waiting for your call.
Purpose of DMV Hearing
An Orange County DMV license suspension hearing for a DUI is not a criminal hearing. Although there is a hearing officer, he or she is not a judge and most likely doesn’t even have a law degree. And there is also no jury. The hearing officer determines the facts and makes the rulings. The only issue that the DMV hearing officer will address is whether your license should be suspended because of the DUI arrest.
When an Orange County driver is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, their driver’s license is immediately confiscated by the police and they are served with the DMV’s “Notice of Suspension”. This notice acts as a temporary license for 30 days. This one-page notice informs you of the following:
- Formally suspends your license;
- Provides a temporary driving license for 30 days; and
- Explains other aspects of the law and your obligations.
Buried in the fine print of the notice is the right to an administrative hearing at the DMV to contest the suspension and possibly get your license back. The hearing is officially called a Driver Safety Administrative Per Se “APS” Hearing. The Notice of Suspension states that in order to get a hearing scheduled, you or your lawyer has to request a hearing with the DMV within 10 days of the DUI arrest. If you miss this time frame to request a DMV hearing, your license will be officially suspended at the end of the 30-day temporary license. The length of your license suspension will depend upon the facts of your case, but you will be able to have it reinstated after a period of time and when you complete the following:
- Enroll in California DUI school;
- Submit an SR-22 insurance form;
- Pay a $125 reinstatement fee, and
- In some cases, install an ignition interlock device in your car.
How to Keep Your License From Being Suspended
The hearing process is very informal and usually held over the phone or, if in person, in an office or conference room. You are allowed to have your attorney present at the hearing. But unlike with a criminal DUI case, the state does not appoint you an attorney if you cannot afford one. For the DMV hearing, you’ll have to hire your own attorney. Even though it’s an informal hearing, there are many things that your lawyer can do similar to what you’d see in a criminal DUI trial:
- See the evidence beforehand and challenge the documents, even the police report;
- Subpoena and present witnesses, including the officer that initially stopped you;
- Cross-examine witnesses; and
- Present your own testimony under questioning by your attorney.
Having an experienced and skilled Orange County DUI lawyer on your side during the DMV hearing greatly increases your chances of not having your license suspended.
Contact Wallin & Klarich Today
Wallin & Klarich knows what it takes to get the best results for Orange County DUI license suspension hearings at the DMV. We will review every bit of evidence in your case and provide every legal defense possible. You can contact us online or call us at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (714) 386-7710 for a free phone consultation. With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles, and San Diego, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich DUI defense attorney near you, no matter where you work or live.