Your DMV hearing is your chance to convince the California DMV that you should keep your license.
In California, you face two types of license suspension if arrested for DUI. One of those, a court ordered suspension, only happens if you’re convicted. The other, administrative or APS suspension, happens automatically 30 days after your arrest. This APS suspension is managed by the state DMV, and your DMV hearing is your only chance to avoid it.
The Deadline for DMV Hearings
Not every driver arrested for DUI will end up getting a hearing with the DMV. If you miss the deadline, you miss your chance. The deadline is 10 days from the date of arrest. You can file the request yourself through the state DMV or ask your lawyer to file it for you.
Benefits of Requesting a Hearing
There are several major benefits to requesting your DMV hearing. Some of them help you even if you do not win the hearing! These benefits include:
- Breathing room. Normally APS suspension starts 30 days after arrest. But it’s hard for the DMV to schedule a hearing that fast. Instead, they will delay your license suspension until your hearing date, which could be months out.
- An advantage in court. Your lawyer has a right to subpoena the arresting officer to speak at the DMV hearing. This is a rare chance to get testimony ahead of the trial. If the officer has any inconsistencies in their story, your lawyer will now know about it long in advance of the trial date—and can use it to help you in court.
- The chance to keep your license. Your lawyer is doing everything possible to win your DUI case for you. There is no reason to lose your driving privileges now if you could win your case in a month or two. If you prevail at the DMV hearing, you may never have to lose your license at all.
Winning and Losing a DMV Hearing for DUI
There are several arguments that can work at a DMV hearing:
- The arrest was not valid in the first place.
- You weren’t actually driving the car.
- There’s reason to believe that the blood, breath or urine test is inaccurate.
(Read a detailed list of ways to win your DMV hearing.)
If you lose your DMV hearing, nothing bad happens. You get the same APS license suspension you would have gotten if you never had a hearing at all. There is no risk in requesting a hearing.
But if you win, you keep your license for now. If you are later convicted of DUI in court, you will still need to serve the APS suspension. If you are not convicted, you will not. Every DUI defendant should take advantage of this system and request their DMV hearing immediately after arrest.
Have you been charged with DUI? We can connect you with an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer and get you a FREE consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 and get your free consultation today.