If you are facing a DUI charge in California, an administrating hearing will occur at a DMV office and not in a criminal court. The reason for the hearing is to determine whether your California driver’s license will be suspended because of your DUI arrest.
After you’re arrested for driving under the influence in California, an arresting officer will take your driver’s license and provide “Notice of Suspension.” The notice must serve as your temporary driver’s license for the next 30-day period. Contact an Alameda County lawyer if you have been charged with a DUI now.
California Notice of Suspension
The Notice of Suspension also provides notice that the driver is entitled to request a DMV hearing, but only if he or she makes a request within the 10-day period after the arrest. If you fail to request a DMV hearing within the 10-day period, your driver’s license is automatically suspended at the end of 30 days.
California Driver’s License Reinstatement
At that point, you may be eligible for driver’s license reinstatement if you install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, enroll in a California-approved DUI school, pay $125 to reinstate your driver’s license and provide a form to purchase SR-22 insurance.
Request a DMV Hearing
To avoid a driver’s license suspension in California, it’s important to request the DMV hearing (the “Driver Safety Administrative Per Se,” APS hearing). Request this hearing right away. If you don’t request the hearing within 10 days after the arrest, you forfeit the right to do so.
Requesting a DMV hearing for a DUI charge delays the suspension of the driver’s license—pending the outcome of your DUI hearing. You may prevent the suspension of your California driver’s license or, in some cases, prevent it.
DMV Hearing Rights
A California DMV hearing for a DUI charge is relaxed when compared to a court trial. The hearing typically occurs over the phone or in an office, not in a court room. The DMV officer presiding at the hearing might not have a law degree or any legal training. In addition, the ability to establish the burden of proof may be easier to satisfy than in a criminal court room.
Although a DMV hearing is often informal, the driver maintains certain rights during the DUI hearing. Importantly, you maintain the right to retain a DUI attorney to represent you at the hearing. You must pay for the DUI attorney. The DMV won’t appoint a legal representative.