DMV Hearing + Suspended Driver’s License
In California, many people rely on their Driver’s License for work and school. An arrest for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) has consequences for your Driver’s License. You face a driver’s license suspension. As such, a DUI charge may have an adverse effect on your ability to provide for your family or get an education. This blog discusses driver’s license suspensions and Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) Hearings.
Suspended Driver’s License
Your driver’s license suspension is automatic if arrested for a DUI. This suspension becomes effective 30 days after arrest. At the time of arrest, the officer will take your license and issue you a temporary license. This temporary license is valid for 30 days after the date of arrest.
Two Types of Driver’s License Suspension
You face two types of driver’s license suspensions. Each vary in length. The first type of suspension is a DMV Administrative Per Se suspension. This suspension occurs after the DMV Hearing. This driver’s license suspension may begin before criminal proceedings. The second type of suspension is a Court ordered driver’s license suspension. The Court ordered suspension begins only if convicted of DUI.
DMV Hearing and Suspension
The DMV will hold a hearing to determine whether to terminate your license. This hearing must occur before the effective date of suspension.
Before the hearing occurs, the officer forwards your license and his police report to the DMV. The DMV holds an administrative review within 30 days after arrest. This DMV Review is automatic. The goal is to determine whether to reinstate, revoke, or suspend your license. The DMV considers the officer’s report and chemical test results.
The DMV Review will occur without your presence. But, if you wish to be present, you may demand a DMV Hearing. You must demand a DMV hearing within 10 days after receiving the notice of suspension. Generally, the officer will give you this notice at the time of arrest.
Benefits of a DMV Hearing
A DMV Hearing allows you to argue against suspension of your license. Furthermore, you may present evidence on your behalf. But, the hearing is very limited. The hearing does not determine guilt. Instead, the hearing determines two things. First, the hearing determines whether there was probable cause to arrest you for DUI. Second, the hearing determines the circumstances surrounding the arrest (i.e. whether you refused to submit to a chemical test, failed to complete a test, or your chemical test results were above the legal limit).
The DMV Review and Hearing are administrative proceedings, not criminal court proceedings. But, you may request a court to review unfavorable DMV findings. Furthermore, the DMV decision has no bearing in Criminal Court proceedings.
Learn more about DUI Law here.
Length of Suspension for Noncommercial Drivers
The DMV Suspension length depends on a few factors. If this is your first DUI, the DMV will suspend your license for 4 months. But, this suspension is 1 year if you refused the chemical test.
Further, if you are under 21 at the time of your DUI you will face a 1 year DMV license suspension.
Moreover, if you have more than 1 DUI in a 10 year period, you will face a 1 year DMV license suspension. This suspension is 2 years if you refused the chemical test.
Court Ordered Driver’s License Suspension
The Court Ordered Driver’s License Suspension occurs only if convicted for DUI. This punishment is separate from the DMV Administrative punishment. Thus, you may be subject to both license suspensions.
Length of Suspension for Noncommercial Drivers
The length of the court ordered driver’s license suspension depends on how many DUI priors you have. The length increases for every DUI you have had within 10 years.
For a first time DUI offense, you will face a driver’s license suspension of 6 to 10 months. This suspension is 1 year if you refused the chemical test.
For a second DUI offenses within 10 years, you will face a two year driver’s license suspension.
For a third DUI offense within 10 years, you will face a 3 year driver’s license suspension.
A longer suspension may happen if an injury occurred.
A restricted license will allow you to drive to and from your home and (1) work, (2) school, and (3) DUI classes. The requirements to get a restricted license depends on how many prior DUIs you have.
You may apply for a restricted license for a first time DUI one month (30 days) after a DMV suspension. But you cannot apply for a restricted license if you refused the chemical test.
You must fulfill some prerequisites to get a restricted license. You must first apply to a DUI First Time Offender’s Program. The program must file a Proof of Enrollment Certificate (Form DL-107) with the CA DMV. Second, you must submit a SR-22 insurance form. Finally, you must pay a $125 reinstatement fee.
Generally, if this is your second DUI within 10 years, you may get a restricted license after 1 year of suspension. But, if your DUI involved alcohol only, you may be eligible to get a restricted license after 90 days of suspension.
Further, there are certain prerequisites required to get a restricted license for a second DUI. Besides the first time DUI prerequisites discussed above, you must also enroll in an 18 or 30 month DUI school and install an Ignition Interlock Device.
Moreover, if this is your third DUI within 10 years, you may be eligible to convert your license to a restricted license after 18 months of suspension. The prerequisites are like the 2nd time DUI requirements.
Learn more about restricted licenses here.